SAN DIEGO — The Marine Corps is known for its professionalism and when it comes to professionalism, Marines are held to high expectations.
Recruits of Company I, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, received their first uniform fitting aboard the depot recently.
“We want them looking as good as possible from the beginning,” said Staff Sgt. Armando Hopkins, drill instructor, Platoon 3214. “These will be the uniforms that these recruits will wear once they become Marines – maybe their entire careers.”
During their time at the recruit clothing facility, recruits turned in some of their camouflage combat utility uniforms to have their name tapes sewn on. Each recruit also received a set of dress uniforms that were tailored to their bodies.
Recruits were fitted for each item of the uniform such as the cover, blouse, trousers and jacket. Each recruit then individually stood in front of a professional tailor to ensure a proper fit.
Training day 43 was not only important for the recruits to receive the uniforms they will be wearing, but also was a stepping stone during their recruit training experience.
“They (recruits) can see the transition,” said Hopkins, a native of El Paso, Texas. “The recruits getting fitted for their uniforms is one of the first steps in Phase III of recruit training.”
According to Recruit Marcelo Clark, being able to put the uniform on and get it fit to his own body gave him a confidence and psychological boost to push on and complete the rest of recruit training.
“Not everybody gets to put on these uniforms,” said Clark, a Houston native. “We have made it this far in training and just seeing these uniforms and getting the chance to put them on gives me the drive to graduate.”
The Marine Corps uniforms date back to the birthdate of the Marine Corps. Uniforms distinguish the Corps from the other branches of service. Some details in the uniforms reflect the proud legacy of Marines who have worn them for the more than two centuries.
“Anyone can wear a uniform,” said 25-year-old Clark. “What makes it stand out is when it is crisp and neat; it just flat out looks good.”
The recruits will return the following week to ensure the uniforms fit correctly and, if needed, any other alterations will be made.
Although recruits were fitted for their dress uniforms, they were not allowed to wear them until Family Day and graduation after they have earned the title “Marine.”
“I have been looking forward to this day since the beginning of recruit training,” said Clark. “The way the Marines look is one of the reasons why I joined the Marine Corps.”