WL Gore & Assoc

Great News! US Navy Announces Elimination of NWU I Blueberries for NWU Type III Woodland Pattern

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.

59 Responses to “Great News! US Navy Announces Elimination of NWU I Blueberries for NWU Type III Woodland Pattern”

  1. Erik says:

    Eh, makes sense I guess. I did like standing out against the blueberries though. I guess I can stop hoarding items out of fear of the CIF…

  2. Keith says:

    Black boots, WTF?

    • Ed says:

      Yup, to tell the difference between the “shoes” and the “non-shoes”, the navy loves them some “segregated” communities!

      • LT says:

        If you read the NAVADMIN: http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/reference/messages/Documents/NAVADMINS/NAV2016/NAV16174.txt

        It states that black boots will be standard for everyone, but coyote/tan boots are optional items. I think it’s a way for Sailors to keep the current black boots we wear with the Type 1s and not have to purchase a new set of boots.

        “The following items are optional wear items: NWU Type I black fleece liner, all currently authorized black safety footwear and socks worn with the NWU Type I, desert tan or coyote brown rough-side out boots at the discretion of the unit commanding officer, black one and one-fourth inch wide cotton belt with silver clip and buckle for E1-E6 and khaki one and one-fourth inch wide
        cotton belt with gold clip and buckle for officers and chiefs.”

        • Ed says:

          Yup, that’s the part I find ridiculous and amusing. The “silver clip belt buckle” and tip. Not that most, if any “Shoe-sailor’s” will ever be in the actual “veg” or field but the rest of the uniform accessories have no real-world application or purpose on a “camo” uniform. It’s absurd to expect the Navy to go 100% unless your in one of those “non-shoe”, common sense communities. Thanks for the post, I did read it the first time.

          • Chester Copperpot says:

            Presley O’Bannon wore black boots in the Maghreb.

            Carlos Hathcock wore black boots in the “veg”.

            The Marines wore black boots assaulting Kafji.

            The US military has been using black boots in combat off and on since about 1775. I think YNs walking to their offices on NOB will be just fine.

            • K says:

              Its not actually about the color of the boots. Its about the requirements for our boots that pretty much holds us to the one type of 9″ Bates that have a bad break in period that can end up with bleed from the feet before its over, short life before the soles give out, and are heavy and uncomfortable even when broken in.

  3. 1c3 says:

    Time for the Air Force to ditch the useless ABU pattern and job the other names with a useful camouflage.

    • bulldog76 says:

      just readopt old school tiger stripe 😛

    • James says:

      UCP is dead. Blueberries are now DOA. . . One more vanity pattern left to eliminate. I’m sure the Air Force will do everything it can to justify continued use of the worthless ABU but my hope is increased knowing 2 of 3 vanity patterned uniforms have been corrected.

      • Philip says:

        Gen Welsh flat-out said ABUs weren’t going anywhere when I asked him about it at an all-call. But, he’s now retired.

        Maybe the new CSAF will reprioritize and help us get on the same page as the Army.

        • bloke_from_ohio says:

          We have had a couple CSAFs since they were introduced. It has been long enough that the new Boss could change us over to OCP with little worry about saving face for the guys that decided it was a good idea in the first place.

          That is what happened to blues Mondays for the vast majority of the force.

          It is also what happened to the McPeak era uniform foul ups that made the ABU seem reasonable.

          70% of Hurlbert was in OCPs earlier this summer and it is not just the folks who rate berets and jump boots in their blues.

    • G3SM says:

      Hear, hear!!!

  4. Diddler says:

    Aren’t we all supposed to be wearing the same uniform again by FY18?

  5. Jeff S says:

    New Service Dress Uniforms?? What’s the story there?

    • CapnTroy says:

      That’s referring to the new improved blue crackerjacks…they’re adding pockets & zippers & such…
      There will also be an improved service dress white uniform with piping & cuffs like the blues…

  6. Eddie says:

    RIP, my surplus store will be flooded with EVEN MORE blueberries. Bad enough the USAF Tiger is stuck in there. Good news for Sailors though!

  7. Jack Boothe says:

    A couple of years ago, I thought that Congress mandated a common camouflage uniform for all services. I also know that SSD had cogent commentary on that issue. Is this new uniform part of that initiative or is that initiative even still operative. I think one common camouflage uniform would save the taxpayer billions.

