The Navy is making the move to tweak their uniform regulations in order to better protect soldiers from extreme heat, cold, and fire, as well as improve the practicality and functionality of each sailors' sea bag.
The Big Changes
- As of October 1, the common cotton-poly coverall will no longer be an official uniform of the Navy, and its use will be restricted to "dirty work areas" - flight lines, hangar bays, and other maintenance areas. Sailors must change into the uniform of the day or civilian clothes when they leave their work area.
- The improved Service Dress Blue (SDB) and Service Dress White (SDW) will be released in the coming years, and are expected to be mandatory by 2020. It's not yet clear if the Navy will change the women's SDB to be similar in style to the men's, instead of the current suit-style SDB.
- A new black, double-breasted, all-weather coat will start to be issued in the Great Lakes starting on October 1, and is already for sale in some uniform stores. Another new accessory is a new heavy-duty, cold-weather 3-in-1 jacket. This jacket is primarily intended for those travelling or based in very cold climates - it also features removable rank tabs so it can be worn in or out of uniform.
- Some additional help for those in colder climates: the black knit watch cap can now be worn with more uniforms. The only locked-in exceptions to these new rules will be the SDW, summer whites, and the Eisenhower jacket.
- For those in warmer climates, a new and lightweight Naval Working Uniform (NWU) will be available starting next April in some warmer climates. These uniforms will be more breathable fabric and weight about one-third less than the traditional NWUs.
- The sea bag requirement for NWUs will drop from 4 down to 3, due to the increased use of the new fire-resistant coveralls (FRV).
- With all these new additions, some older uniform accessories are getting the ax - the boat cloak and the cape are both getting phased out, as is the old khaki windbreaker and the black overshoes. Other accessories specific to women that are headed out - the tiara and the beret.