It is expected that newly commissioned officers will make mistakes. Many of which are going to be small and insignificant. However, any opportunity to pass on wisdom to help others avoid mistakes should be taken. Here are a few tips for those who have never worn the blue dress uniform before. More than a few lieutenants have gotten one or more of these things wrong.

Medal Placement

This is something that many Midshipman get wrong. Why? Simply because they are used to the wearing medals a certain way with the Navy Service Dress Blues. For the Marine uniform, don’t cover up the button on the chest pocket. Midshipman will be tempted to pin the medal 1/4 inch above the pocket, but this is simply not the case.

Incorrect Medal Placement

Correct Medal Placement

Don’t Forget The White Collar Strip

Anyone thinking about buying their uniform items separately might forget this small item. It is a white strip that lines the dress blues collar. It is indeed noticeable if you don’t wear one of these. Also, it helps prevent the collar insignia from digging into your neck. That would just not be pleasant.
White Collar Strip

Sam Browne Belt goes under the shoulder strap

A small detail that you are likely to get wrong if there is no one with more wisdom to tell you otherwise. The Sam Browne Belt goes underneath the dress blues shoulder strap.
Sam Browne Belt

Wearing the Sam Browne Belt AND the Blue Dress Belt

This one isn’t too common, but there are a few commissioning photos out there with new lieutenants looking like this. It seems like something would click and your natural instincts would tell you that this looks too ridiculous to be correct.

Marine Officer Dress Blues Belt

There are probably plenty of other common mistakes that lieutenants make when wearing their dress blue uniforms for the first time. This list contains a few that just seem to keep turning up. Read the regulations and ask other for help!