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Posted: 9/8/2004 9:39:34 AM EST
Issue Date: September 13, 2004

Redesigning your uniform
The Navy has plans to wear-test new designs. Here’s what to expect

By Mark D. Faram
Times staff writer

Navy officials plan to wear-test blue and gray battle-dress-style uniforms this year as part of a much-anticipated plan to pick a new working uniform for all sailors and officers.

The proposed uniforms will come in at least two versions: a digital camouflage pattern, like those currently used by soldiers and Marines, and a more traditional woodland pattern.

At the same time, a new service uniform for sailors E-6 and below will also be tested. While complete details remain under wraps, Navy Times has learned that two proposed versions include a khaki-colored shirt and a gray shirt. The color of the pants is uncertain.

These and other details were outlined in a contract bid solicitation to civilian manufacturers issued by the Navy on Aug. 23. Navy Times obtained a copy of that document.

Though Navy officials remained mostly tight-lipped regarding details spelled out in the document, the contracting bid reveals plenty about the proposed designs the service will wear-test this December. The document also lists the locations where the wear-tests will be held, hinting at which sailors and officers will be guinea pigs for the new designs.

“What’s in that document is all pre-decisional,” said Chief Journalist Lisa Mikoliczyk, spokeswoman for Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (SS/AW) Terry Scott. “Nothing has been set in stone yet.”

Blue and gray win the day

In creating their designs, Task Force Uniform officials apparently listened to the Navy’s rank and file.

Of the 43,000 respondents to an online uniform survey conducted in 2003, more than 60 percent said they’d prefer some type of battle-dress-style uniform to the current working uniform.

The contracting document states that 1,020 sailors at 17 sites will get the chance to wear-test the new working duds that will eventually replace seven uniforms currently in use at sea, including dungarees, coveralls and working khakis.

But the Navy doesn’t plan to call it the “Navy Battle Dress Uniform” as the document states. Instead, it’s opting for the more traditional “Navy Working Uniform,” Mikoliczyk said.

The contracting document indicates the Navy plans two different camouflage patterns for their test uniforms. Both are to be blue and gray.

One will be a digital-style pattern similar to the one recently adopted by both the Army and Marine Corps.

The second will be a woodland pattern, which the U.S. military has worn for the past 20 years.

But one thing the document says won’t be like the other services is the thread used on the uniform nametapes.

In both versions, the embroidered letters will be colored “Sky Blue” for E-6 and below and “Marine Gold” for chiefs and officers — marking a clear distinction between the ranks.

“It is our intent to adhere to traditional Navy colors and our service distinction,” Mikoliczyk said in an e-mail response to questions.

All rank and warfare insignia will apparently be made of cloth, consistent with the Navy’s current BDU uniform policy. No pin-on insignias, including cap devices, are noted.

Special BDU versions of the Recruit Division Commander and Career Counselor insignia are being asked for, too, as are many other warfare insignia. They will also be sky blue for enlisteds and Marine gold for officers. Those insignia include:

• Deep submergence.

• Integrated undersea surveillance.

• Naval Reserve insignia.

• Seabee combat warfare specialist.

• Small craft insignia.

• Submarine dolphins.

• Seabee pocket insignia.

• Enlisted surface warfare specialist.

• Surface warfare officer.

It’s not clear if other commonly worn warfare insignia will also get the same treatment.

In what could also be a welcome uniform addition, the document listed the requirement to make insignia for a parka that would be worn with the new working uniform.

But unlike the BDU cloth, which will be a 50/50 nylon/cotton twill, the parka will be made of a “waterproof, windproof and moisture vapor permeable cloth” similar to the foul weather jackets issued by many commands today. It will come in only one color, solid blue, the document said.

Khaki, gray shirts

The other big news affects sailors E-6 and below. The document states an additional 11 commands will test a new service uniform that’s expected to replace the winter blue uniform, affectionately known as the “Johnny Cash” or “Gestapo” uniform because of its all black ensemble. The new uniform would also replace summer whites, commonly called the “ice cream man” suit.

While Navy officials won’t say what color they’ve chosen for the pants, the document states one wear-test version will include a khaki-colored shirt, and the other will be gray. The exact hue of the colors was not noted. The material will be a 55/45 wool and polyester/wool blended cloth.

“All of the details and specifics of the wear-test uniforms, including exact colors, fabrics, etc., will be laid out as they are completely constructed,” Mikoliczyk said via e-mail. “A variety of colors are currently being looked at as options and are being considered on the colors that have been traditionally found in the Navy’s history along with the practicality of those colors to be tested in a working environment.”

