- Navy announces switch of its working uniform
- Sailors wanted more breathable, lighter uniform
The switch will be effective October 1, the Navy announced. But sailors can continue wearing the blue uniforms for an additional three years before they are completely phased out.
Sailors had long complained about the blue-black-gray, standard working uniforms, which are called Navy Working Uniform Type I. The cotton-nylon outfit was described as heavy, prone to melting and in a color didn't make sense -- unless they were trying to hide underwater.
The blue uniforms were unveiled in 2008
. Back when it was first introduced, the Navy had touted the blue camouflage for not showing stains and signs of heavy wear.
But it fell out of favor as sailors said they wanted something lighter and less flammable.
The Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a press statement Thursday that the uniform issue came up consistently when he traveled to see sailors deployed around the world.
"They want uniforms that are comfortable, lightweight, breathable and they want fewer of them," he said. "We have heard the feedback and we are acting on it."
The Navy will begin issuing the green uniforms, known as Navy Working Uniform Type III, to new recruits starting October 1, 2017.
"This change is the first step in a multi-phased process that will streamline and consolidate the Navy's uniform requirements, and ultimately improve uniformity across the force," according to a press statement.