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Posted: 7/18/2008 10:29:16 AM EST
from:fieldnotes.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/07/17/1204808.aspx


New Navy Uniform Goes Retro

By Courtney Kube, NBC News Pentagon producer

WASHINGTON – The Navy uniform is going retro.

About 100 U.S. sailors around the world are testing out the Navy's new service dress khaki uniform.

The look isn't really new though – it is actually a throwback to the old World War II-style uniform which was worn through the Vietnam era – and includes a black tie worn with a khaki coat that has large black shoulder boards.



Image: Adm. Mike Mullen
U.S. Navy/ Chad J. McNeeley

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sports the "new" Navy look at a press conference at the Pentagon on July 2.

The dress khakis, which are worn for events ranging from business meetings and promotion ceremonies to meetings at the White House and testimony on Capitol Hill, can be worn year round.

While the new uniform will add to the larger collections of uniforms rather than replacing one, Navy officers and Chiefs will ultimately be allowed to wear it in place of three other existing uniforms – the less formal service khakis, the formal dress blues, and the formal whites.

Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, the chief of naval operations in the early 1970’s, discarded the look, arguing that it forced sailors to carry too many uniforms in their sea bags when deployed.

Navy officials today argue the opposite, saying it will actually decrease the number of uniforms a sailor will have to carry on deployment: officers and chiefs can wear the long-sleeved khaki shirt and tie for formal work situations and then easily change to a formal dress uniform by putting on the jacket.

The officer who is bringing back the look is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, who was the chief of naval operations before taking on his current post.

Mullen believes the new dress khakis distinguish the officers from the enlisted sailors, and he is proving it by wearing the uniform during the trial period.

The testing began in June, runs through the end of the summer, and includes sailors at the Pentagon, in Norfolk, Virginia, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and even as far away as Yokosuka, Japan. At the end of the summer, the testers will evaluate the uniform in focus groups and online.

So far, the sailors wearing the uniform in the Pentagon are raving about it. A few civilian Pentagon staffers have less praise for the attire, though, saying it looks "too old-fashioned." The large shoulder boards take the most criticism, with one civilian reporter at the Pentagon calling them "big and awkward."

Admiral Mullen debuted the new uniform at a White House event last month, where the president reportedly gave the look a thumbs-up.

Asked how he likes the uniform after a recent press conference, Mullen said with a laugh, "Actually, I love it! What do you think?"
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:31:58 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/18/2008 10:35:32 AM EST by DOW]
That's the first new uniform other than the pattern that shall not be named that I actually like.

Love that WWII retro look.

ETA

Is the Admiral sporting a Navy Cross?
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:34:25 AM EST
It's about time!!!

The WWII dress uniforms of all three branches had a hell of a lot more style than the current.

Tucked in Ties FTW!!!

S-28

Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:34:33 AM EST
z-grams?
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:35:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/18/2008 10:36:06 AM EST by 30Caliber]
We always griped about not having that one; always thought the dress khakis were cool.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:35:51 AM EST

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
Asked how he likes the uniform after a recent press conference, Mullen said with a laugh, "Actually, I love it! What do you think?"



I like the look too.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:36:59 AM EST
Very nice. I also like the new Army Service Uniform.

The Army needs to bring back its khaki shirt/pants from the Vietnam area. I think it looked sharp.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:37:08 AM EST
Neat. I like the "retro" look.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:37:18 AM EST
That's a good look, again.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:38:03 AM EST
So is it black shoes for surface warfare and brown shoes for aviators or just one color shoe for all?
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:38:08 AM EST
MUST.RESIST.URGE.TO.BUY
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:38:34 AM EST
I like it! Can't wait to see a picture of my brother in one.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:42:30 AM EST
I'm on board with it.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:45:25 AM EST
I like it.

I hope the next move will be to truly phase out some uniforms that it can replace.

Funny how the reporter had to find civilians in order to get the obligatory negative comments.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:46:18 AM EST
Looks good.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 11:07:43 AM EST
Very nice! Looks sharp.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 11:58:18 AM EST

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:



He looks the cross between Bruce Willis and William H. Macy.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 11:59:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By Bohr_Adam:
I like it.

I hope the next move will be to truly phase out some uniforms that it can replace.

