-- Capt Grose
Good day Sir,
I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your story that I read online. I came into the Marine Corps in 1997, hoping and dying for the day that I could earn the title "MARINE" and the day that I could put on that set of dress blues. The first time I ever put them on was the most fantastic feeling of pride. Back then even displaying proudly my rifle marksman shooting badge and my PFC chevrons as though they were the best awards. Now I hold and even greater title. Being an NCO just make wearing the dress blues even better. The first time I was able to were the bloodstripe sewn on my blues trousers and feel the NCO sword in my hand, once again it felt like the first time and the best awards.
I am getting married in August to a Marine. We had both decided that I should wear my dress blues and the question came from my future wife "Are you going to wear your medals? " I thought about it for about 5 - 10 seconds and told her no. My fiancé being a brand new Corporal and only a 18 months in the Marine Corps asked why? I told her the answer I was told. " During divine services and as directed for certain Marine Corps functions." Being my wedding is not one of those, I made my decision. "Besides that I am very proud of both my 2nd award expert's in both rifle and pistol now". She accepted the decision I made but did not completely understand why I could not make the exception. I could not give her one either because I could not put it into my own words. Then when I was reading about current events around the Marine Corps, I ran across the story you wrote. It summed up what I was actually thinking and feeling. I did the cut and paste of your story and sent a little note to my future wife. She now understands and wish she was able to see it in that perspective in the first place. Below I copied the note I sent to her attached to your story.
Sir, Just wanted to say thanks for writing a good story and refreshing my pride and motivation. I still to this day take my blues home and delta's. At least once just get in them while I am home and go around town. When on recruiters assistance once, I was walking through a high school court yard in uniform and a girl made the comment of " Look at the good looking Army Soldier." I politely corrected her and said "miss, I am a Marine." She in turn said she had never seen a Marine before. later on that night I offered to take a girlfriend I had known for some years out to dinner. I had no change of clothes and was just getting out of the recruiters station, So I went to dinner in my dress blues. While eating with my friend I was approached by an older gentlemen who came over and shook my hand and said our motto "Semper Fi". He told me a little about him when he was an Active duty Marine on the 38th parallel in Korea. Then when our bill came, he took it and said, "This one is on me, this is my way of saying thanks to you." What an honor I felt to be a part of this organization and how even still well bound we were to everyone that served before us. That's when I knew the Title never went away. Once again thanks for an outstanding story.
From: Grose Capt Jason D
To: Wildes Cpl Jowa J
Subject: RE: IN REGARDS TO YOUR STORY
I got your email and want to thank you for your kind words. I also want to relay something that happened as a result.
As I read your story after forwarding it home, I thought about your situation with your wedding. Quite guilty, I finished your email and looked up to see my own wedding picture where I was wearing dress blue A's with medals. Had I written a hypocritical story? I decided to do the research since I could not stand to think I had written the article when I was in violation myself. Here is what I found.
I asked the Regimental Sergeant Major and he said that any local Commander can authorize the wearing of any uniform for occasions such as weddings. He suggested you ask permission through your chain of command.
Next, I looked in the Marine Officer's Guide under the section that talks about the wedding ceremony. And I quote:
"Uniform. Marine members of the wedding party wear dress blue or white A... Needless to say, all members of the wedding party wear the same uniform."
The uniform regulations state:
2003. BLUE DRESS UNIFORMS (See figs. 2-7 through 2-16). 1. The blue dress "A" uniform (or for officers, the white dress "A" uniform when appropriate to the season) may be prescribed for parades, ceremonies and formal or semiformal social functions. The blue or white dress "A" uniform, as appropriate, will be prescribed for the following official military/social occasions:
a. Parades, ceremonies, reviews, solemnities, and entertainments when the commander/senior officer present desires to pay special honors to the occasion.
b. Official visits of, or to, United States civil officials, officers of the United States Armed Forces, and officials/officers of foreign governments, according to chapter 12, U.S. Navy Regulations.
c. Receptions given by, or in honor of, officials/officers listed in chapter 12, U.S. Navy Regulations.
d. At daytime formal or semiformal occasions.
