The Marine uniform is meant to signify respect, discipline and patriotism.

The United States Military has very strict rules and regulations regarding conduct within military ranks. One of the first things a Marine is taught, upon entering the Corps, is the proper respect, handling and care for the Marine uniform. These requirements extend for the entire lifetime of military service. Once a marine's contract is up, the uniform is his to do with as he pleases, but proper procedure dictates that the uniform be destroyed, so it is not misused or misrepresented by the general public.

Remove all patches and insignia from the uniform. Patches that are sewn in can be cut out with a knife or scissors.

Slice the uniform up into smaller pieces, so that they can be destroyed more efficiently.

Burn the uniform pieces to eliminate the risk of anyone else using them or selling them. This prevents the uniform from being used in illegal or fraudulent ways.