Funny how the reporter had to find civilians in order to get the obligatory negative comments.


Funny how it will be decided on by focus groups as well.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 12:01:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/18/2008 12:03:46 PM EST by JDC_VA_USMC]
So, if I read this correctly, the shoulder boards are not the standard summer whites shoulder boards, they're larger?


Originally Posted By DOW:

ETA

Is the Admiral sporting a Navy Cross?


Looks more like a Navy Distinguished Service Medal, in between a Defense Distinguished Service Medal and Defense Superior Service Medal.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 12:03:28 PM EST
Out of all of the new uniforms in the last few years, This is one that I like.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 12:10:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By JDC_VA_USMC:
So, if I read this correctly, the shoulder boards are not the standard summer whites shoulder boards, they're larger?



I think they're standard shoulder boards.

However, boards do look "big" on slight people, or those with skinny necks. I think that is what the newsie was refering to. Also, the soft shoulder boards (worn with Service Dress Blues) are smaller than the boards worn with whites, which are what those look like.

Warrants will love this uniform, because now they can justify buying their very expensive shoulder boards. Diving Warrant SBs cost 60 bucks a pair or so.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 12:10:55 PM EST
I think it looks good not to mention I can't even keep a white t-shirt from getting stained. How do you Navy guys do it? Lots and lots of bleach?
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 12:17:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By carbine_red:
I think it looks good not to mention I can't even keep a white t-shirt from getting stained. How do you Navy guys do it? Lots and lots of bleach?


Whites, except for the enlisted guys, just don't get worn that much. Even then, in a real working environment (ship/shop/hospital) you'll almost never see whites worn. Generally, its an office thing.

Quite honestly, working whites are a bitch to keep from looking like shit, especially up close.

Nary a tear will be shed for the working whites, especially if both they and the working blues are replaced with some kind of BDUs. This is coming along any day now.

Link Posted: 7/18/2008 12:26:00 PM EST

Originally Posted By carbine_red:
I think it looks good not to mention I can't even keep a white t-shirt from getting stained. How do you Navy guys do it? Lots and lots of bleach?


Lots of practice and ruined uniforms. Keep the messed up whites for weekend or night watches. Which is why many of us didn't mind the Summer Whites or whatever they called the Trop White shirt with blue trousers. You could be a little rougher on the trousers without worrying about ruining them, but you could keep the white shirts looking good. The white trousers were always hard to keep clean on a ship.

Those went off the board when I had been on active duty for only a few months. had them for 4 years in NROTC. They were really handy. You could always take the blouse off, and you still had collar devices to show rank. The khakis said Officer or Chief from behind, you could than take the tie off and have the work khaki uniform. (As opposed to the first year or so with the replacement officer/chief blue uniform until they added the shoulder loops, you walked into an office and everybody had a plain white shirt and the same black tie. Checking out the tie bar was not a good rank indicator. You looked for the oldest person and figured they were in charge.)

I doubt they will discard either the Service Dress Whites or the Service Dress Blues.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 12:27:29 PM EST
I like it.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 12:27:38 PM EST

Originally Posted By Screechjet1:

Originally Posted By carbine_red:
I think it looks good not to mention I can't even keep a white t-shirt from getting stained. How do you Navy guys do it? Lots and lots of bleach?


Whites, except for the enlisted guys, just don't get worn that much. Even then, in a real working environment (ship/shop/hospital) you'll almost never see whites worn. Generally, its an office thing.

Quite honestly, working whites are a bitch to keep from looking like shit, especially up close.

Nary a tear will be shed for the working whites, especially if both they and the working blues are replaced with some kind of BDUs. This is coming along any day now.


I never figured they were wore much but I can't make it a day with out spilling something on a white t-shirt.
Looking at the uniform types and stuff on this website made my head hurt.Uniforms
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 12:29:40 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/18/2008 12:31:01 PM EST by 30Caliber]
Those look like the hard boards you'd wear on Service Dress Whites, choker whites and on the old bridge coat.


I forgot about the bridge coat. We got those in NROTC at UofMich and every single time I wore it, 2-3 random chicks would stop me on the sidewalk. Frickin magnet I tells ya.

