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Navy to phase out blue coveralls, reduce size of sea bag

Petty Officer 2nd Class Martin Vories, left, an operations specialist, compares his flame-resistant coveralls with standard coveralls worn by Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Birzer, an aviation machinist's mate. The Navy announced a slew of uniforms changes Tuesday aimed at reducing the number of uniforms a sailor needs and phasing out some clothing by Oct 1.

COURTESY OF THE U.S. NAVY

By TYLER HLAVAC | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 3, 2015

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The Navy announced a slew of changes Tuesday aimed at reducing the number of uniforms a sailor needs and phasing out some clothing by Oct 1.

The biggest changes involve the Navy Working Uniform and the Navy Blue Coverall Uniform. Sailors will be required to maintain three sets of NWUs instead of four, and enlisted clothing replacement allowances will be adjusted to support the three sets with a replacement cycle of one set every 24 months.

Blue coveralls, which the Navy had already begun to phase out unofficially, will be worn only to perform work that would otherwise soil other uniforms. The coveralls will be replaced by the flame-resistant coveralls for daily use aboard ship, with NWUs as the standard uniform on shore. Two sets of NBUs will continue to be issued and maintained in the sea bag for all enlisted sailors.

The Navy instituted several other small uniform changes, including standardizing the double-breasted all-weather coat, authorizing the use of the cold weather parka with service uniforms and expanding the use of black knit watch caps to situations where cold weather might cause injury.

Also being eliminated are the boat cloak, dress cape, khaki windbreaker, tiara, beret and overshoe dress uniforms for commissioned officers and chief petty officers.

Some sailors expressed concern that the changes would cost them time and make it harder to maintain a clean uniform.

“I really wish we would stay with four pairs of NWUs; it’s a working uniform, and I’m already having to wash them all the time,” said Seaman Mark Troncoso, whose job requires him to work with grease and paint on a regular basis. “Changing clothes is an issue. There isn’t always a lot of space to change. I understand not wearing coveralls to the PX, but you should be able to at least wear them near the ship.”

hlavac.tyler@stripes.com

 

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