There is always some uncertainty in knowing what to call a Marine who is no longer on active duty. It's well-known that using the term "ex-Marine" is a major faux pas, but there has been some debate about the term "former Marine."

According to a recent statement by General James F. Amos,

 

"A Marine is a Marine. I set that policy two weeks ago - there's no such thing as a former Marine. You're a Marine, just in a different uniform and you're in a different phase of your life. But you'll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico. There's no such thing as a former Marine."

 

The Commandant clears it right up: "Do not call a Marine who is not on active duty a former Marine. Once a Marine, Always a Marine."

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