U.S. Marine recruiters have been directed not to wear uniforms in public in response to the shootings in Chattanooga. It reminds me of policies instituted in the mid-80s, which instructed Marines on liberty to have “businessman’s haircuts and sideburns” during my deployment in the Mediterranean. Years later as a captain for a major airline, we had a policy in certain countries that required us to change into civilian clothing prior to leaving the aircraft.
In each case, the policy was intended to protect the individuals. Make no mistake, Marines are offended by this policy. We don’t cower in fear and we certainly do not wish to hide our identity from potential enemies. If higher command wants to protect our Marine recruiters, then they need to look no further than the Marine’s service weapon.
What better disincentive to would-be terrorists than to know that their intended targets are highly skilled, combat hardened, ARMED Devil Dogs? We may not be able to prevent ideologically motivated criminals, but we certainly can allow those few, proud Marines who constantly exemplify courage, honor, commitment as well as the highest traditions of American valor to keep on their persons the weapons we trained them with.
LtCol Robert Welzel
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