I would label a wedding as a formal social function. So according to this, I say you should wear your medals. You are not on "leave or liberty" per se, but at a social function. Just to make sure, ask your OIC to authorize it and then there will be no questions.
Thanks again for sharing your story with me and I hope that I have helped you and your fiancé to have a wedding that both of you wanted.
Captain Jason D. Grose
7th Marines (REIN)
1st Marine Division (REIN)
MAGTF TC 29 Palms CA 92278-8260
Good day Sir,
I am just emailing you back just to inform you that I printed out everything about from your story online to my emails and your reply back. I then handed them off to my Deputy Provost Marshal and roughly a week later after he did a little research and discussed it with some fellow officers and my Provost Marshal. They also agreed and approved me to wear the dress blue "A" uniform. So in turn I will wear all four of my medals. Once again, thank you for a good story and the background research on it. It has in turn, truly helped in deciding on what uniform to wear for my wedding. Semper Fi Sir!
It has indeed been a while since I last emailed you about my dilemma on which uniform to wear at my wedding. Actually I was shocked to see that you had taken the time to research into my problem. I never expected someone whom I had never met nor seen to take the time to help me out, not to mention it to be a Commissioned Officer in the United States Marine Corps. The only reason I can come up with for you helping out is kind of like when I helped out my wife the first time I had met her.
Field Day formation 17 March 2000. The Fairly new Barracks designated “P” on Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, SC. I was the 3rd Deck NCO in charge of Field Day. After the Squadron GySgt had given his brief, I turned about and delivered my brief to the Marines of the Third deck. I needed 6 Volunteers to clean the ladderwells, hallways and laundry room for our deck. I got 4 at first then no one else would volunteer. So I was a brand new NCO of just over 2 weeks and I had to raise my voice stating that if 2 more volunteers did not raise their hands, I was going to pick them myself and they would not like who I picked. Instantly 2 hands went up and several other hands trailed them. I had picked the 2 who hands went up right away. They were to be my hallway sweepers. Never would I thought that one of the Marines I had picked was to be my wife 17 months later. While checking on the cleaning that was being done I made it a point to briefly talk to all who were cleaning and one was her who I had found out she had only been here less than a week and fresh out of MOS School (COMM SCHOOL, 29 palms, CA) A PFC 18 yrs of age. As soon as the assigned cleaning tasks were done I released the ones done to clean their rooms. I had finished checking the area and was heading back to my room when the PFC had stepped out of her room and asked if someone could help her change her light bulb. I immediately responded “I’ll do it” and took charge. The main light in her room located on the ceiling fan had gone out and she did not had one to replace it. So I went to my room which was the 3rd door down from her’s and got a new bulb from my room and replaced the burned out one. While accomplishing the task at hand. She being very grateful said “thank you so much” and that she would buy me a light bulb to replace the one I gave her. I told her not to worry about it and there was no need to thank me because this is what NCO’s do, Help out our Marines. I mean mine always did. Unfortunately her’s in her shop were not the same as she slowly found out over the next couple of months. over the next 2 weeks we briefly saw each other and I was beginning to really like this girl. So I got real brave. I went to my room wrote a little note asking her if I could take her out and show her around sometime. I then ran form my room put the note in her door and ran back to my room. (pretty brave for a Marine I’ll tell you) She accepted and the rest is history.
I know that there is a certain bond between all of us as Marines and we all in a way know we have to help each other in time of need sometimes it doesn’t matter how small the problem is or how large. The ones who feel obligated to being a Marine know this and take action when needed. So this is my long version of saying thank you for taking the time to research my question.
