If the military is known for anything, it’s the plethora of uniforms you’ll find yourself stumbling into upon joining and being totally badass.

We’ve all seen the ubiquitous Dress Blue uniform or the standard issue cammies, Service A, B, and C uniforms. However, stay in long enough and you’ll encounter a whole other world of weird and somewhat fantastical, even flamboyant outfits.

Staff and Officers are allowed the “Evening Dress” uniform, which is only to be worn during formal events such as the Marine Corps Birthday Ball, etc.

USMC_Evening_Dress_(Officers)

The average Lance Corporal will never come anywhere near either owning or wanting to own any of this stuff, but it exists.

Perhaps one of the more strange items, in my opinion, is the Range Coach hat. Silly hats are nothing new to the military, but this particular one was always odd to me. Like some vestigial remnant of a time long past, when safari’s were apparently an every day activity.

081021-M-2708O-0033jpg COACH.002 MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif., – Cpl. Josh Farrell, a combat marksmanship coach with the Carlos Hathcock Range Complex at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, observes shooters to make sure they are using the fundamentals of combat marksmanship and following the proper safety procedures at the range, October 21. Marine coaches help Marines qualify with both the M-16-A2 rifle and M-9 pistol.   (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher O'Quin) (Released)

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher O’Quin)

Of course, there’s a rich history behind all of these strange things, but most people will never learn it. If you ever do stumble upon the Department of Unusual and Obscure Uniform Items, be sure to pick up some swim instructor shorts, or perhaps that weird bomber jacket that only recruiters wear.

Starting now and lasting at least the next two months, my updates might be a bit spotty. To explain why, I will leave you with this…

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More details in the near future, but I will say that it’s going to be a busy couple of months.