OK, who is surprised over this. The new, soon to be old, Powder Blue Camo Utilities were poorly researched from the beginning. But again, that's no surprise. Double Knits, CNT, Corfam shoes, oh, and don't forget the blue suede boots that match the Powder Blue Camo Utility's. We have made a habit of foisting unsafe uniforms on our Sailors and at THEIR expense!!
The old dungaree uniform, was all cotton and fell away from the body when it caught on fire instead of melting into the skin like the poly-nylon uniforms of the last 20 years! The same applies to the working Khaki uniform. Also, the Enlisted Blue Utility uniform that made a brief appearance in the 1970's was fire retardant!
Look, shipboard living, even in this new Navy, is a harsh environment. The ship's laundry, even with today's new washing technologies, is rough on our clothing. But the old dungaree uniform lasted for decades and had no safety complaints. It was made for the shipboard environment and it worked well!
So, what do we do now? I believe we need to design an Enlisted working uniform that is functional, not stylish. It must be fire safe, hypo-allergenic, long wearing, repel common stains, and stand up to normal shipboard laundry machines. It should not be a Liberty uniform and in fact, I am against the working uniform of Officers, Chiefs, or Enlisted being worn off the ship or base. I don't care what the other services do! I also want the working uniforms to be different for the Chiefs and above and the Enlisted personnel, E-6 and below. Lastly, No shore duty uniforms! The Navy uniform should be the same, everywhere! Yes, SEALS, SEABEES, EOD, will have organizational clothing that meets their specific missions. But the Navy Sea Bag should be consistent through out the Navy.
We have changed uniforms so many times over the last 43 years that using the term "Uniform" to describe what we wear is an oxymoron! I commended the MCPON on his bold move over CPO Inductions. I would like to see him take the lead on this topic too. It fits with what I said about the CPO community and it would send a positive message to our Sailors that the Chief's Community is in the lead!