Marine Uniform Accoutrements
Marine Uniform Accouterments are badges, patches and emblems that are worn on a Marine's duty uniform, BDU or fatigues. Their main purpose is to provide easy identification of personnel in mass action but equally important is the accomplishment, skills and history that each item represents.
Like the 20th /21st century armed forces SFMC uses three different types of uniforms:
- Duty Uniforms, which consist of the service dress and full dress uniforms, are based on those used by Starfleet. The SFMC, however, uses a chevron and pip rank set which differs from Starfleet.
- Fatigues are the “work clothes” of the Marine Corp and come in a myriad of colours and camouflage patterns for a wide variety climates and environments. They often have over sized equipment pockets and fasteners to make a Marine’s gear easily accessible.
- Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) is the term used for a marine's combat armour and gear. Like the fatigues the outer layer usually has a camouflage pattern.
Generally a detachment will have a standard colour or pattern for their BDUs and fatigues. Due to this variety fatigue uniforms tend to become very individualized over time, acquiring official and unofficial badges, patches and service tabs.
Unless otherwise specified accoutrements are only worn on a Marine's BDUs or fatigues, not on this duty uniform.
Most Starfleet Marine detachments wear berets as their official head wear or "cover". The standard colour of the SFMC beret is the same green as the Marine uniform but MEF commanders can request permission for their units to wear the colours of their Task Group. As well, certain units with historical roots have permission to wear non-standard berets, such as the tasselled tam o’shanters (units tracing their heritage to Highland regiments) or the Akubra/ Stetson (units tracing their heritage to Australian/New Zealand regiments).
Several types of head wear are worn during non-combat missions such as boonies (for sun protection) or balakavas (for cold weather conditions). Baseball caps with unit insignia are sometimes worn in informal settings but generally frowned upon while on duty.
Marines wear their cover with both BDUs and their duty uniforms.
The regiment is still the basic building block of the SFMC. Regiments may be assigned to various battalions or MEFs and may be broken up into smaller detachments but the identity of the regiment remains intact. It is often the home of enlisted personnel for their entire career and for officers from their commission until they reach flag rank.
The regimental badge is a palm-sized metal pin worn on a Marine's beret. Each regiment has its own unique badge and these badges can often trace their origins to pre-space flight military units. Marines not formally attached to a regiment wear the SFMC badge.
A regiment, and therefore an individual Marine, may be assigned to a variety of Brigades or MEFs during their career as missions are created and then disbanded when completed. Each Marine Expeditionary Unit/MEF has a unique patch to unite the detachment to bigger whole; the larger mission. Brigade/MEF patches are, therefore, temporary in nature although duration can be from a few months to several years. MEU/MEF patches have a consistent shape based on the pre-SFMC MACO patch of an inverted triangle with a name bar. Generally the colour is either 'Marine Green' or the colour of the SF Task Force. Inside the triangle is a unique symbol representative of the MEU/MEF, the mission or the whim of the commanding officer of the MEF.
The MEU/MEF patch is worn on the left arm near the shoulder. Individuals not assigned to a regiment or regiments not assigned to a MEU or MEF wear the SFMC patch.
Unit or Detachment Patch
Units, or detachments, are also usually temporary, lasting for the duration of a ship's mission. They are created for each unit and discontinued when the detachment is disbanded although they may be used as the basis of a new detachment's patch. Unit patches are usually monotone on BDUs and full colour on the fatigues. These patches are worn on the right arm above the elbow.
Honours Unit Patch
These are much the same as the unit patch but for a disbanded unit that the individual served with that saw combat. Permission to wear an honours unit patch must be granted from the detachment's CO but is rarely refused. Only one may be worn even though veteran Marines might be eligible to wear several.Examples of Sleeve Patches found in the Obsidian Fleet can be found here. MCOs should feel free to add their Unit Patches.
Special School Tabs and Wings
Marines who have successfully completed advanced training are permitted to wear accouterments signifying this. Tabs are usually gold lettering on 'Marine Green' when worn with fatigues and pale green lettering on 'Marine Green' when worn on BDUs.
School tabs, or qualification tabs, are worn just above the cuff on the left sleeve and represent successful completion of one or more courses of highly specialized training. These tabs may be worn by the Marine for the rest of his or her career, regardless if they are assigned to that type of unit or not. Tabs are usually gold lettering on 'Marine Green' when worn with fatigues and pale green lettering on 'Marine Green' when worn on BDUs. Currently the special school tabs are:
- Sapper (for completing combat demolition training)
- Zero-G (for completing zero-g combat training and very high altitude parachute certification)
- Marine One Hundred (for placing in the top one hundred of either the annual rifle or the hand phaser competitions)
- Pathfinder (for completing advanced survival and guerrilla warfare training).