I know, I know... I don't blog too often. I blame being active duty still *grins*
Word has it that ADM Mullen approved the uniform changes today. The March 6, 2006 Navy Times has information to the effect that the decision is on his desk, but sources are saying he approved them this afternoon. Quick summary:
The Navy Working Uniform (NWU) is replacing the Utility uniform (which replaced the venerable dunagarees a few years back... I miss those). The NWU is a BDU-style uniform, which at last check will be utilizing the 8-point cover (like the USMC), and is the blue-dominant digital pattern.
The CPO/Unwashed Masses distinction will be maintained like it is on the Navy Coveralls, gold name tapes for chiefs and officers, and silver for junior enlisted. The boots are rumored to be the already-provided high-top black jungle boots from the NEX. The undershirt is to be 100% cotton black T-shirt or turtleneck for cold weather.
Replacing the Summer White and Winter Blue uniforms is a khaki shirt and black pant ensemble with collar devices instead of shoulder patches. The cover for this uniform is to be the black garrison cap. The female version of the uniform uses an overblouse (does not get tucked in the pants) like the other services do.
More information as it comes available....
Here's the text of NAVADMIN 070/06 (not yet posted on NAVPERSCOM):
1. Phase One work of Task Force Uniform (TFU) is complete. Phase One began in May 2004 and involved studying the fwasibility of developing a single Navy working uniform and a service uniform for E-6 and below. That study included fleet-wide surveys, wear tests by Sailor participants and th development of a thorough business case analysis.
2. TFU presented its Phase One recommendations to the CNO. He has approved the following:
A. Production of a single Navy Working Uniform for wear by all Sailors E-1 to O-10 --at sea and ashore and across all communities. This BDU-style uniform will feature three color variants: A predominantly blue digital pattern for the majority of our Navy and shipboard use; and a woodland digital pattern and a desert digital pattern for Sailors serving in units requiring those types of uniforms. It will include an eight-point soft cover and black smooth leather boots. Black suede no-shine boots will be authorized for optional wear for those assigned to non-shipboard duty commands. Boots appropriate for the woodland and desert uniform will be introduced.
B. Production of a single year-round service uniform for Sailors E-6 and below. The service uniform will be comprised of a short-sleeved khaki shirt and/or blouse, and black trousers and/or optional skirt. Miniature silver anodized metal rank insignia for Petty Officers will be worn on shirt and blouse collars. This uniform will include a black Eisenhower-style jacket with a knit stand-up collar and epaulets, on which Petty Officers will wear large silver anodized metal rank insignia. Those entitled to wear gold chevrons will continue to wear gold chevrons as the jacket's large metal rank insignia.
3. Tropical uniforms will be eliminated.
4. TFU is developing the manner of wear for these new uniforms, and is developing the plan for phase-out of uniforms that the New Working Uniform and Service Uniform for E-6 and below will replace. These policies will be effective when guidelines are incorporated into the Navy Uniform Regulations and will be announced by NAVADMIN at a later date.
5. The Navy Working Uniform and Service Uniform are not expected to be available for purchase and wear until the Fall of 2007, after which they will be introduced to Recruit Training Command and eventually distributed to the rest of the fleet. Details on when the Uniforms will be available for purchase and wear at specific geographic locations will be released at a future date.
6. All existing uniforms and uniform regulations will apply until the new uniforms are available and the associated guidelines for wear are published in the Navy Uniform Regulations. During the transition period, all members must maintain a complete inventory of sea bag items and each item must reflect a professional appearance. Once the Navy Working Uniform and Service Uniform items are adopted, members will receive a uniform maintenance allowance to support purchase and wear.
7. Phase Two of TFU will consider the cost and feasibility of additional uniform options, to include a Service Dress Khaki uniform for Chiefs and Officers; the use of a ceremonial cutlass for Chiefs; and a service-wide Physical Training Uniform. TFU will continue efforts already underway to evaluate and study current officer and enlisted dress uniforms, and investigate the practicality of adopting a Service-Wide All-Weather Coat.
8. The decisions announced in this NAVADMIN represent the culmination of three years of dedicated effort and research by every member of TFU, as well as fleet sailors who participated in surveys and wear tests. They are all to be commended for establishing and maintaining a careful, measured, and deeply analytical approach to determining the right uniforms for modern Sailors. The work is not yet over, but from these first critical steps the Navy now has the Knowledge and Experience to continue to refine the Sea Bag of the 21st Century.
9. Released by VADM J. C. Harvey, JR.