U.S. Marine Corps Alters Dress Code for Women, No Longer Requiring Them to Wear Pantyhose

The move is "effective immediately," the U.S. Marine Corps said

<p>Getty</p> A stock image of a female U.S. Marine soldier in combat gear.


A stock image of a female U.S. Marine soldier in combat gear.

The U.S. Marine Corps has made a change to its dress code for women.

Earlier this week, the Armed Forces branch announced that women in the Marines will no longer be required to wear pantyhose with their uniform skirt.

"Effective immediately, the wear of hosiery with skirts is optional," the Marines Corps wrote in a statement.

But, should pantyhose be worn with a skirt, it must be "skin tone harmonizing," the Marines said. Meanwhile, dark hosiery may still be worn under dress slacks, the organization added.

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<p>Getty</p> A stock image of a woman Marine.


A stock image of a woman Marine.

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In a statement to PEOPLE, Maj. Joshua Larson, a spokesperson for the Office of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, said the hosiery requirement was changed because it didn't "pass a 'common sense' test."

"As part of the Marine Corps' Talent Management initiative that began in 2021, then Assistant Commandant Gen. Eric M. Smith, who was the Talent Management officer for the Marine Corps, provided guidance to assess current Marine Corps policies to determine if any policies were either outdated or didn't pass a 'common sense' test," Larson said. "Within the spirit of common sense, our Uniform Board recommended a change to the policy that required women to wear hosiery with skirts. Hosiery is now optional."

"The Marine Corps prioritizes its people above all things," he continued. "Our leaders know, at an instinctual level, that we have a sacred and personal responsibility to lead, mentor, and care for our Marines.

Larson added: "Talent Management drives us to make better institutional decisions and policies for our Marines and their families."

<p>Getty</p> A stock image of a Marine Corps helicopter.


A stock image of a Marine Corps helicopter.

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Though women had previously fought in two world wars, they weren't officially considered a permanent part of the regular Marine Corps until June 1948, when Congress passed the Women's Armed Services Integration Act, according to Marine Corps University.

Women currently make up 5% of the more than 175,000 active duty members of the Marine Corps, the organization adds, with 93% of all occupational fields and 62% of all positions now open to women.

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