    • SSD says:

      That initiative lost its teeth in the final bill which was signed into law.

      • Bill says:

        Which is kinda good news. Had the Army come on board with the Marines when they were testing new cammies (they were asked) this could have been a non-issue. Typical interservice rivalry, not an Army idea so they won’t play. The Army is too good to play with the Corps, then the Corps will make the uniform branch specific. The Marines have new uniforms we need new uniforms.

        Stupid.

        That said MARPAT is still the best looking uniform

  8. jjj0309 says:

    I thought NWU Type III Woodland Pattern was great. Though I don’t understand why it has vertical shapes.

    • Dev says:

      The rationale is the vegetation in more verdant and tropical type forests are more “vertical” and have height apparently.

  9. Vince says:

    Couldn’t they model it with anything other then a sea cow? SSD needs better stock photos. I only come for the pics…j/k. I’m glad that the sailors voices were heard and someone saw the ridiculousness in NWU I. Also a smart choice on their behalf to adopt a uniform that is already in the system.

  10. LT says:

    Regarding boots, according to the NAVADMIN:

    “The following items are optional wear items: NWU Type I black fleece liner, all currently
    authorized black safety footwear and socks worn with the NWU Type I, desert tan or coyote brown rough-side out boots at the discretion of the unit commanding officer, black one and one-fourth inch wide cotton belt with silver clip and buckle for E1-E6 and khaki one and one-fourth inch wide cotton belt with gold clip and buckle for officers and chiefs.”

    Sounds everyone will be just wear the current issued black boots and coyote/tan boots are optional. Kind of like how the rough out boots are authorized, but not mandated.

  11. SamHill says:

    The navy uniforms definitely need attention. When I was in (01-05) We had SIX different uniforms with multiple outfits of some.

    Dress blues (one)
    Dress whites (one)
    Working blues (two)
    Working whites (two)
    Utility uniform (four + ) – main in port working uniform
    Coveralls (four + ) – main at sea working uniform

    Ranking patches were still sewn on, so every time you got promoted it was either extremely costly, or many nights of hand sewing.

  12. CJOC says:

    Leave it to the Yanks to blow taxpayer money on different camouflage uniforms between four branches of service. Bravo.

    • Dev says:

      The ADF isn’t that good on that front either. Something that has always made me wonder why.

      • Philip says:

        Like their already pointless blue/green/grey navy camo that’s retained its colors but was transcribed into the AMC format? 😉

      • CJOC says:

        For land operations, the Canadian Armed Forces issues CADPAT in either Temperate Woodland or Arid Region to members of the Army, Navy and Air Force (CANSOFCOM members get issued multicam). It doesn’t hurt that they were unified in 1968 and have the same Basic Military Qualification for persons enrolling. We definitely don’t do everything right, but at least with camo it didn’t get out of hand like the Americans.

  13. Joe says:

    The NWU Type III Flightsuit/Coverall SSD reported on a few days ago makes sense now.

  14. Wider says:

    Top management of all branches would have to see bigger picture and stop “competing” against each other… it´s silly.

  15. Harry says:

    I’ve seen the reserve SEEBEE unit wear these locally for awhile now. When I first saw them, I thought wow that’s an improvement over what the Army and Air Force were wearing. It was the Marines that started all of this different uniform crap with MARPAT. Prior to that everyone was happy with BDUs in one form or another. I can see having a distinct branch of service dress uniform but, when it comes to a deployment camouflage uniform they should be standardized but, that’s just me & I’m a dinosaur. I also think we’ve forgot about the usefulness of OD green. Blends well when mixed with dirt & sweat, fades nicely, doesn’t stand out that much. winner-winner chicken dinner.

    • Whit says:

      I’m a dinosaur as well. All services need one standard combat uniform. Class A’s and Class B’s can be different.

  16. Steak TarTar says:

    “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.”

    Can anyone explain why this is necessary? Pure curiosity

    • Ed says:

      Probably similar to the Diving devices worn in the Navy or the EOD devices as well. Those two communities differentiate between Jr., Sr. and Master as well. Just another complicated Navy way of putting their “sailors” in their place and continue with traditional hierarchy that we carried over from the Royal Navy.

