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Umbrella Causes Uproar

This past week has been a tough one for the Obama Administration.

There was the Benghazi hearings, the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS and the subsequent hearings. However, in the eyes of some, President Obama added fuel to the fire by having a two young Marines violate USMC regulations by holding an umbrella over the heads of elected officials. That is right, the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces had two Marines violate a regulation that is stressed from day one of Boot Camp.

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.” Courtesy of The Daily Caller

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While this regulation does not mention male Marines, USMC regulations cover their bases with this:

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…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.” Courtesy of The Daily Caller

The question at hand though is this: Does it really matter? Does it change anything? Should we be surprised? In short, the answer to all three questions is “No” and anyone who utilizes “Can call in the Marines in when it rains but not when our Consulate is attacked in Benghazi” (or any adaptation of this) should be utterly ashamed of themselves.

While I agree that United States Marines set a very high standard for not only military bearing but also the way that a person approaches life, I cannot help but realize that these two Marines are members of a very prestigious detail. Out of the entire Marine Corps (currently over 241,000) only 4 Marines have the honor to be detailed to the White House. This means that they are expected to represent the United States Marine Corps, the United States and the President to the entire world during their tour. This might mean holding an umbrella for their Commander in Chief. It is a honor and these Marines realize that. One thing that all Americans can take away from the actions of these two Marines is this: Respect the office of President of the United States…even if you don’t respect the person who holds that office.

Oh, by the way, it is against regulations for any male member of any branch of the United States Armed Forces except the Air Force to utilize umbrellas. I know that President George H. W. Bush, President William J. Clinton and President George W. Bush all utilized United States Army officers to hold umbrellas during speeches, I was just unable to find good photos. I say this to preempt anyone from claiming any sort of bias against President Obama.

Below is a video from the White House that talks about the Marine Sentries

Rob Burgess got his start in Hoosier politics in 2008 and has been working in Midwest politics since then. Burgess joined the Hoosier Access team in 2011 and currently sits on the Editorial Board. You can follow him on Twitter.

This post was tagged under: Indiana Politics

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