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What Is Different About The New Royal Marines Uniform?

The clothing is designed to differentiate the Royal Marines from the Army and symbolise its connection to the Royal Navy.

The Royal Marines are to receive a new uniform that commandos will begin wearing later this year.

The new kit is part of the 'Future Commando Force' programme, which is designed to overhaul the way Commandos operate.

The Royal Navy says the programme is the most significant transformation and rebranding programme launched since World War Two.

 

Analysis by a former Royal Marine

The uniform comes at a time when there is a shift in the concept of operations for UK maritime amphibious forces.

It is designed to differentiate the Corps from the Army and be a visible symbol of its connection to the Royal Navy. 

The clothing includes new disruptive pattern material shirts, trousers and a waterproof combat jacket made by US clothing company Crye Precision. 

The kit is being ordered now and personnel will start wearing it from autumn.

It includes a ‘multicam’ field shirt and trousers that are for normal day-to-day use.

For operations, there is a combat shirt with wicking material over the torso, designed to be worn under body armour, and combat trousers with knee protection.

(Picture: MOD).

One of the most striking differences in the new uniform - or 'rig’ in Marines parlance - is the change from the arched Royal Marines Commando shoulder flash to a velcro attaching rectangular patch. 

The traditional black and green flash is now black and red, which will be familiar to the Marines from the flashes worn on their jerseys.

This colour scheme and the rectangular flashes date back to the Second World War, and June marks the 80th anniversary of the introduction of the first Army Commando units.  

The green and black dagger worn by members of 3 Commando Brigade has switched arms to the right shoulder and the Union Jack on the left arm is replaced by a ‘tactical’ White Ensign to highlight the Royal Navy connection.

The kit issue will also include a waterproof jacket which will replace both the combat jacket and waterproof gortex jackets the Marines currently wear.

The differences with the current Personal Clothing System (PCS) uniform are mostly symbolic in that the Marines will not be wearing the same standard rig as the Army for the first time in decades.

The uniform is an off-the-shelf option rather than having a specifically designed uniform, which is a cost-saving measure seen more regularly since the conflict in Afghanistan with equipment ranging from rifles to boots.

The photos released by the Royal Navy also show Marines carrying the C8 Diemaco rifle rather than the standard SA80 – it is likely this weapon will continue to be used by some maritime units, probably depending on limited availability.