Does the umbrella represent political weakness?

Cecil mentions and I can remember quite well the Marine umbrella incident a few years ago. It was a moronic thing to whine about but it made me wonder.

The dress code, as mentioned, prohibits umbrellas for men (do they think female marines need them to keep their hair dry?). What if for some outdoor ceremony with marines present it’s raining and the president wants their uniforms to remain dry for whatever reason. Can the prez order the soldier to use an umbrella even though it violates the code? I vaguely recall that soldiers don’t need to obey illegal orders but a dress code violation is worlds away from something like mowing down innocent civilians. Does the soldier get a pass if she was ordered to use an umbrella (and if so can any of his superiors make the same order?)? Are they told that technically they broke the rules but the prez’s orders and the triviality of the thing mean that no one really cares? Or is the dress code an absolute rule that can’t be broken? Is the order illegal?

I think the question boils down to ‘How much trouble does the soldier get in over this?’

Or, how much of a dick would a commander have to be to pursue such a trivial issue?

How much respect would he lose from his soldiers and other officers for doing so?

I don’t think it would be an illegal order. The exact minutiae of the dress code is almost certainly not something Congress passed into law, so the president (under whose authority it was made in the first place) would be free to change it as he sees fit.

On top of all that, your CO can decide that the uniform of the day for some group engaged in an activity will be damn near anything he wants. Depends on the CO, the duty and the station. Embassy duty in London will have a completely different uniform requirement than servicing Strykers at Camp Hovey, South Korea. If your Commander-In-Chief decides that your uniform of the day includes an umbrella, then it damn well includes an umbrella no matter what the Marine Corps Manual says.

More to the point, a smart commander of the detail, upon seeing the weather report, would have already ordered the weather-appropriate authorized gear for the troops. And talked to the organizer about maybe a tent for the civilians.

The expectation that the POTUS get down up close and personal with his ceremonial guards’ everyday comings and goings is something we’ve got to stop and reverse.

That, I think is the ultimate point to be made here. If the President says that he wants his Marine guards dressed like the leather guy from Village People, then there will probably be some protesting, but he’s the Commander in Chief, and as such outranks even the highest ranking Marine general, so he’ll have leather guys guarding him.

It sounds like what one would expect then. (Of course such an order would be kinda silly. And, as mentioned, the prez has more important stuff to worry about. I’m just interested in the nit picking of the thing. I’d be a little dismayed to hear that the prez himself has nothing better to do in the midst of a presumably important state function.)

If a candidate promises to change all military uniforms to the various Village People outfits they’ve got my vote.

I would hope that people realize that there are folks to deal with that kind of stuff but the Marine umbrella incident seems to prove otherwise. Hell, at worst I’d think it’d be common sense on the part of the soldier or their commanding officer to suggest (if someone like the press secretary hadn’t done so already) holding an umbrella so heads of state and honored guests don’t get soaked.

I just really find it interesting in all the ways and reasons such a situation has grown so complex and taken on such varied meaning.

I hear the echoes of answers of, how many Angels on the head of a pin.

The physical situation itself has myriad start points. Who is equipped with umbrellas, if any? I do not see Marines with rifle over one shoulder, umbrella over the other. I suspect some other level of flunkies are assigned umbrella duty and properly equipped. ( Though I am now imagining a FABULOUS Marine platoon, precision umbrella routine by the corp. )

So do the non military flunkies fade up to the closest Marines and equip them with the required material? Lower level Marines, hand off the brollies to the ones closest to those under rain fire? Do they have their own umbrellas? Or do they take a heroic soaking after delivering their mission. Purple hearts?

What rainfall level, constitutes deployment of umbrellas? This is important. Umbrellas for mere drizzle could be a sign of weakness. Is POTUS wearing suede?

This whole issue has fallen squarely and rightfully into my zone of, this is ridiculous, but mostly fun, so I am going to play with it.

Do it. It really gets more fun, the more you think about it. And more fun too, to think that a bunch of highly paid people have probably thought it all out too. And they probably never laughed out loud during that process. Which also makes me laugh. And be quite sad too.

FTR, they aren’t soldiers, they’re Marines. And all that entails.

Which makes me think, Marines might be on board with my vision of the subject.

A lot of times, you have to view this world through Monty Python tinted glasses. Lest you become suicidal or homicidal, trying to actually figure it out, or worry about it.

Some Jarhead may correct me, but a Marine is already wearing aa cover, or hat. Why would one need an umbrella? To get inside their mindset, marines, lower case, were stationed aboard warships in order to board or repel boarders. They were accustomed to a life at sea, where things are wet. An umbrella is anathema and suitable only for landlubbers, like presidents.

Near as I can tell, other branches should accept getting wet. Except for the Air Force, which usually provides its own aluminum overcasts. :wink:

ETA: AF Brat. :smiley:

Air force does splash. Often deeper and farther from dry, than other forces.
My civilian experiences of getting wet at sea, confirm why there are seldom if ever, umbrellas on most boats / ships, other than civie vacation cruisers.