There are good reasons each branch of the armed forces has distinct uniforms. Service identity, pride, and esprit de corps lead appropriately to the endurance of the Navy Dress Blue crackerjack, Marine Corps Dress Blues, and similar uniforms in the Army and Air Force. These attributes justly account for differences in less formal uniforms as well, but they have also resulted in the unnecessary plethora of combat uniforms currently in use.
Several recent news articles have highlighted the huge amounts of money and effort expended because of service desires to design “the best” combat uniform. These efforts—often duplicative and contradictory—have wasted millions of dollars, but the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform has been the most successful. Unfortunately, the Corps copyrighted the design, preventing its use across the Department of Defense.