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  1. #16
    I was discharged in Feb 77 and I had been wearing the woodland cammies for at least 6 months prior to my discharge. I remember that if we wore cammies we had to wear cammie covers and if we wore sateen's we had to wear sateen covers, mixing was absolutely forbidden. The cammies were just starting to be issued in mid 76 with the phaseover lasting about two years I believe. This was at HQ Co H&S Bn Camp Lejeune...

  2. #17

    About Right...

    Seems like everyone got it about right with the timelines. I remember sateens everyday, tucked in, bloused until about '76-'77. I had made a lat move into Avionics and was going through A-School at NAS Millington when the change to cammies came about. That first set must have been old stock because it lasted about two or three weeks before the dry rot set in and you had to go trade them in at cash sales. You could wear either or, but as said if it was with cammies it had to be with the sateen cover. (As a side note..remember the DI saying, "We don't hat our heads! We cover them!) And most everyone went to them because they were more comfortable to wear and not tuck in...and well? They were kewl looking too!

    At the same time there was nothing quite like breaking a new set of 'starchies' everyday with a crisp crease. Liquid starch being the main stay at the PX and most everyone had a couple covers with at least one that had been slathered with the starch...drying in the sun.

    I remember the rip stop material cammies in a jungle pattern, then woodlands, then like this combination of over the years...and now there is digital. I remember when we used to starch cammies, then were told we could only iron them because somehow the starch interfered with the IR coating the makers put on them.

    And just think? In times gone past WWI Marines basically wore a woolen dress type uniform to combat, there was the herring bone pattern utilities which my MGySgt who had 39 YEARS of service in 1974 wore at the time he had left over he was wearing in 1974! How many remember that the WM's of the time had a different uniform...it was like a light green/dark green striped thing? Saigon Sam's here in Jacksonville used to have a few of them on their wall. Then when cammies came in everyone went to them? A long change through the many uniforms to where we are today. But the same dress uniform I received in bootcamp was what I wore on my retirement day 22 years later AND Dress Blues were the same. Time and traditions....make us who we are!

  3. #18
    Guest Free Member
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    Jan 2006
    Providence County
    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt Leprechaun View Post
    A vast mixture of green/camo/ERDL was issued during that time period. The military was experimenting with, and issuing out, some odd and unusual patterns, as usual the Marine Corps took what they could get and find.

    The OD green 'sateens' were standard issue until about 1978/79, (not sure of the 'wear out date', but they weren't being worn at all in summer of '82 when I was in RT).

    Different units wore different things, depending on 'wear out' dates and when uniforms first entered the system.

    I'd say if you were attempting to get different sets of things during that time, I'd go for the following:

    Sateens. The 'greens' were the most common worn during this period.

    ERDL camo: These were in the system

    Jungle pattern slash pocket heavy green: Also in the system

    Jungle pattern slash pocket light green/brown: Also in the system.

    Woodlands don't hit the system until the very early 1980's (circa '81 or so) and they were the heavy winter variety, with what we called the 'elvis' collar. It would have been very rare to see a Marine wearing these, even in 1980.

    The cammies being worn by 3522, above, are the jungle style 'brown dominent' slash pocket variety with sateen cover.


    Rocky 1977-1983

  4. #19
    Renegade, well said.

    I have a few of those old WM uniforms in my collection, they are pretty neat. They also had different colored chevrons that went with them.

    I'm not at the right computer to post those, but I'll put some pics of chevrons up on another thread to illustrate em.

    I think we pretty much established a very accurate timeline on when the new stuff was introduced, how it was worn, and by whom.

    By the way, I actually wore ripstop cammies one day at Camp Lejeune...in 1998! Talk about people freaking out. BUT....they were servicable, and the regs stated that I could still wear them. I was a Cpl/retread and they were my originals from the 1980's. I wish I would have taken a pic but don't have one. Anybody able to beat me on the 'last day of wear' for ripstop jungles? LOL

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by plat2093 View Post
    Anybody else with more info on utility issue from say 1975-1979?
    I was discharged in June 1974 and we only had the green sateen utilities. I went into the reserves and kept the utilities until around right before Christmas of 1978 when we were issued the green camoflauged utilities with cover to match. We were told not to wear the sateens anymore. We were told also that we would soon be wearing berets but as you know this never happened. When I was in Vietnam (june 67-Aug 68) I saw many Marines wearing the green camoflauged utilities but with the boonie hats so I never remember seeing a cammie cover.
    Item of note I still have one set of the green sateen jungle utilities with matching boonie hat that I have kept since Vietnam.

