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US Navy to Test Two-Piece, Flame-Resistant Organizational Clothing

NORFOLK (NNS) — U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) Command will begin a second round of testing later this year on a two-piece organizational clothing variant that offers flame resistance and moves the Navy one step closer to delivering Sailors a safe, comfortable, no-cost alternative to the Improved Flame Resistant Variant (IFRV) coveralls, with the same travel flexibility as the Type III working uniform.

USFF conducted the initial wear test on two-piece variants from May through September of last year and collected feedback from nearly 200 wear-test participants across surface, aviation and submarine communities about everything from colors and design, to comfort and options like buttons and hook-and-loop fasteners. The command also received feedback from more than 1,700 Sailors in an online survey about colors and design.

Fleet survey responses indicated that Sailors liked the functionality of the Type III but would like to see the design in traditional Navy uniform colors. More than 70 percent of E-6 and junior Sailors surveyed liked the navy blue blouse and trouser while a khaki version was the preference for chiefs and officers.

“Leaders are listening to the fleet when it comes to this design,” said USFF Fleet Master Chief Rick O’Rawe, a wear-test participant. “We have an obligation to keep our Sailors safe in inherently dangerous environments, but we also want to be mindful of their time. This is going to be something that’s safe, easy to maintain, and doesn’t require half-masting of coveralls when it’s hot or having to change clothes every time you leave the ship. Never again should we have to pass the words ‘all hands shift into the uniform for entering port or getting underway.’”

The updated design, which won’t require Sailors to sew on components, will be tested by 100 officers and enlisted Sailors to see how well it performs from wash-to-wear without ironing, and how it holds up to laundering. The two-piece variant will allow for de-blousing in extreme climates and challenging work environments. An undershirt will continue to be tested with a flame-resistant, moisture-wicking fabric in black.

“I have received so much feedback just from wearing the two-piece around the command every day,” said Yeoman 1st Class Kelly Pyron, a wear-test participant assigned to USFF. “The best part is that we’ll be able to transit from the ship and run errands in the two-piece; having one standard underway and in-port across the board will be much more convenient. I am excited to see the wear test moving into the next phase of evaluation.”

Once approved, the new prototype will serve as an alternative to the IFRV coverall for operational commands. The coverall may continue to be the prescribed clothing item for some Sailors in applicable work environments.

Pyron expressed, “If a clothing item, that I will not have to buy, can make my life easier while keeping me safe, I’m all for it.” 

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stacy M. Atkins Ricks, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Public Affairs and Outreach

20 Responses to “US Navy to Test Two-Piece, Flame-Resistant Organizational Clothing”

  1. Ed says:

    If they stick to the concepts in the pic’s above, it is a hellava improvement from that god-awful B-movie blue-digi-flague!!! At least grease and dirt will blend in better on the dark/Navy blue E6 and below version.

    Now does that mean Big-Navy will loosen it’s “fleeting-up” of NWU III/AOR 2 uniform and stop wearing black boots and black fleece with it???! Christ, the Navy really knows how to phuck up camouflage!!


  2. cj says:

    not sure what was wrong with the old dungarees….

  3. demure says:

    Being expected to iron and starch a working uniform or coming off as a slacker/shitbag is my memory of the Utilities before the were phased out for the horrible blue digi’s… dungarees were before my time.

  4. Chester Copperpot says:

    We’re finally moving in the right direction. Especially if this is issued as Organizational Clothing.
    To the most powerful CMCs and Master Chiefs in the Navy, a few questions:
    Why do we need to blouse our boots on ships, on flightlines, or ever? Boot blousers aren’t authorized for GQ, and blousing straps are a FOD hazard.
    If we have to bifurcate the rank structure, black t-shirts and subdued rank insignia don’t inspire me. Wouldn’t Tan 499, white, or blue be more appropriate with the E7 and above uniform? And those uniform t-shirts would duplicate already in service production items.
    Couldn’t we all just wear the blue version? I’m more than willing to discuss the history of khaki-dyed uniforms in the USN, and it doesn’t just include Chiefs and Officers.
    Comfortable, functional, safe, then worry about branding and tradition. V/r

    • matty says:

      Seriously everyone should be in blue. It’s ridiculous that chiefs think that they deserve to be super special boys and girls and get their own fancy uniform. What happened to “uniformity”? I’m glad I’m out and don’t have to deal with the dumb uniform changes anymore. BDUs and DCUs/ civvies were the best uniforms anyways.

      • SSD says:

        It’s a very long standing Navy tradition

        • Joe says:

          There are plenty of traditions that have been scrapped.
          You don’t see E-7’s in any other service getting a different (or should I say mock officer?) uniform.
          With the various issues in the Navy that revolve around leadership (both commissioned and noncomissioned officers) maybe they need a dose of humble pie and equality.

