Aquaflage is out. Green camouflage is in.
The United States Navy announced that it would be phasing out unpopular blue camouflage uniforms — called both aquaflage and "blueberries" — in favor of a more simple green camouflage. The switch takes effect Oct. 1, but sailors can wear the blue uniforms for threes after the change before the aquaflage is entirely phased out, CNN reported.
The reason for the change is simple: sailors largely hated the aquaflage uniforms. The aquaflage get-up — which serves as the primary shore working uniform — is heavy, flammable and prone to melting. Not to mention the color scheme didn't make much sense, "unless they were trying to hide underwater," CNN wrote. Or, as the Navy Times put it bluntly in a headline, the "U.S. military is dumping the dumbest uniform ever."
The blue uniforms were introduced in 2008 and were touted for not showing stains or signs of wear and tear. But the Navy apparently listened as complaints about the aquaflage grew. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said in a press release that he regularly heard about issues with the uniforms when he traveled to speak with sailors across the globe.
"They want uniforms that are comfortable, lightweight, breathable ... and they want fewer of them," Mabus said. "We have heard the feedback and we are acting on it."
New recruits will begin to be issued the green uniforms starting Oct. 1, 2017. The green camouflage uniforms are already in use, and are known as the Navy Working Uniform Type III.
"Our force really loves the Type III’s," Vice Adm. Robert P. Burke, the Navy’s top personnel officer, told the Navy Times. "Fleet feedback is that it’s lighter, it breathes good in hot weather climate, it’s got the right accessories for cold weather climates — and it just wears better. This is one where I think we can give our sailors quickly, as compared to starting from scratch, and relatively inexpensively because it’s already designed and in use."