Marines end longstanding ban on umbrellas

All Marines can now endure the rain with the protection of an umbrella, ending a longstanding tradition of toughening it when it showers.

"Umbrellas are good to go," Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger recently told reporters at the Pentagon, according to the Task & Purpose military community website. The new policy applies to Marines wearing their service or dress uniforms.

"Marines can carry an all-black, plain, standard or collapsible umbrella at their option during inclement weather with the service and dress uniforms," according to a new All Marine Corps message, the site reported.

Former President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan hold a joint press conference in the Rose Garden in 2013 as Marines shield them from the rain. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images, File)

Former President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan hold a joint press conference in the Rose Garden in 2013 as Marines shield them from the rain. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images, File)

Previously, only female Marines were allowed to use umbrellas while in their service or dress uniforms. They are required to carry it in their left hand so they are free to salute with their right.

Marines wearing camouflage combat utility uniforms will still need to brave the rain with no umbrella.

The change came after an April survey of Marines, Military.com reported.

Some said an umbrella looks more professional than getting drenched. Others said a change was needed since the service and dress uniforms are expensive.

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Ruining them in the rain would be a financial burden to junior-enlisted Marines who are at the bottom of the pay scale, one respondent wrote.

The Army, Navy and Air Force all allow their service members to use umbrellas in certain conditions.