For both the service and battle-dress uniforms, the rating badges will feature black thread in the eagle and chevron. Current ratings badges are blue and red.

But the specifications don’t call for any rating “specialty marks.” For the simplicity of the wear-test, officials did say, all badges will be rank only, not unlike those worn on today’s dungarees.

The document includes scant information on headgear, but officials did confirm that the venerable “Dixie cup” white hat will not be part of the wear test.

Mikoliczyk said there is no plan to wear-test the white hat with any of the concept uniforms.

However, the document calls for civilian manufacturers to provide a metallic pin-style insignia to go on a “garrison cap.” Enlisted sailors currently have the option to wear a garrison cap instead of the Dixie cup with the winter blue uniform.

Another twist that could get tested on at least some of these uniforms are “metal shirt collar rank devices” for the left and right collars for E-2s through E-6s.

Completing the service uniform will be a belt of a yet-to-be-named color. The buckle will be chrome-plated with an “open front.”

http://www.navytimes.com/story.php?f=1-NAVYPAPER-335707.php
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 9:45:27 AM EST
This is so stupid! Digital camo for all, regardless if you are in combat and need the new digital patern.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 9:48:41 AM EST
I want NAVPAT!

IBTL
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 9:51:54 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 9:54:12 AM EST
Coast Guard's switching to the Bay Watch uniform - they believe it offers a better reflection upon their duties.

Link Posted: 9/8/2004 9:54:21 AM EST
Ok, none of you navy guys take offense to what I'm about to write if it doesn't apply to you. I'm saying it for the sake of humor only.

They left one out.....

I didn't see anything about zippers in the back of the pants.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 9:54:49 AM EST
Excuse me, but shouldn't we be spending our money and resources ON SOMETHING THAT MAKES OUR PEOPLE BETTER AT THEIR JOBS?!?

You know, silly things like WEAPON SYSTEMS, SMALL ARMS, IMPROVED LIVING CONDITIONS, BETTER PAY AND BENEFITS, BETTER TRAINING, etc, etc, etc.

This "me too" horseshit about individual uniforms and cammo for every service is just ing me off and doubly so when you read about F-14's going by-bye, shortages in the Air Force tanker fleet, our ammo plants not being able to keep up with demand, cutting other programs to get the F-22 in service and drawdowns in AF and Navy manpower to keep the budget down.

What a fucked up way to run a "war".
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 9:57:18 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 9:59:54 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:05:17 AM EST
I absolutely HATED wearing those damn dungarees. If I didn't have to get out of my flight suit I didn't. The black barts were my favorite when I had to gussie up. At least after I got some rank and awrds to go on them.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:12:19 AM EST





Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:13:45 AM EST

Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:15:37 AM EST


I'm a Sailor! I'm a Sailor!


Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:16:05 AM EST
Thtop it fella !!
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:16:41 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:17:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By DoubleFeed:

Originally Posted By Merrell:
I want NAVPAT!

IBTL

MARPAT, AIRPAT, NAVPAT, and MARIPAT.
MARIPAT, you ask?
A camo pattern comprised of marijuana leaves. It is aimed at the Cheech & Chong demographic.




Whaddaya got against Cheech and Chong, anyway?
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:20:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By DoubleFeed:

Originally Posted By Airwolf:
Excuse me, but shouldn't we be spending our money and resources ON SOMETHING THAT MAKES OUR PEOPLE BETTER AT THEIR JOBS?!?

You know, silly things like WEAPON SYSTEMS, SMALL ARMS, IMPROVED LIVING CONDITIONS, BETTER PAY AND BENEFITS, BETTER TRAINING, etc, etc, etc.

This "me too" horseshit about individual uniforms and cammo for every service is just ing me off and doubly so when you read about F-14's going by-bye, shortages in the Air Force tanker fleet, our ammo plants not being able to keep up with demand, cutting other programs to get the F-22 in service and drawdowns in AF and Navy manpower to keep the budget down.

What a fucked up way to run a "war".

Decent military medical care should be on that list.
Military medical care appears to be a big fat argument against socialized medicine.



I WAS thinking about the disgraceful way our people have been treated in that regard. I was thinking about that being part of the the "benefits", but you're right, it should be something that should be addressed as something seperate as being treated for wounds that you suffered in service should never be considered a "benefit".
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:24:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 10:25:28 AM EST by vito113]
So the USN is going to ditch this rather type of snappy outfit and all the navy tradition…



And adopt baggy NAVPAT BDU's… sounds dumb to me…



Why not go the whole hog and adopt this easy to wear rig?