  6. #21
    I was a recruit at Parris Island from 21 June 1976 to 20 September 1976 (after a short vacation in the infamous Correctional Custody/Motivation platoon) and never saw a cammie uniform there.

    My younger brother went to boot camp on 31 October, 1976 and he was issued sateens and a set of cammies (or perhalf half of both). So the Corps' basic issue was in full transition mode at that moment.

    In Radio School at 29 Stumps, our instructors said everyone in our class had to be uniformly dressed, so none of us could wear our cammies unless everyone in the class bought a pair of them from Cash Sales. So apparently who was authorized to dictate their wear was up to small unit commanders. Not everyone bought them and so I couldn't wear my Cash Sales cammies until long after I got to my first duty station because....

    I went on float the very day I arrived at Camp Schwab, Okinawa in January 1977 and everyone wore sateens for the duration of the float. I'm not sure that Schwab's Cash Sales stocked cammies by the time we left Oki. It wasn't until mid 1977 (post-float) that we were allowed to don cammies.

    By the end of my enlistment in June 1980, anyone with sateens (and they were faded by that time) was considered an old Salt. When I got out, our uniforms (sateen or cammy) didn't have name tags and everyone was just, "Hey Marine!"

    My service covered Okinawa (Subic-Olongopo/Mt Fuji/Korea), Camp Pendleton, Okinawa again and Camp Lejeune, and a few Navy ships. During my enlistment, I and never saw anything but sateen covers. The first time I saw a camouflage cover was in media photographs after I got out.

    As part of a larger autobiography I'm currently writing, my time in the Corps spans three volumes. I expect those volumes to unintentionally be the most detailed and accurate portrayal of life throughout the Marine Corps in the late 1970's.

    In a small way, its intended to be a reference book so that future Marines can answer questions such as the one inspired by this "utilities" thread or get a feel for the Old Corps back when dear ol' Dad or whoever was in, etc.

    I had trouble coloring between the lines, so admittedly, my time in the Corps wasn't typical, but any first enlistment Marine who served in those open squad bay days might find it a walk down memory lane.

    Anyone with clear photos of every day items from circa '76-80, feel free to contact me. I've seen everything Google images has to offer which is practically nothing usable and the 110mm throwaway camera technology in those days left a lot to be desired in getting clear pics of anything.

    -- The WW II era white wooden buildings which used to house Recieving on the first night/day of our arrival. I.e., the one we were herded into after the yellow foot prints. Also, any clear photo of the scarlet/gold sign above that door saying, "Above this Portal pass prospects for the world's finest...." Almost any shot of these barracks.

    -- Any interior shot of of Receiving barracks (especially the numbered tables we stood at there) would be priceless.

    -- The "field marching pack.' This was the haversack with the shelter half/bedroll wrapped around it like a horseshoe and the e-tool strapped to the back. We had these in boot camp and my Okinawa unit marched with this we got the godsend ALICE pack circa the summer of 1977.

    -- Interior squad bay (open squad bay and cubicles) and outdoor views of Okinawa's one story barracks (they were identical on every base).....Pendleton's Las Pulgas' 2-story barracks with outdoor balconies.....and Mainside Lejuene's 2-story red brick barracks.

    -- Also, photos of the Marine's olive drab cattle cars. The only pics I can find are sliver Army ones.

    -- As dumb as it sounds, a solo-shot of one of those ubiquitious heavy steel 40 gallon galvanized garbage cans.

    -- Anything to do with 1970's Olongopo's bars, Jeepneys, or Upper Mau camp...Quonset huts at Camp Fuji....Taegu, Korea....Camp Schwab....MCAS Futenma. Photos used will be attributed.



  7. #22
    I appreciate your hard work Marine, should be goo reading to the newbie's wanting to understand our past.

  8. #23
    The definitive answer to this question is (from 1976).....

    In accordance with ALMAR 115/76 (MCO 1020.44)...."The first step in the implementation to replace cotton sateen utilities is the issuing of two camouflage uniforms, as well as two cotton sateen utilities, to recruits beginning on 1 Oct. Eventually, all four sets will be camouflage."

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