The Leatherneck (1798-1872)

The term "leatherneck" was derived from a leather stock once worn around the neck by both American and British marines. Beginning in 1798, "one stock of black leather and clasp" was issued to each marine every year.  Its use as a synecdoche for Marines began as a term of ridicule by Sailors.


This stiff leather collar, fastened by two buckles at the back, measured nearly three and a half inches high, and it prevented the neck movement necessary for sighting along a barrel.  The origin of the leather neck collar has to do with early 19th century military fashion trends in Europe and North America.  Its use among enlisted men supposedly improved their military bearing and appearance by forcing the chin high and to serve as protection for one's neck from decapitation by sword blows of Pirates.  


The stock was dropped as an article of marine uniform in 1872, after surviving through the uniform changes of 1833, 1839, and 1859.  The dress blue uniform still bears that stock collar today.

Chili Cook-off 2019
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