I am going to piss myself laughing when the next USN ship call into Portsmouth and I see all the sailors coming ashore in Combats… Say "Are you guys US Army?'… and duck!

ANdy
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:37:30 AM EST
The Navy, our most tradition bound service is going to get rid of dungarees? IIRC, Nostradomus predicted this as a sign of the end times.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:38:19 AM EST
Dungarees have been gone since 1996.



Originally Posted By Sukebe:
The Navy, our most tradition bound service is going to get rid of dungarees? IIRC, Nostradomus predicted this as a sign of the end times.

Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:42:36 AM EST
Screw you and your sailor jokes, lol. We don't like this stupid shit either. They should have left shit alone but they can't. The Navy is stupid. The Navy hates sailors. If your in the Navy and haven't figured this out you've been institutionalized by the Navy. They can't help but FUBAR the few good things we have and replace them with something worse. Yes I'm ranting, yes I've been drinking.

Paul, hell ya. Retire and enjoy. You deserve it brother.

badeffect, it's not zippers it's velcro dammit..... and it's on the marines uniforms.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:48:54 AM EST

Originally Posted By mkgunz:
Screw you and your sailor jokes, lol. We don't like this stupid shit either. They should have left shit alone but they can't. The Navy is stupid. The Navy hates sailors. If your in the Navy and haven't figured this out you've been institutionalized by the Navy. They can't help but FUBAR the few good things we have and replace them with something worse. Yes I'm ranting, yes I've been drinking.

Paul, hell ya. Retire and enjoy. You deserve it brother.

badeffect, it's not zippers it's velcro dammit..... and it's on the marines uniforms.



My mistake.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:53:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Dungarees have been gone since 1996.



News to me as they were still around in 7th Fleet as of 1998.

Digital camo? WTF? What exactly do they anticipate sailors hiding from? Are they thinking that the enemy will see a big gray ship on the horizon and go "Whew! It is unmanned."? This sounds as ridiculous as the blue and grey tiger stripes the Air Force was touting a while back...

I'd agree that dungarees make a poor working uniform but digital camo? Maybe the idea is to aid the lower enlisted in slacking off by making it easier for them to hide from senior NCOs onboard ship? Maybe they can add bells to the E-6 and up uniform too.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:55:10 AM EST

Originally Posted By badeffect10:
Ok, none of you navy guys take offense to what I'm about to write if it doesn't apply to you. I'm saying it for the sake of humor only.

They left one out.....

I didn't see anything about zippers in the back of the pants.



That's for the submariners. You know what they say...200 sailors leave in a sub and 100 couples come back!!!!

Okay sailors, I too am just pulling your chain. No disrespect or offense intended.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:57:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Dungarees have been gone since 1996.



Originally Posted By Sukebe:
The Navy, our most tradition bound service is going to get rid of dungarees? IIRC, Nostradomus predicted this as a sign of the end times.




Are you saying none of our rust pickers wear dungarees anymore? What is the working uniform for enlisted Sailors now?
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 11:04:08 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 11:05:49 AM EST by KA3B]
The dungaree uniform has been gone since 1996.
It was replaced by the Utility Uniform.

No gay-assed bell bottom pants, no 2 wash faded dungaree pants, no sewn-on pockets, no prison "auto-unravel" shirts.



Excellent uniform to wear and maintain.

Even better was the Navy Coveralls becoming a part of the Seabag.




Originally Posted By Sukebe:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Dungarees have been gone since 1996.



Originally Posted By Sukebe:
The Navy, our most tradition bound service is going to get rid of dungarees? IIRC, Nostradomus predicted this as a sign of the end times.




Are you saying none of our rust pickers wear dungarees anymore? What is the working uniform for enlisted Sailors now?

Link Posted: 9/8/2004 11:26:40 AM EST
Not this shit again!
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 11:30:31 AM EST
This is turning out to be a real gay thread...

GOTD
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 12:05:16 PM EST
They are probably trying to get more recruits by making the uniforms more appealing. Maybe they should add some "bling-bling" to them as well
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 4:06:30 PM EST
Dungarees were a great working uniform. You should have been around in the early 70's when that dadblasted pulloever work uniform and the everybody gets officer/chief service dress blues period. The only one that made sense was the Summer White (?) with the white shirt and navy blue trousers. Trying to keep the all white uniforms and especially the pants clean was a real hassle sometimes.