They replaced it with some craptastic plastic overcoat.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 12:31:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By Javak:

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
msnbcmedia1.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photo/_new/080717-Mike%20Mullen-hmed-11a.standard.jpg


He looks the cross between Bruce Willis and William H. Macy.


QFT
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 1:05:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By S-28:
It's about time!!!

The WWII dress uniforms of all three branches had a hell of a lot more style than the current.

Tucked in Ties FTW!!!

S-28



1+

Then again, everybody dressed better in the 1940s.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 1:09:13 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hawken50:

Originally Posted By Javak:

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
msnbcmedia1.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photo/_new/080717-Mike%20Mullen-hmed-11a.standard.jpg


He looks the cross between Bruce Willis and William H. Macy.


QFT


Good call.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 1:19:08 PM EST
The uniform looks great...or at least it should. In practice...it sucks. I've seen several officers wearing it around The Annex and Pentagon. Upon close inspection, I must give it a big thumbs down for the cheesy man made material they chose.

The old uniforms were made of high grade, well spun wool. The really nice ones used the same lightweight gabardine wool that made the liberty dress blues the swabbies wore. VERY nice material...light, took a mean crease, never wrinkled, folded up into a very small space and came out ready to wear, and draped perfectly on the body. THAT was my favorite and all time best uniform ever. My CPOs wore khakies made of the same stuff...usually purchased in Hong Kong.

The stuff they are using now...blech! Truthfully, I didn't recognize it but it was definitely a spun man made thread. Draped like shit too.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 1:19:09 PM EST
The Navy has always had great uniforms, except for maybe the Johnny Cash's. Even the Dungarees looked good even if they didn't wear well. Some obscure uniforms as well. Look up "Aviation Greens". I don't know if they are still authorized, but when I was in the USMC I'd see a Chief or Naval Aviator wearing them from time to time. I like the return of the Khakis with shoulder boards. They look like the salty, ass kicking warriors of the sea from days gone by. Like Bull Halsey or Raymond Sprunace.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 1:21:04 PM EST
I like it!

Now let's rename the DOD the "Department of War."
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 2:05:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By Javak:

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
msnbcmedia1.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photo/_new/080717-Mike%20Mullen-hmed-11a.standard.jpg


He looks the cross between Bruce Willis and William H. Macy.


Those gaudy epaulettes make him look like a Bulgarian or something.

The Navy has never quite got this uniform thing down pat, have they?
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 2:15:21 PM EST

I like it.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 2:23:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By jrkarp:
Very nice. I also like the new Army Service Uniform.

The Army needs to bring back its khaki shirt/pants from the Vietnam area. I think it looked sharp.


+1
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 2:23:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By jrkarp:
Very nice. I also like the new Army Service Uniform.

The Army needs to bring back its khaki shirt/pants from the Vietnam area. I think it looked sharp.


+1
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 2:23:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By Flash66:

Originally Posted By Javak:

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
msnbcmedia1.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photo/_new/080717-Mike%20Mullen-hmed-11a.standard.jpg


He looks the cross between Bruce Willis and William H. Macy.


Those gaudy epaulettes make him look like a Bulgarian or something.

The Navy has never quite got this uniform thing down pat, have they?

They are Armani compared to the Army and Air Force
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 2:32:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By Nlinc:
Neat. I like the "retro" look.


Except for the massive shoulder boards. Looks like something Admiral Gorshkov would have worn.



Link Posted: 7/18/2008 2:35:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:

Originally Posted By S-28:
It's about time!!!

The WWII dress uniforms of all three branches had a hell of a lot more style than the current.

Tucked in Ties FTW!!!

S-28



1+

Then again, everybody dressed better in the 1940s.


You got that right!

Fedoras and Vintage Clothing Thread.......

Link Posted: 7/18/2008 2:38:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hawken50:

Originally Posted By Javak:

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
msnbcmedia1.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photo/_new/080717-Mike%20Mullen-hmed-11a.standard.jpg


He looks the cross between Bruce Willis and William H. Macy.


QFT



If anyone has seen The Incredibles, he looks EXACTLY like the boss Mr. Incredible has at the office.


Exactly. I think they modeled that character after his portrait
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 2:38:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By jrkarp:
The Army needs to bring back its khaki shirt/pants from the Vietnam area. I think it looked sharp.