      • bloke_from_ohio says:

        The USAF has a similar setup where our occupational badges get little stars and then a star with a wreath as you advance in your field. They do that for officers as well as enlisted and every job has a badge. You have to wear wings if you have them, and folks like chaplains must wear their stuff. Otherwise it is technically not mandatory. Some units understand the meaning of optional better then others.

        In my experience the badges and their associated levels mean more on the enlisted side than the officer side as it is tied to skill level. On the non-aircrew officer side it is mostly tied to time serving in a particular AFSC. It might be tied to flight hours for the bag wearers, but I don’t know. Pilots, being pilots, take their wings very seriously.

        General officers can wear badges related to the units they command following some really silly rules for upgrading based on timing.

  17. K says:

    There is so much win in this move with one glaring excemtion, we are keeping the the worst part of the Type I uniform and that is these ridiculous 9″ hard leather black boots.

    e. Until further policy guidance is promulgated, the manner of wear of
    the NWU Type III is expanded as follows: Black boots will be the standard
    boot worn with the NWU Type III in the United States and its territories.
    Desert Tan or Coyote Brown rough-side out/brushless boots are authorized for wear by expeditionary forces at the discretion of the unit commanding
    officer. Any forward deployed force may wear Desert Tan or Coyote Brown
    boots at the discretion of the unit commanding officer.

    • LT says:

      From how I read it, you can buy your own tan/coyote boots. You just don’t have to get rid of the current black boots.

      “The following items are optional wear items: NWU Type I black fleece liner, all currently authorized black safety footwear and socks worn with the NWU Type I, desert tan or coyote brown rough-side out boots at the discretion of the unit
      commanding officer, black one and one-fourth inch wide cotton belt with
      silver clip and buckle for E1-E6 and khaki one and one-fourth inch wide
      cotton belt with gold clip and buckle for officers and chiefs.”

      • Ed says:

        With all due respect, and I mean, “with all due respect”…..it’s not how you “read it”, it is what it states…..

        “desert tan or coyote brown rough-side out boots at the discretion of the unit commanding officer”

        Yeah, you could go waste your $$ on some Tan/Coyote boots but if your stick-in-mud CO doesn’t authorize them because like you stated above, a lot of “sailors” may not want to buy/spend on new boots then it’s going to be “shoe” uniform with no application if ever found in a real-world situation. On another note, since the uniform is not going to worn on the “ships” then why have a separate pair of boots in your locker only for looking cool when you “go ashore”?? Well thought out Navy! Ha ha ha

      • K says:

        Until further policy guidance is promulgated, the manner of wear of
        the NWU Type III is expanded as follows: Black boots will be the standard
        boot worn with the NWU Type III in the United States and its territories.

  18. Strike-Hold says:

    Great – now every manatee gets to pretend its a seal. Some improvement…

    • Ed says:

      Love it! Just like the Sea-Bees did back in 2011! Classic, Ha ha ha..

    • K says:

      Oh come on. For years many navy activities outside the frogs have been using them. Even the desk jockeys at ECRC have been wearing these for years now and they don’t deploy anywhere. Now if we all got the Type IIs which are only issued to Seals and their support.

      • Ed says:

        what is ECRC?

        • K says:

          Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center (ECRC) / Naval Mobilization Processing Center (NMPC) is the processing command that IA sailors report to before heading off to training for their IA. I hope they’ve gotten better but when I was going through on my way home from my IA they couldn’t have given less of a shit about the people coming back.

  19. Michael says:

    Am I the only one here who wishes they would release this pattern to the civilian market?

  20. DG says:

    Always good to see a sound solution transition to a larger community.
    Who would have thought a tool developed for a specific AOR would become service common.

  21. Whitney says:

    I work for DLA and we have E-DRT’s from the Navy all the time come in for training and it’s soo hard to differentiate between the different uniforms, the blueberries and the Multicam copies they wear. Then you have the Air Force with their ABU’s, and the Army has the Multicam and OCP. The Marines have their shit together when it comes to cammies. If cost cutting is the ultimate goal then why not have 3 uniforms for each service:1 Garrison, 1 Combat, and 1 Dress uniform. KISS=Keep It Simple Stupid.