          • Kirk says:

            Not Navy, but I suspect there’s a lot to do with the whole “code for leader” thing going on. If the Chief blends in with the crowd, two things are gonna happen: It’s going to be a lot harder to find the guy-in-charge, and it’s also gonna be a lot easier for the dirtbag Chiefs to hide in the crowd.

            This is why I am not a fan of the Army having removed branch insignia from the officer’s duty uniform. If anything, I think they should have added it to the enlisted ones, because you need a quick-and-easy way to figure out who the meat-eaters are vs. the grass-eaters, during something like a mixed-unit convoy that’s in a crisis situation like an ambush. If I see crossed rifles, I know the guy has at least been through some combat training.

            Personally, on a slightly different issue, I have always felt that we should do a better job of separating out pay and job skill from combat rank. If you’re a mechanic E-7, and your tactical skills only go up as far as being a fire team leader, then that’s the functional rank you ought to be wearing. As well, if you’re a staff officer with no combat training or skills past being able to take part in a fire team as a rifleman, but you’re hell on wheels running a communications network, you should not be wearing a Major’s leaves indicating that you could run a rifle company in combat… Likewise, if you’re hell on wheels running a platoon under fire, but your job skills in your specialty are actual shiite? Yeah; give that guy SFC or 1LT, but don’t put him in charge of running a finance office or something like that.

            You ought to be able to shake the tree, in any support organization, and have a functional “rifle element” fall out, and one not necessarily run by the same people doing the same jobs at the same level. If your skills at fixing commo gear are stellar, you ought to be the lead electron herder in that unit, but if your “rifle rank” ain’t commensurate with your technical one, you ought to be doing whatever is appropriate under fire–And, if that’s merely “corporal-running-a-fire-team”, so be it.

            It’d also be smart to delineate the guys we can’t afford to lose playing rifleman for those situations where the shit hits the fan, carefully working that out in advance. “You, CW2 Schmedlap, are the one guy here who can make the satellite uplink work every time… You ain’t going out to hunt the infiltrators when they hit the FOB…”.

            • Sommerbiwak says:

              SKill badges of some sort that actually mean something? Like radio crypto and sattelite badge. That guy I won’t send out of the wire.

              And were the green sliders on shoulder straps not intrroduced to denote a combat leader in WW2? Oh and reintroduce the specialist ranks for you know nocombat specialists. You may be a genius with a soldering iron fixing radios, but a danger to yourself with a gun.

              • SSD says:

                For the Navy? There are quite a few Information Warfare qualified Sailors who accompany other special operators on missions all of the time.

            • Joe says:

              Funny, the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force don’t seem to have a problem with your senior enlisted “blend[ing] in with the crowd” or “find[ing] the guy-in-charge.”

              • R711 says:

                A freind of mine in the USN jokingly told me the reason for the diffrent colour uniforms between the JNRNCO’s and SNRNCO’s was so that during a boarding party in the 1800’s was that you wouldn’t shoot the wrong asshole LOL

  5. Jack Boothe says:

    A couple of comments:

    If you have a name patch with your name, warfare specialty and rank on it, why do you need another rank insignia on the uniform?

    Also, why has it taken the Navy so long to figure out aboard ship all working uniforms need to be FR?

    IMO the biggest uniform disaster the US Navy made was the decision to have junior enlisted personnel wear khaki shirts as part of their service uniform (SU). Junior enlisted now look like marines. I fully understand the all white working uniform was hard to keep clean and winter working blues made sailors look like police officers or Johnny Cash, but the solution was there and did not require any sea bag changes or additional uniform items. The US Navy instead of issuing khaki shirts should have just reauthorized the use of salt and pepper uniforms (black pants and white shirts), like 90% of most navies in the world do.

  6. G3SM says:

    I still don’t get putting the rank on the sternum. If we’re going to continue to have collars on the uniform, what is so bad about putting the rank there?

    • Kirk says:

      Body armor… Also, uniformity. If you have to look at the collars on one uniform for rank, the sleeves in another, and the chest when they’re in combat gear…? Shit’s confusin’, yo…

      • Sommerbiwak says:

        Many forceshave the ranks all over the uniforms nowadays. Shoulders, upper sleeve, lower sleeve, chest, hat… Doesnt seem to hurt much.

  7. Sommerbiwak says:

    wow. Just a few decades late to introduce a practical work uniform for the USN in NAVY BLUE. But the detour to smurfpat was necessary I guess. Oh right The USCG just issues a simple blue uniform too. Not to be confused for a coast guardsman is sooooo important. *rolleyes*

    They should add reflective tape front, back, legs. You know, like the French do (most fashinably integrated reflective tape imho). Or the Russians. Or Australia. Or so many others.

  8. Steve says:

    Based on the photos above, I had no idea the Navy was 75% female now.

  9. cimg says:

    Whats with the patch/velcro fetish? I guess it will be universal now.