New in 2023: Decisions on Marines’ new physical training uniforms

In the coming year, the Marine Corps will come to a decision on a prototype for new physical training uniforms with reflective elements, gender-specific design, and lighter fabric and shorter shorts than a previous prototype.

The uniforms won’t be fielded in 2023, according to Kelly Flynn, a spokeswoman for Marine Corps Systems Command. But the Marine Corps’ uniform board will review the results of a second user evaluation that took place in fall 2022 and start the approval process.

“If they approve, then next steps would be securing funding and then a clearer timeline for fielding could be established,” Flynn wrote in an email to Marine Corps Times.

Marine Corps Systems Command announced its latest physical uniform prototype in October. An initial prototype featuring basketball-style shorts was unveiled in April 2021 and received negative feedback from hundreds of Marines in the first user evaluation.

“The results from last year’s (limited user evaluation) were clear,” Kristine Bealmear, the SYSCOM physical training uniform project officer, said in a news release in October. The shorts were long. The reflective material was restrictive.”

In the new prototype, the reflective striping on the back is thinner and the fabric is lighter. The shorts have a 5-inch inseam, down from 8 inches in the first prototype, according to Flynn. That’s still longer than silkies, the beloved, barely-there PT shorts that the Marine Corps discontinued in 2011.

Why Marines love short shorts

Both the latest prototype and the initial one retain the classic green-on-green color scheme of the current physical training uniform. But they include “USMC” in reflective vertical letters on the back and an Eagle, Globe and Anchor on the sleeves.

The new uniforms will come to recruit depots and Officer Candidates School first, Flynn told Marine Corps Times in October.