The United States Navy announced that it will be phasing out certain out-of-date styles and items of the working uniform through Oct. 1 and introducing other new styles, the military publication Stars and Stripes reported Tuesday. Authorities said they wanted to update the uniform using new technology and limit the number of items a sailor needs to buy each year, and to keep the seabag each person brings onboard a naval ship as light as possible.
The most significant change was to the Navy coveralls, eliminating the blue set except for work that would soil other uniforms. Officials had already begun to phase them out on an unofficial basis, and they will be replaced with flame-retardant coveralls to be worn on board Navy ships at all times, the announcement said. The new guidelines also lowered the required number of coveralls from four to three, with a replacement set each year.
The Navy has changed its uniforms several times over the past year, and not everyone was happy with the latest changes, saying new regulations would be time-consuming to maintain. “I really wish we would stay with four pairs of NWUs; it’s a working uniform, and I’m already having to wash them all the time,” Seaman Mark Troncoso, a serviceman who said he often works with paint and oil, told Stars and Stripes. "I understand not wearing coveralls to the PX, but you should be able to at least wear them near the ship," he said.
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Many changes had to do with weather adjustments and included the authorization of switching to the U.S. Navy wool cap and parka instead of the all-weather coat during the winter months.
Other adjustments aimed to eliminate items that had become archaic to 21st century military personnel, including the dress cape for female officers, the tiara and the beret.