B Company 1/1 models new-look uniforms
By Cpl. Melinda M. Weathers
| Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | February 08, 2001
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON --
Keeping with the Commandant of the Marine Corps' initiative to give the Corps a new, distinctive look, Marines with B Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, are serving as a test bed for what the future of the Corps may look like.Recently members of the Marine Corps Systems Command from Headquarters, Marine Corps, visited the Camp Horno area here to issue the new digitally generated camouflage utilities to some 60 leathernecks to begin the testing phase. "We're looking for honest feedback with these tests," said Maj. Gabriel R. Patricio, liaison officer, combat support logistics equipment, MARCORSYSCOM. "Every Marine will have the same level of input during these test phases," said Patricio while addressing Marines of 1/1.Marine Corps Systems Command serves as the Commandant's principal agent for equipping the operating forces to accomplish their warfighting mission.Patricio added that the Camp Pendleton Marines are the first and only company here testing the new utilities. "A lot depends on what survives throughout the test phases," he said.Since the beginning of the new uniform evolution, Patricio said the Corps has been seeking a more durable, service-unique and combat-ready uniform. "Following several focus groups and the Internet survey, we came up with the uniform items being tested by Marines here, Twentynine Palms and Okinawa," he added. The next step is to start phasing in the uniforms by late summer.Elastic boot-bands, foam knee inserts, detachable sleeves and sewn rank insignias are just a few of the changes being tested in the fleet by the Marine Corps Uniform Board."I think this is great," said 1stSgt. Oneil Weilbacher, B Company first sergeant. "It's about time we got a look that is different and unique from everyone else. That's the way it should be," Weilbacher said."At first, I was a bit hesitant, but after seeing some of the initiatives, I'm looking forward to the changes and open to change," said Cpl. Ivan Loomis, weapons platoon. "It's going to be nice to have a look that totally sets (Marines) apart," Loomis said. "A lot of the changes are very practical, like the changes in cargo pockets and the insertable knee and elbow pads," Loomis said. "I especially like the new digitized pattern and the boonie covers, because unlike our current patterns, the new ones break up a Marine's silouette in (the field)," Loomis said. "It's definitely a step forward with much validity," Loomis said.