WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Today, the Navy announced in NAVADMIN 174/16 that it will transition from the Navy Working Uniform (NWU) Type I to the NWU Type III as the service's primary shore working uniform beginning Oct. 1, 2016.
Over the next three years, Sailors may wear either the NWU Type I or III, but effective Oct. 1, 2019, all Sailors will be expected to wear the NWU Type III as their primary Working Uniform when ashore or in port.
While the Navy is developing an incremental regional fielding plan for the NWU Type III, this transition period will give Sailors time to prepare for the change and allow them to get maximum wear out of recently purchased NWU Type I uniforms.
"As the CNO and I travel to see Sailors deployed around the world, one of the issues they consistently want to talk about are uniforms," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "They want uniforms that are comfortable, lightweight, breathable ... and they want fewer of them. We have heard the feedback and we are acting on it. As a direct result of Sailors' input, effective Oct. 1, we will transition from the NWU Type I to the NWU Type III as our primary shore working uniform."
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. The Navy has listened to Sailors' feedback and is incorporating their desires to have a working uniform that is better fitting, more breathable and lighter weight.
NWU Type III will be issued to new accessions and recruits beginning Oct. 1, 2017.
Until further policy guidance is promulgated, black boots will be the standard boot worn in the United States and its territories with the NWU Type III. However, expeditionary forces in the United States or any forward deployed forces may wear the desert tan or coyote brown boots at the discretion of the unit commanding officer with the NWU Type III. Additionally, Sailors may wear the NWU Type I black fleece liner.
Sailors will be able to buy NWU Type III components for personal wear through Navy Exchange uniform stores and call centers once there is sufficient inventory on hand.
U.S. Fleet Forces Command (FFC) continues its multi-phase wear test of improved flame resistant variant (IFRV) working uniform components, for shipboard wear. FFC most recently conducted in-depth focus groups with fleet Sailors aimed at refining the design of the IFRV coverall. Additional feedback from the focus groups, subsequently validated by a senior level working group, resulted in the preliminary design of a more professional looking two-piece utility shipboard uniform that can be worn both at sea and operational support jobs ashore. Wear tests of the prototype two-piece variants are expected to occur in 2017.
Also announced in NAVADMIN 174/16:
* The Navy will transition to the black Cold Weather Parka (CWP) starting Oct. 1, 2018, as outerwear with the Service and Service Dress Uniform. Navy All Weather Coat, Pea Coat and Reefer coat will become optional items. Mandatory wear date for the parka is Oct. 1, 2020.
* Women, E7 and above, are now authorized to wear men's uniform khaki pants without the belt and buckle with the khaki over blouse. Gig-line issues prevent wear of the male slacks with the tuck-in shirt.
* The rollout date of the male Service Dress Blue uniform at Recruit Training Command has been moved to Oct. 1, 2017, due to manufacturing delays. This change also aligns the uniform release with the introduction of the new E1-E6 Service Dress Whites.
* Navy sweat shirt and pants logo has been replaced with silver reflective lettering "NAVY," which is similar to the logo on the Navy Physical Training Uniform shirt and shorts. The sweatshirt and pants are now available for purchase at Navy Exchange uniform centers.
* Commands may now authorize the wear of a "Don't Tread on Me" and Reverse U.S. Flag patches on NWU Type II and Type III.
* Approval for the replacement of the Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman (SWCC) insignia. Going forward, there will be three separate insignias to denote a Sailor's specific qualification level, which are SWCC basic, SWCC senior and SWCC master. The implementation date is Aug. 19, 2016, with a mandatory wear date of Oct. 1, 2016.
* The Navy Uniform Matters Office is in the process of redesigning their website to enhance the dissemination and information regarding recent uniform changes. We expect the site to be running in the coming months.
The Navy continues to conduct a wear test of new women's khaki pants and is developing options to improve the sizing of women's khaki pants for E7 and above. We expect that the new women's khaki pants will be available for purchase in late 2017 or early 2018.
Enlisted clothing replacement allowance will be adjusted to cover costs of these uniform changes and requirements. However, by law, commissioned officers are currently entitled to a one-time uniform stipend ($400), paid at the beginning of their careers. An additional stipend cannot be granted without a change in law.
NAVADMIN 174/16 contains more detail on the uniform changes and can be found at www.npc.navy.mil.