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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Many Marines are furious by the Corps recent ban on memorial bracelets, which lets them honor their fallen comrades. WWAY spoke with a Camp Lejeune Marine who is very upset by the new rule.

The KIA, or Killed In Action bracelets, are worn by Marines in honor of friends who died serving their country. But the corps does not allow jewelry, which has some Marines demanding an exception be made to the rule.

“Here’s how I look at it: I respect more the people who died in a combat zone than the people who is saying jewelry, because obviously they don’t know what they’re talking about,” said a Camp Lejeune Marine Corps sergeant who did not want to disclose his name.

He says he started wearing a KIA bracelet following his deployment to Afghanistan. Two of his close friends and teammates were killed in action while on deployment and he wants to memorialize them by wearing their names on his wrist.

“Why I wear it is to remind myself day to day that it’s my job to live for these people that didn’t come back,” the sergeant said.

However, the Corps does not allow jewelry, with only few exceptions including discreet watches, rings and simple earrings worn by women. The memorial bracelets are not authorized.

“I would like to think if I were killed that people would want to remember me,” the sergeant said.

He says the uniform rule is outdated and so far no one he knows is taking the regulation seriously. He says he will continue to wear the bracelet and considers it a duty to live for them.

“They don’t have any more opportunities,” he said. “They’re dead, so therefore I have to take what opportunities I have and make the most of them.”

The Marine Corps is not alone in having specific rules regarding jewelry. There are similar rules for each branch of the military.

Comment on this Story

  • Thomas

    My sincere respect and gratitude for this Marine Sgt. goes much further than my simple mind can project in an e-mail comment. I can’t begin to fully understand his feelings of his great loss during this nations time of war, but I am certain that this Sgt. would never, ever forget his fallen commrades no matter what the object of memorial may be. As a Marine Sgt. myself who had the charge of my own rifle squad, I do understand the bond of your fellow Marines, although mine was not born from a mutual shared experience of combat; it was one of combined years of training, deployments and other stress that only soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines can grasp. The one thing for certain to this Sgt. is that the Marine Corps has it’s rules and regs. for whatever reason. These things and many others make our corps what it is today some good some not so good. But for whatever the reason you joined the Marines Im certain the reason still remains and will forever as you have something that nothing or no one can ever take away SGT. your good memorys of your commrades both living and those that have fallen. I respect your feelings, but the corps has it’s rules. Thank you for your generous service and sacrifice, may god bless you and may god bless our beloved UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS! SEMPER FI!

  • Guest7969

    don’t need a bracelet to remind yourself of your job and lost friends. The regs say NO JEWELRY..and you WILL respect those who pass the regs, just as much as you respect those who have fallen in combat. Its your DUTY and your OBLIGATION! Stop crying like a little girl and press on!

  • Guest111523

    Sounds like your crying more than he is..What will you do if they change the regulation cry about that?


    This article contradicts itself. The statement about a recent ban contradicts what the officer is quoted to say in the article. Pitiful excuse for journalism.


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