Though the Navy now allows sailors to stick their hands in their uniform pockets, the Marine Corps is not planning to follow suit anytime soon.

The current iteration of the Marine Corps Uniform Board will not hold a vote on lifting the ban on hands in pockets when it convenes, Marine spokesman Maj. Joshua Pena confirmed to Marine Corps Times Friday.

The board, which votes on uniform changes and makes recommendations to the commandant, is now soliciting feedback from the fleet on a slate of uniform issues — the pockets question not among them, Pena said.

The Marine Corps uniform order bans Marines in garrison from putting their hands in pockets for reasons other than “to retrieve something from said pockets.” That order still stands, Pena confirmed.

So, for now, enlisted leaders can still tell their Marines to get their hands — or a more colorful term for the appendages — out of their pockets.

The Marine Corps has said hands in pockets “detract from an appropriate military presence.”

But the Navy on Tuesday announced sailors were free to place their hands in their pockets “when doing so does not compromise safety nor prohibit the proper rendering of honors and courtesies.” It was an about-face from a branch that claimed in 2021 that putting hands in pockets “is inappropriate and detracts from military smartness.”

The Air Force green-lit hands in pockets in 2021, citing the trust the branch puts in its airmen to handle significant resources and responsibilities.

Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, said at the time, “We likewise trust they can figure out what it takes and means to maintain standards without specifying exact behavior in every situation.”

The Army, like the Marine Corps, bans hands in pockets except for when those hands are retrieving objects.

The Marine Corps generally has the strictest uniform standards of the military services.

It is the only branch in which women can’t wear ponytails except during physical training. Male Marines have to keep their hair shorter than in other branches, a standard that gave the Marines the nickname “Jarheads.

Marines also can’t wear the camouflage uniform out in the civilian world.

The Marine commandant, Gen. Eric Smith, had urged Marines to keep up the high standards that make the Corps distinctive.

“They shape our unique Marine culture which is respected at home and across the globe,” he wrote in October 2023.

Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.

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