Since Sailors are the Navy's most valuable asset, officials were clearly justified in creating a new uniform to protect Sailors in normal working conditions. Here is everything you need to know about the new coverall.
It's 100-percent flame resistant. The FRV coverall is made from 100-percent cotton fabric that's treated with a flame retardant. It passed the Navy's flame tests and the flame resistance properties did not decrease with wear or laundering for the life of the coverall, which is about 18-24 months.
The uniform won't cost you anything. Since the FRV is considered organizational clothing, ships will be responsible for purchasing and issuing them to Sailors.
It looks very similar to the boot camp issue uniform, with a few variations. The FRV is constructed using the same design as the original boot camp issue utility coverall. Sailors will still wear the black cotton web belt for E-6 and below and the khaki cotton web belt for CPO and above. The changes include a Velcro backed name tag (like the name tag for the V-neck sweater) in place of the sew-on name tape and metal collar devices. Command ball caps are authorized. Commanding officers will have the option to develop a fabric embroidered command name tape (like the name tag on flight suits.)
FRVs are coming fast. The uniforms are scheduled to start arriving to ships in December and will initially be provided to ships scheduled to deploy in the first part of 2014. Forward deployed ships will also be at the top of the distribution list.
No more NWUs underway. Once the FRVs are received, the NWU type I and other polyester/poly blend uniforms are not authorized for wear underway except for special events like manning the rails or ceremonies at anchor. The FRV will not be worn in place of other organizational clothing like flight deck gear or electrical protective materials.
Sailors assigned to submarines will continue to wear the poly/cotton utility coverall until a low lint, flame resistant solution is available. The uniform does not serve in place of a fire fighting ensemble and the flame retardant properties are obsolete if you're not in proper battle dress; that means pant legs tucked in, top button buttoned, sleeves rolled down and steel-toed boots.
If this seems like too much information to absorb at once, don't panic; Type commanders will hold a series of demonstrations in November and December in fleet concentration areas so Sailors can see and feel the new uniform and understand the basics of how to wear it.