Khakhis or greys for shipboard. I think grey makes a little more sense, but then again I'm a guy that bought his first cammies when they told me I was going to go on jungle field exes with the NPA around at Subic in khakis. I'm sorry I'm not wearing any damn shoot me first uniform.

And leet's not forget the first double knit fabrics. You know the "They won't snag or pill" uniforms, a snag heaven. As soon as they were out of the bag they started snagging. Then the CNT polyester they still pilled and then the Safety Center finally hit the Uniform Board on the head with a big stick and got them to go back to the less dangerous all cotton or poly cotton for shipboard wear. Jeez for a while there all but the engineer coveralls, the shipboard uniforms were a horrendous burn hazard.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 5:28:51 PM EST
On what planet? They sucked major shit.
Did you ever have to wear them?


Originally Posted By PaDanby:
Dungarees were a great working uniform.

Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:20:54 PM EST
NOOOOOO!!!! My hub looked damn good in his Navy garb!
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:32:31 PM EST
I'm at work right now. I'm wearing BDUs.

My chair is blue. If I were wearing blue tiger stripes right now, I am 100% confident I would blend with this chair and be invisible to the naked eye of any potential attackers.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:33:34 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:34:04 PM EST
Did you like the 13 button pants?


Originally Posted By wifeofgunnut:
NOOOOOO!!!! My hub looked damn good in his Navy garb!

Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:43:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 7:46:40 PM EST by Zaphod]

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Did you like the 13 button pants?


Originally Posted By wifeofgunnut:
NOOOOOO!!!! My hub looked damn good in his Navy garb!




I HATED those friggin' things!

Anyway, I actually think this is a good idea for a number of reasons:

1) The existing navy enlisted uniforms were friggin' GAY. Granted, they apparently FINALLY realized that the disco era ended 30 years ago and did away wth the bell-bottoms (yeah, yeah.....easier to get off over the boondockers while in the water), but SHEESH!

2) I see no reason why the Navy should have different-style working uniforms than the rest of the military. The only exception I would consider is the good old blue poopie suit (coveralls).

3) The existing military uniforms (especially the dress ones) are DREADFUL to have on in case of a shipboard fire. The uniform should protect the wearer in the environment where he operates, not make him a friggin match ready to be struck.

4) I've always been uneasy with the inherent differences embodied between officers and enlisted personnel in the Navy. The Marine corps, the Army, and (for Pete's sake!) even the Air Farce don't make such distinctions so obvious. I think it would be a good thing if the whole "us vs. them" structure was taken down, and the relationship between commissioned officers and enlisted that othr services practice be instilled.

5) I think it's smart from a logistical point of view to have a single pattern of working uniform. However, in the case of the Navy, I'd design the BDU's with international orange interiors. If you fall overboard, the LAST thing you want is to BLEND IN. Having the uniform be reversible might be a useful survival tool.

6) Combat boots are infinitely better than boondockers, so much so that 90%+ of the crewmembers I served with had them in one style or another. Boondockers SUCK because they give you NO ankle support whatsoever.

My .223....
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:49:37 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 8:19:30 PM EST


Make a hole, make a hole!!
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 8:20:28 PM EST
I always liked Cracker Jacks, and We were really happy when we got rid of those shitty looking Salt & Peppers. Ship life was better, we (AO's) always wore BDU trousers and Red Jerseys or Flight suits , none of that dungaree shit
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 8:26:59 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 8:32:31 PM EST
I vote for Starfleet uniforms

Link Posted: 9/8/2004 8:35:00 PM EST

Originally Posted By raven:
I vote for Starfleet uniforms

www.danhausertrek.com/AnimatedSeries/Cast_Live.jpg



I prefer the later DS9 and Voyager versions, myself....
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 8:39:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 8:45:23 PM EST by StormSurge]
I vote the Imperial uniforms from Star Wars.



Link Posted: 9/8/2004 8:40:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By DoubleFeed:
Decent military medical care should be on that list.
Military medical care appears to be a big fat argument against socialized medicine.



Fuckin' roger that.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 8:41:27 PM EST

Originally Posted By StormSurge:
I vote the Imperial uniforms from Star Wars.

www.swtroopers.com/imp_costumes/imp_ofc_uni6.jpg



"We'll redouble our efforts..."
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 3:42:53 AM EST
I wore dungarees and those pullover POSs. The dungarees were far superior to the pullovers.
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