The commander in chief of the American armed forces today forced a violation of Marine Corps regulations, so he wouldn’t get wet.
According to Marine Corps regulation MCO P1020.34F of the Marine Corps Uniform Regulations chapter 3, a male Marine is not allowed to carry an umbrella while in uniform. There is no provision in the Marine Corps uniform regulation guidelines that allows a male Marine to carry an umbrella.
Nevertheless, during a press conference under a light drizzle with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan this morning, President Obama allowed the First Head to be protected from the elements by an umbrella held by a male Marine corporal.
The relevant portion of the regulation reads, “3035. UMBRELLAS (Female Marines). Female Marines may carry an all-black, plain standard or collapsible umbrella at their option during inclement weather with the service and dress uniforms. It will be carried in the left hand so that the hand salute can be properly rendered. Umbrellas may not be used/carried in formation nor will they be carried with the utility uniform.”
Items not expressly delineated as authorized components of the Marine Corps uniform are prohibited. Male Marines are informed never to carry an umbrella from the earliest phases of training.
Not even the President of the United States can request a Marine to carry an umbrella without the express consent of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, according to the Marine Corps Manual.
The Marine Corps Manual, the guidebook that defines protocol for officers and enlisted Marines, in section 2806 paragraph 2, specifically states: “The Marine Corps Uniform Regulations, published by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, shall be binding on all Marines. No officer or official shall issue instructions which conflict with, alter, or amend any provision without the approval of the Commandant of the Marine Corps.”