There's no point...

Unlike the VN era, we no longer wear 'dress' uniforms on duty, except for very high-up political positions...

The whole idea behind the ASU/ACU/IPFU is to eliminate ALL other uniforms besides those 3 (one dress, one duty, one PT)...
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 2:54:38 PM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By jrkarp:
The Army needs to bring back its khaki shirt/pants from the Vietnam area. I think it looked sharp.


There's no point...

Unlike the VN era, we no longer wear 'dress' uniforms on duty, except for very high-up political positions...

The whole idea behind the ASU/ACU/IPFU is to eliminate ALL other uniforms besides those 3 (one dress, one duty, one PT)...


Be sure to let the recruiters know how "high up" they are. Any bastardized shirt and pants version of the ASU is going to look like shit.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 3:08:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By LWilde:
The uniform looks great...or at least it should. In practice...it sucks. I've seen several officers wearing it around The Annex and Pentagon. Upon close inspection, I must give it a big thumbs down for the cheesy man made material they chose.

The old uniforms were made of high grade, well spun wool. The really nice ones used the same lightweight gabardine wool that made the liberty dress blues the swabbies wore. VERY nice material...light, took a mean crease, never wrinkled, folded up into a very small space and came out ready to wear, and draped perfectly on the body. THAT was my favorite and all time best uniform ever. My CPOs wore khakies made of the same stuff...usually purchased in Hong Kong.

The stuff they are using now...blech! Truthfully, I didn't recognize it but it was definitely a spun man made thread. Draped like shit too.


The .mil's love for cheap polyester for a dress uniform is disturbing. When I was AD, I hated the green poly officer class A uniform and had the wool enlisted issue class A's modified. Technically, the shade of green was off, but it draped better and I received a number of compliments on it by my higher ups.


Link Posted: 7/18/2008 3:11:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By carbine_red:
Looking at the uniform types and stuff on this website made my head hurt.Uniforms


Holy crap....


Alll those uniforms just to go for a boat ride
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 3:15:36 PM EST

Originally Posted By carbine_red:
I think it looks good not to mention I can't even keep a white t-shirt from getting stained. How do you Navy guys do it? Lots and lots of bleach?


Whites were a royal PITA.

The issue cotton working whites were the worst.

-If you even thought about putting your hand in your pocket you'd get the area arount the pocket soiled.

-The shirt would develop sweat stains even if you wore it once and put it straight in the wash.

-The pant leg hems were a great way of wearing away any shoe polish you might have applied to your shoes. (Corframs R teh ghey BTW)

-You could sit down on a just cleaned surface and manage to locate the one spot that was missed.

The 'aftermarket' CNT whites were a little easier to maintain not to mention they actually kept their creases after washing.

The dumbest use I ever found for my dress whites was having to wear them for Shore Patrol.

Great, lets wear something that has plenty of extra material flopping around for someone to grab onto during a barfight.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 3:21:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By FightingHellfish:

Originally Posted By jrkarp:
Very nice. I also like the new Army Service Uniform.

The Army needs to bring back its khaki shirt/pants from the Vietnam area. I think it looked sharp.


+1


It did, and you wore utilities/fatigues for dirty work. (All the services had an office type uniform). You got inspected in the ironed and starched khakis/blues/whites. And then they came up with the generic bdu, which was not ever going to be ironed or starched, etc. And then in the first Gulf War, some master minds (including COMUSFORJAPAN) decided that to show support for the fighting troops that all hands could start wearing bdus all the time. And the race to get rid of the sensible uniforms and use bdus for everything began.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 5:35:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:

Originally Posted By LWilde:
The uniform looks great...or at least it should. In practice...it sucks. I've seen several officers wearing it around The Annex and Pentagon. Upon close inspection, I must give it a big thumbs down for the cheesy man made material they chose.

The old uniforms were made of high grade, well spun wool. The really nice ones used the same lightweight gabardine wool that made the liberty dress blues the swabbies wore. VERY nice material...light, took a mean crease, never wrinkled, folded up into a very small space and came out ready to wear, and draped perfectly on the body. THAT was my favorite and all time best uniform ever. My CPOs wore khakies made of the same stuff...usually purchased in Hong Kong.

