32 CFR 765.14 - Unofficial use of the seal, emblem, names, or initials of the Marine Corps.
(a) Purpose. To establish procedures to determine whether to grant permission to use or imitate the seal, emblem, names, or initials of the Marine Corps in connection with commercial and certain noncommercial activities pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 7881. The Secretary of the Navy, in Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5030.7, has provided the policy and delegated to the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC), power to subdelegate to certain subordinate officers in writing, the authority to grant permission required by section 7881(b) of 10 U.S.C. for such use or imitation.
(b) Scope. The provisions of this Order requiring prior approval of the Secretary of the Navy, CMC, or the designee apply only to the use or imitation of the seal, emblem, names, or initials of the Marine Corps that suggest official approval, endorsement, or authorization is in connection with a promotion, goods, services, or commercial activity.
(c) Standards -
(1) No unofficial use or imitation of the Marine Corps seal. Reproduction and use of the Marine Corps seal, as designated in Executive Order No. 10538 of June 22, 1954, is restricted to materials emanating from Headquarters Marine Corps. Except for manufacture of official letterhead stationery and related items of official Marine Corps use, reproduction and use of the Marine Corps seal is prohibited.
(2) Unofficial use or imitation of the Marine Corps emblem, names, or initials. Requests from civilian enterprises to use or imitate the Marine Corps emblem, names, or initials will ordinarily be approved where use or imitation merely provides a Marine Corps accent or flavor to otherwise fungible goods. Disapproval, however, usually may be expected where such use or imitation reasonably would:
(i) Imply any official or unofficial connection between the Marine Corps and the user;
(ii) Tend to create the impression that the Marine Corps or the United States is in any way responsible for any financial or legal obligation of the user;
(iii) Give the impression that the Marine Corps selectively benefits the particular manufacturer, commercial entity, or other user, as in displaying the Marine Corps emblem, names, or initials on musical instruments, weapons, or the like, and in using the emblem, names, or initials in connection with advertising, naming, or describing products and services such as insurance, real estate, or financial services; or
(iv) Tend to subject the Marine Corps to discredit or would be inimical to the health, safety, welfare, or morale of the members of the Marine Corps.
(3) Acceptable use of imitation of the Marine Corps insignia. No request for permission is required when a use or imitation of the Marine Corps emblem, names, or initials includes prominent display of the disclaimer, “Neither the United States Marine Corps nor any other component of the Department of Defense has approved, endorsed, or authorized this product (or promotion, or service, or activity)” as an integral part of the use of imitation. A “prominent display” is one located on the same page as the first use of the insignia, prominent in that use, and printed in letters at least one half the size and density of the insignia.
(d) Action -
(1) When permission required. Commercial or noncommercial use or imitation of the Marine Corps emblem, names, or initials is prohibited unless permission is first obtained in writing from the CMC, except when such use does not suggest that the use or imitation is approved, endorsed, or authorized by the Marine Corps or any other component of the Department of Defense.
(2) Redelegation of authority. The CMC hereby redelegates, pursuant to the authorization in paragraph 4 of the Secretary of the Navy 5030.7, authority to grant written permission to use the Marine Corps emblem, names, or initials to the Director, Administration Resource Management (ARDE). Prior to granting approval for commercial usage of the Marine Corps insignia, the CMC (ARDE) shall forward such requests to the Head, Marine Corps Exchange Service Branch, Facilities and Services Division, Installations and Logistics Department (CMC) (LFE)) and to the Counsel for the Commandant (CMC (CL)) for comment and concurrence. All other requests shall be routed to the Director, Judge Advocate Division (CMC (JAR)) for comment and concurrence.
(3) Procedures for obtaining written permission. Requests for written permission to use or imitate the Marine Corps emblem, names, or initials shall be in writing and shall be directed to the CMC (ARDE). The request should, at a minimum, contain the following information:
(i) Name and address of the requester.
(ii) A description of the type of activity in which the requester is engaged or proposes to engage.
(iii) A statement of whether the requester considers the proposed use or imitation to be commercial or noncommercial, and why.
(iv) A brief description and illustration or sample of the proposed use or imitation, as well as a description of the product or service in connection with which it will be used. This description will provide sufficient detail to enable the Marine Corps to determine whether there is a reasonable tendency to suggest such use or imitation is approved, endorsed, or authorized by the Marine Corps or any other component of the Department of Defense.
(v) In the case of a noncommercial use of imitation, a copy of the charter, constitution, bylaws, and similar organizational documents of the requester, together with a detailed description of its function or purpose. Insufficiently specific requests will be returned for additional information.
(e) Reserve applicability. This Order is applicable to the Marine Corps Reserve.