Navy to test out new 'working uniform'
Click herefor a look at the Navy's new proposed working uniforms. (PDF format)
NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain — Goodbye coveralls and straight-leg trousers.
Hello blue-and-gray cammies?
From runways to ship decks, the Navy this winter will “wear test” a new camouflaged uniform that could be the style standard across the fleet.
The newly designed “working uniform” is dramatically different from what sailors and officers have worn over the years and is a far cry from the traditional bell-bottom dungarees of the past.
The Navy on Monday unveiled four uniform variations aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima in Norfolk, Va.
The Navy also released photos of what select commands worldwide will try. It is the first glimpse of what sailors of all ranks and rates will wear.
“I think they’re really nice,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Anthony Carrier, 32, looking at photos of the new designs. “I also think that for personal protection it’s better to have than the old-type dungarees because these are much tougher.”
The four designs come in navy blue and ship-deck gray and are similar to the battle dress uniforms worn by the other services. The proposed uniforms come with either a digital or woodland pattern.
They’re not designed to camouflage sailors into the background of a ship. They are supposed to be more practical, helping hide dirt, paint and grease spots better than solid-color utilities or coveralls.
The four types won’t require ironing, are designed to last a year longer than the old uniforms and offer various options. For example, pants can be pleated or nonpleated, have an elastic or adjustable waistband and a button or zipper fly. Collars come either pointed or rounded, and blouse pockets can be slightly tilted for easier access.
Each uniform will come with a blue parka to match the camouflage pattern and can be worn in subfreezing temperatures, wind or a downpour. No-polish suede boots can replace polished leather boots.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Katherine Velasquez, 25, of Los Angeles, is hoping the no-shine boots make the final cut because “then I don’t have to shine my boots.”
“They get scuffed anyway,” said Velasquez, who is assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Four, which is deployed to Rota.
The camouflage pattern is what most sailors told the Navy they wanted. Last year, the Navy surveyed 40,000 sailors and sought the help of an organizational psychologist to find out what sailors would like best.
Later this year, commands and ships throughout the Navy will each select about 60 people to try out the uniforms.
Naval Station Rota, Spain, and Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, will be the two overseas locations. Rota will begin testing the uniforms in December, said Lt. Allie Freeman, base spokeswoman.
The new working uniform will replace the utilities, wash khaki, coveralls, woodland green, aviation green, winter working blue and tropical working uniforms.
The Navy will roll out the proposed year-round service uniforms for enlisted sailors before the end of the year.