Both male and female Marines will be required to wear the male cap starting in May 2017, according to a memo signed on Monday.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos approved a recommendation by the Marines’ Uniform Board to adopt the male service and dress frame cap as the "universal cap" for all Marines, the memo said. Female recruits will be issued the male dress and service caps beginning in April 2014, but the mandatory possession date for all Marines is not until May 2017.
An overwhelming percentage of all Marines polled preferred the male caps when asked to choose between those and a smaller and thinner cap known as the Dan Daly cap, named after a former two-time Medal of Honor recipient who served in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Marines also say the switch to a universal cap will save hundreds of thousands of dollars in production costs.
However, the change in caps could be another sign of what some experts have criticized as heightened political pressures on the services to be gender neutral, such as the push to integrate women into combat roles and units.