The stuff they are using now...blech! Truthfully, I didn't recognize it but it was definitely a spun man made thread. Draped like shit too.


The .mil's love for cheap polyester for a dress uniform is disturbing. When I was AD, I hated the green poly officer class A uniform and had the wool enlisted issue class A's modified. Technically, the shade of green was off, but it draped better and I received a number of compliments on it by my higher ups.




Brooks Brother sells a version of the Service Dress Blue uniform, and their wool is the best available and lasts forever. Maybe they'll sell a dress khaki uniform as well.

Link Posted: 7/18/2008 8:10:38 PM EST

Originally Posted By whoanelly:

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:

Originally Posted By LWilde:
The uniform looks great...or at least it should. In practice...it sucks. I've seen several officers wearing it around The Annex and Pentagon. Upon close inspection, I must give it a big thumbs down for the cheesy man made material they chose.

The old uniforms were made of high grade, well spun wool. The really nice ones used the same lightweight gabardine wool that made the liberty dress blues the swabbies wore. VERY nice material...light, took a mean crease, never wrinkled, folded up into a very small space and came out ready to wear, and draped perfectly on the body. THAT was my favorite and all time best uniform ever. My CPOs wore khakies made of the same stuff...usually purchased in Hong Kong.

The stuff they are using now...blech! Truthfully, I didn't recognize it but it was definitely a spun man made thread. Draped like shit too.


The .mil's love for cheap polyester for a dress uniform is disturbing. When I was AD, I hated the green poly officer class A uniform and had the wool enlisted issue class A's modified. Technically, the shade of green was off, but it draped better and I received a number of compliments on it by my higher ups.




Brooks Brother sells a version of the Service Dress Blue uniform, and their wool is the best available and lasts forever. Maybe they'll sell a dress khaki uniform as well.


linky.
I would love to get one.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 8:23:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sylvan:

Originally Posted By whoanelly:

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:

Originally Posted By LWilde:
The uniform looks great...or at least it should. In practice...it sucks. I've seen several officers wearing it around The Annex and Pentagon. Upon close inspection, I must give it a big thumbs down for the cheesy man made material they chose.

The old uniforms were made of high grade, well spun wool. The really nice ones used the same lightweight gabardine wool that made the liberty dress blues the swabbies wore. VERY nice material...light, took a mean crease, never wrinkled, folded up into a very small space and came out ready to wear, and draped perfectly on the body. THAT was my favorite and all time best uniform ever. My CPOs wore khakies made of the same stuff...usually purchased in Hong Kong.

The stuff they are using now...blech! Truthfully, I didn't recognize it but it was definitely a spun man made thread. Draped like shit too.


The .mil's love for cheap polyester for a dress uniform is disturbing. When I was AD, I hated the green poly officer class A uniform and had the wool enlisted issue class A's modified. Technically, the shade of green was off, but it draped better and I received a number of compliments on it by my higher ups.




Brooks Brother sells a version of the Service Dress Blue uniform, and their wool is the best available and lasts forever. Maybe they'll sell a dress khaki uniform as well.


linky.
I would love to get one.


I have never heard of Brooks brrthers doing Army uniforms, but Natick has authorized wool or wool blends for as long as I've been in. Some people just assume what Aafes sells on the racks is all there is.

Marlow White has always been good at offering at least two grades of authorized fabric.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 10:17:51 PM EST

Originally Posted By LWilde:
The uniform looks great...or at least it should. In practice...it sucks. I've seen several officers wearing it around The Annex and Pentagon. Upon close inspection, I must give it a big thumbs down for the cheesy man made material they chose.

The old uniforms were made of high grade, well spun wool. The really nice ones used the same lightweight gabardine wool that made the liberty dress blues the swabbies wore. VERY nice material...light, took a mean crease, never wrinkled, folded up into a very small space and came out ready to wear, and draped perfectly on the body. THAT was my favorite and all time best uniform ever. My CPOs wore khakies made of the same stuff...usually purchased in Hong Kong.

The stuff they are using now...blech! Truthfully, I didn't recognize it but it was definitely a spun man made thread. Draped like shit too.



Always buy a wool uniform.
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