But it is Gen. James T. Conway’s ban on the wearing of camouflage uniforms, or “cammies,” off base that is getting the most attention, changing not only the appearance of the Marines but also the look of their communities. Under the new regulation, Marines in camouflage cannot get out of their vehicles to run an errand or grab a meal on their way to or from the base. No pumping gas, running into the post office or picking up a cup of joe, either. Although Marines were always largely prohibited from wearing uniforms off base, they were allowed to make brief stops during their commutes. Now they can stop only for a medical emergency, a traffic accident or a breakdown. Around Oceanside, where Marines from neighboring Camp Pendleton are a common sight, the most noticeable effect is at fast food drive-throughs. Long lines are forming because Marines in uniform are not allowed to get out of their cars and go inside. Marines caught in uniform off base can get a warning; for repeat offenses, they can be restricted to their barracks and their pay can be docked. MILITARY: A recent edict against combat uniforms off base has towns trying to accommodate personnel. By Chelsea J. Carter THE ASSOCIATED PRESS OCEANSIDE – The Marine Corps commandant earlier this year updated the regulations on what Marines can and cannot wear, on duty and off, in the United States. Among the fashion don’ts: No shiny metal or gems on your teeth, no designs carved in your hair, no flashy jewelry and no bare midriffs or excessive cleavage. While the military has always had strict guidelines for what service members can wear, even out of uniform, Conway said the updated regulations are about maintaining Marine “uniformity and pride in appearance.” “It wasn’t that Marines were blatantly breaking the rules. It was more of a tradition, and we just needed to get it back in the box, put it in writing and say here’s the policy, here’s the rules,” said Staff Sgt. Jesse Lora, a spokesman at Camp Pendleton. Earlier this year, the Marines banned extra-large tattoos below the elbow or the knee, saying such body art is harmful to the Corps’ spit-and-polish image. Some businesses are getting creative to cope with the no-cammies-off-base rule, which was issued in July. In Oceanside, the Colimas Mexican Restaurant, popular for its takeout lunch, now runs a sort of carhop service for Marines, who call in their orders and then wait in their cars for delivery out front. Andrea Cerda, who works at Dorothy’s Military Shop, a tailor shop, said it is not uncommon to see Marines changing clothes in their car, wriggling out of their pants and boots and into civilian wear. “You see them bending around their steering wheel or moving back and forth in the driver’s seat and you know what they are doing,” she said. During a quick trip recently to drop off dry cleaning in Oceanside, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Doucakis, 20, had to change clothes on base. He said the regulation didn’t bother him. “If you are a Marine, they want you to look a certain way,” he said. “I guess in a way they don’t want you to look like a disgrace to society.” Army soldiers can wear combat uniforms off base, and Navy personnel can wear some uniforms off base and off ship. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!