BETHESDA, MD -- The Marine Corps recently unveiled its new running suit to Marines assigned to the Wounded Warrior Regiment at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. The new running suit will become standard issue in addition to what is currently provided and does not replace the existing green physical training uniform. The new running suits are compatible with other physical training uniform items, according to the Marine Corps officials.

Marines from the Wounded Warrior Regiment, including those at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, were the first to receive the new gear, according to guidance set by Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James T. Conway.

“[The running suits are] the first ones off the sewing machines and we gave them to you,” Col. Gregory Boyle, commanding officer of Wounded Warrior Regiment, said to the Wounded Warrior Regiment. “It demonstrates to the American people where the commandant’s priority is.”

According to Boyle, the Wounded Warrior Battalions at Camp Lejeune, NC, and Camp Pendleton, CA, will receive the gear next. Following that, Marines assigned to recruiting commands and recruit depots will be issued the running suit, followed by the remainder of the Marine Forces, according to Marine Corps Systems Command.

“All Marines will be in the new running suit as soon as possible; widespread distribution is set to begin by October 2008 with a mandatory possession date of around October 2009,” says Lt. Col. A.J. Pasagian, program manager of Infantry Combat Equipment, Marine Corps Systems Command.

Retailed at $112, the running suit is the first newly-released gear that Marines do not have to pay for out of pocket, Pasagian says.

“Our commandant believes the continued emphasis on physical fitness and esprit de corps is important enough to have a one-time initial issue of the running suit,” he says.

Marines who received the new gear immediately noticed a difference between the old cotton sweat suit and the new fabric of the running suit.

“I really like it. It’s very comfortable and better than I expected,” says Lance Cpl. Derrick L. Sharpe. “It’s breathable, lightweight and could be worn in any weather condition.”

The running suit is made of lightweight, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, water-resistant materials. Features include underarm and back venting solutions, a fold-down collar, full-length zip-through jacket and reflectivity. The lining is anti-microbial, which prevents odor and bacteria.

Marine Corps Systems Command solicited the opinion of all active and reserve Marines through a series of online surveys. Marines participated in every aspect of the development of the new running suit, including design and color, according to Marine Corps officials.

The Marine Corps Uniform Board is currently finalizing regulations for wear of the running suit. Up-to-date information can be found at www.marcorsyscom.usmc.mil/sites/mcub/.