New boots, winter parka, badges among several Navy uniform changes
Stars and Stripes December 20, 2022
WASHINGTON — The Navy on Tuesday announced several updates to uniform policies that include a new utility boot, a cold-weather parka and a different badge for certain security officers.
The Navy detailed seven uniform changes that have been implemented and five that are underway or in development.
Vice Adm. Richard Cheeseman, chief of naval personnel, said the policy changes are intended to “reduce out-of-pocket expenses,” simplify sea bag requirements, and specify design changes to uniform components and breast insignia.
Officials said the new footwear — the I-Boot 5 — is the Navy's “latest in working uniform footwear” that became operational a few weeks ago. The I-5 will be available in Navy uniform shops as soon as January, service officials said.
“The I-Boot 5 is a lightweight constructed safety boot, black or brown with full inner lining, steel toed, and smooth outer leather,” the Navy said. “The I-Boot 5 is suitable for wear in multiple Navy environments and weather conditions afloat, airborne, and ashore.”
The I-Boot 4 will continue to be acceptable for as long as they are up to standard, officials noted.
The I-5 has been in development for four years and the Navy said it’s an improvement over the I-Boot 4, which often picked up debris in the sole’s tread pattern and posed a risk of foreign object damage.
Other uniform changes announced Tuesday affect the Navy’s black cold-weather parka, physical training fitness suit, dinner dress blue and white jacket, belted white skirt, and earrings for women.
Sailors can now wear the black parka with their camouflaged Type III uniform in a nonoperational setting. The new alternate PT uniform fitness suit comes without reflective piping.
As for earrings, female officers and enlisted personnel can wear silver, white and yellow gold, white pearl and colorless diamond earrings with all uniforms.
The Navy also detailed a change that will impact sailors with the Naval Security Force. They now will be issued a different identification badge and a new qualification insignia.
“The Navy is phasing out the four-digit, alpha-numeric serial number on Navy Security Force identification badges,” the service said. “Effective immediately, a new badge will be issued.
“It is identical to the original, except where the serial number was at the base of the badge now has a black engraved star instead.”
Some of the uniform changes underway or under review include an improved black fleece-lined jacket, design changes for the maternity service dress blue coat, two over blouse concepts for women, and a new size standardization process.
“Size standardization is a collaborative effort,” the Navy said. “The overall goal of this initiative is to improve the fit/design of male and female uniforms to accommodate the current population and reduce the requirement or need for other-than-standard hemming alterations. The current effort is focused on female slacks, skirts, and shirts and blouses.”
Last month, the Marine Corps announced relaxed rules that allow women in the service to wear ponytails, braids and twists in their hair. Female Marines can have one unsecured half ponytail or as many as two unsecured half braids, according to the new regulations.