Not to long ago while fumbling around on the net I had decided to type my name in on the internet. To see if anything would come up. I mean in today’s day and age of technology there had to be something right? Only one thing came up, it wasn’t my 2 yr old web page or anything on me. It was an email I had sent to you. I was in a confused state of shock for a moment thinking why is this email on the web. Then I looked further into it. After spending a couple of hours on your web site and calling my wife and telling her to look at it. I was amazed and proud, thinking I had typed something good enough to make it to someone else’s web site. Then I felt a very strong sense of pride and motivation when I reading all the vast amounts of stuff you had on the Marine Corps. Still to this day I go back and look at your site and get pumped.
Just to let you know about the wedding on 11 AUG 2001 we were married in her home town in Michigan with both our families proudly present. We has also set a the date of SEPT 15th. Well as we all know what had occurred just days before that. Everywhere around the world we were put on the highest alert, airports were shut down and phones were ringing off the hook of family members calling us hoping to get the first bit of information if we were going to war. My mother who had planned this reception at her home in Palmdale, CA had called several times asking if we had any further info as she was receiving hundreds of calls from friends and families about my wife’s and my status. I was doing my normal job. Protecting the Base as usual but with much more stiffer rules an regulations. My wife was trailing the Commanding Officer of the base and going to all the secret Squirrel meetings because she had to send and receive all the classified messages for the COL. Well it came down to the final minute. We had out airline tickets and our leave papers and had to drive to Jacksonville, Fla to catch out flight on the afternoon of SEP 13th. We had no idea if we were gonna fly or not. But without a hitch we got to the airport 30 minutes before our flight was schedule to leave and we were one of the first planes to fly again in America. We made it to Los Angeles without any problems and went forward with our last reception for our wedding and safely returned back to our home and base. So a happy time in our personal lives while the rest of America was filled with fear of total uncertainty with what was going on in the world.
I will continue to keep in touch over time and continue to read stuff
on your web site. One day I hope our paths cross so I can shake you
hand. I know one day they will. Here are a couple of pics for you to see
of us. Semper Fi!!
SGT Wildes J.J.
Accident Investigator/ Patrol Supervisor
PMO MCAS Beaufort, SC
My name is Gabrielle Wildes and I am writing on behalf of my husband, Jowa Wildes, who is an eternal procrastinator. I have been following along with the messages that you two have been sending back and forth to one and other. In your last email you had a few questions, hopefully I will be able to answer most if not all of them.
As for the wedding dates, well we can generally confuse everyone with that story. Legally we got married on the 26th of April 2001. All we did that day was sign the marriage certificate in front of a Justice of the Peace that worked at the Headquarters building with me. We were both in utilities so we couldn’t even kiss after we were through! Before we got married we had already set a date in Michigan which was of course August 11th 2001. We just wanted to get ahead of the ball game so to speak. We went out and got an apartment and got settled so that we would have somewhere to put everything after the ceremony in August. If you ask my husband the ceremony in August was more for my behalf than anything. I believe that it wouldn’t have made a difference to him one way or another. I just wanted to give our families a chance to see us and of course there was that whole “little girl” dream that all of us females seem to have. I admit it was a whole lot of trouble and even more money, but afterward we both agreed that it was worth it. So to answer your question we got married legally in April and we got married before God and our families in August. Let me know if I have confused you completely=)
As for the September 15th question, that was when we flew out to California for a wedding reception with Sgt Wildes family. Only a select few of his family members could afford to fly from California to come to the ceremony that was held in Michigan so his mom decided to throw us a reception out in California. After September 11th we didn’t think that we were going to allowed to go on leave, especially with the jobs that Sgt Wildes and I both possess. I guess it was meant to be though because we made the flight and I got the opportunity to meet his whole family...it was an interesting experience, but I am sure he had the same to say about my family=)
Anyway, I hope that I have cleared things up for you. If you have any more questions please feel free to write me back and I will do my best to answer them. It may take a while to get back with you due to the fact that we are both heading to Okinawa and are on leave, but I check my email often enough. I almost forgot, please post whatever you like to your web site, my husband enjoys seeing his work published=)
Take care and I hope that I have helped clear things up. Also I am sorry about the delay in getting back with you.