April 13 (UPI) -- The Marine Corps announced Tuesday that Marines will soon be testing and evaluating new physical training uniforms.
According to a press release from the branch, the Marine Corps has awarded four contracts to manufacture the updated uniform.
The contracts went to Made in America, American Fashion Network, of East Syracuse, N.Y.; Fit USA, of Ormond Beach, Fla.; SND Manufacturing, of Dallas, Texas; and String King, of Gardena, Calif.
"Active wear has come a long way from when the GP trunk was first issued," Kristine Bealmear, the PTU project officer with MCSC's Program Manager Infantry Combat Equipment, said in the release. "I feel it's important for our Marines to have these advanced garments to provide them comfort and durability during their PT sessions. They need to look their best regardless of uniform."
The new physical training uniform is modernized to provide better form, fit, and function, Lt. Col. Andrew Konicki, Marine Corps Systems Command's program manager for Infantry Combat Equipment said in the press release.
They will also be designed to be more fitted,incorporating anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, stretch, fast-drying and reflective attributes, according to the release.
The shirt will be more fitted than the current undershirt and will include side mesh panels for breathability.
The PT short will be basketball style and constructed in olive drab green performance fabrics with black mesh side panels and a longer inseam than the current general purpose trunk, with a bike-style liner and side seam pocket zipper closures.
There's also an optional running short for those prefer a shorter inseam, the release said.
Mary Boyt, Program Manager, Permanent Marine Corps Uniform Board, said a maternity PT shirt and shorts are also being developed for pregnant officers in conjunction with the new uniform, and will resemble the regular uniform in design.
The branch is procuring a total of 600 uniforms, 100 of which will be tested in a lab and 500 will be issued to a diverse mix of Marines for their feedback.
The PT uniform rollout comes amid a series of changes to uniforms and dress codes announced by the military in recent months.
Earlier this month the Navy announced it clarified uniform regulations that survey participants said had been selectively applied.
At the end of March, the Army announced it would allow the wearing of ponytails by female soldiers, regardless of uniform.
In early March, the Air Force announced members will be able to wear shorts while working in hot temperatures, the branch announced on Tuesday
In January, the Air Force said it would begin to allow women in the service to wear their hair longer and in braids. A Government Accountability Office report released at the beginning of March said female service members pay significantly more out-of-pocket expenses than male counterparts, notably in uniform costs, with women paying as much as $8,300 more than male personnel for uniforms not covered by clothing allowances.