Navy Working Uniform FAQ’s

What is the plan for wear-testing the Navy Working Uniform concept?
The fleet-wide wear test, currently underway, will be conducted at commands around the world,
and across the spectrum of different platforms.  Approximately 60 participants, both male and
female, officer and enlisted, will wear-test these concept uniforms at commands/locations:

When will we see this new uniform implemented in the fleet?
After the completion of the six-month wear test, the data will be collected from the fleet-wide
survey, and results and recommendations will be brought to the CNO.  The final decision on
the Navy Working Uniform will be made by CNO, and if a final version is approved, the goal will
be to phase in the new uniform to Sailors in the fleet within 18-24 months from that point.

Why these colors?
By using colors that are traditional Navy colors, we continue to uphold our naval heritage, while
giving our Sailors a uniform that is much more practical for our working environment.

Why the ‘camouflage’ pattern?
The concept uniforms are not intended to be ‘camouflage’ uniforms as is the case with similarly
patterned uniforms of the other services.  We have no need for camouflage.  However, by
learning from our past working uniforms as well as the uniforms from other services, the Navy
realized that a solid cover uniform shows heavy wear areas much more predominantly than a
multicolored pattern.

The solid color uniforms also show wrinkles in the fabric more predominantly and often a small
stain or spot of paint renders a solid colored uniform not wearable.  A multicolored uniform
alleviates those problems as well.

The wear test will offer a chance to evaluate a traditional woodland pattern and a modern
digital pattern for the working uniform.

What about Sailors who operate in tactical environments, such as Seabees, SEALS?
The NWU concept is designed to be a working uniform, not a tactical uniform.   When Sailors
are working in tactical environments, such as the desert, or in the field, they will still be outfitted
with the appropriate tactical uniforms.  Part of the working uniform will include a Gore-Tex
parka as well as a turtleneck sweater to protect against adverse weather conditions.

Will Sailors be allowed to wear this uniform off base?
Yes. This uniform is being designed to be authorized for wear off base while commuting to and
from work, but not on liberty.

What about maintenance/care of these uniforms?
These year-round uniforms are intended to be wash-and-wear.  Future Navy ships are being
built without dry cleaning facilities; Sailors did not like the idea of putting an iron to a uniform in
which they are going to be doing heavy work.

By being able to take a uniform straight from the dryer and put up on the hanger for daily wear
is much more practical and appeasing to both Sailors’ busy schedule and pocketbook.

In addition, the camouflage pattern will permit mending of small rips in uniform fabric, saving
Sailors considerably in replacement costs.

What about shipboard fire safety?  Or visibility and floatation in case of a Sailor
falling overboard?
No current Navy uniform in the seabag was developed purposefully to fight a shipboard fire or
to enhance visibility or floatation in the water.  Every Navy ship is equipped with Fire Fighting
Ensemble (FFE) and necessary personal protective equipment to combat shipboard fires, as
well as floatation gear with flares and dyes for those purposes.

Navy uniforms are required to meet specific fire retardant standards, and these NWU concepts
also meet those requirements.

The uniforms were developed keeping in mind that our Sailors must have a uniform that, if
necessary, can help resist a certain degree of intense heat without causing injury.

What about the wear test survey?
Sailors will be asked for their opinions of the concept uniforms approximately 60 days after the
wear test begins.  This survey will be available electronically; all Sailors will be allowed to
participate regardless if they have worn or seen the actual concept uniforms first-hand.

Task Force Uniform will take into account feedback from our Sailors to help design the best
possible uniforms for the present and future needs of our Navy.

Throughout the process, the feedback Task Force Uniform receives from Sailors will influence
working uniform wear policies, most of which will driven by the outcome of the wear test.

Can I wear my command ball cap?
Command ballcaps have already been wear tested in the fleet, so they will not need to be
included in this wear test. During the wear test, only two covers will be tested, the round cover
and the eight-point cover, both in the digital and woodland patterns.  No current uniform
covers will be worn in the wear test.   The wear of command ballcaps will be addressed when
the final wear policies are decided.

How will the wear policy for these uniforms be decided?
The wear policy will be developed through convention and wear test, and will not be finalized
until all of the feedback and data have been fully evaluated.

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