Just a little Navy Bilge Talk

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The photos referenced here are of the newly adopted Navy Working Uniform. Many service members and former service members feel that it was designed so that if you fall overboard, they won’t be able to find you as you bob about in the ocean attracting sharks. Because you’ll wear boots, they will aid in sinking you because you’re not going to be able to kick them off the way you could with shoes.
Perhaps today’s sailors and officers don’t plan on going over the side into the drink. Maybe they’re simply better trained as members of the World’s Finest Navy (The fact that it is the World’s Finest navy can’t be disputed).
I realize that most of you don’t care in the slightest, but the “digital pattern” for navy work uniforms mystifies me even though the Navy defends their decision in the official statement (below):
By using colors that are traditional Navy colors, we continue to uphold our naval heritage, while giving our Sailors a uniform that is much more practical for our working environment. 
Why the ‘camouflage’ pattern?
The concept uniforms are not intended to be ‘camouflage’ uniforms as is the case with similarly patterned uniforms of the other services. We have no need for camouflage. However, by learning from our past working uniforms as well as the uniforms from other services, the Navy realized that a solid cover uniform shows heavy wear areas much more predominantly than a multicolored pattern. 

What’s wrong with khaki for officers and chief petty officers and dungarees for junior enlisted service members? 

The solid color uniforms also show wrinkles in the fabric more predominantly and often a small stain or spot of paint renders a solid colored uniform not wearable. A multicolored uniform alleviates those problems as well.

If you’re going to ‘calk off’ on a ship of war, the digital design (not camouflage as the Navy asserts) will not hide you any better on the haze gray decks than blue dungarees did for your daddy’s navy.

19 thoughts on “Just a little Navy Bilge Talk

  1. I don't know anything about Navy uniforms, but I just watched (for the 15th time) Rambo: First Blood Part II, and these new navy uniforms look just like what the Soviet soldiers wore in that movie.

    Also, some of the Navy comments are about appearance: the new outfits don't show wear and wrinkles. Aren't seamen and officers supposed to keep their uniforms clean and pressed. Isn't that part of the discipline and pride of being in the Navy?

  2. Opus, people would say that I'm a dinosaur, but sometimes you need to consider whether the person who invented the wheel in the first place had a reason for doing it that way.

  3. I agree that the new uniform is guaranteed to make a sailor in the water invisible. In the water, hell! Standing anywhere near a ships superstructure as well.

  4. Maybe with the threatened military budget-cuts, Leon got a deal if he bought nothing but camo fabrics for all the branches of the service.

    Jokes aside, I wonder if this could be just another method of belittling the service branches – making them all wear the same kind of work uniforms so that nobody sticks out, nobody looks different…nobody is tempted to feel 'special' because they wear a different kind of uniform.

  5. It is confusing nowadays – when you think you are working with Army, and you ask why they are at a Naval base…it doesn't make them happy either.

    The good thing about the uni switch, is you get to keep the old stuff. And while we can't get a f'n Taser to save our lives, the whole clan is outfitted with flight suits, BDUs, TDUs, CRYES…

  6. Officers have bright gold name and service branch letters. Enlisted have dull gray…

    I asked why you would want gold name tape on a camo uniform and they said, "it's not a camouflage uniform" – ah, I replied.

  7. It's because Obama hates the Navy.

    This could be because of the Navy's strong presence in Hawaii and also possible lingering resentment he learned from his mother in Indonesia due to the Viet Nam era.

  8. Maybe he hates the Navy because of the SEAL snipers that took out his extra-territorial campaign fundraisers a few years ago??? Just a thought.

  9. Have you ever met a US Navy Engineman, Machinist Mate, or Boatswain's Mate who had a clean working uniform? If you have, they obviously weren't working. I would have liked having the digital pattern rather than the navy blue coveralls we were issued. Oil and grease stains show up too easy on solid colors.

    You obviously weren't Navy by your misguided statements. The men and women who make sure our fleet stays afloat don't have crisp unstained working uniforms. "Clean and Pressed," ended after basic training. In the fleet things are different. The only thing "Clean and Pressed," was your Dress Uniforms.

  10. In theory you're also supposed to keep the mottled blue/gray/white uniforms just as clean and stain free as dungarees. Practically everything on a ship seems to have grease or some sort of flotsam/jetsam on it and to rub off onto clothing. To that extent, I get it. But I don't think that's why the brass did it. They could have simply issued a coverall garment that would be more easily washed that would replace or augment dungarees — or some permutation of that, rather than the "camo blue".

  11. Sounds like a lot of old geezers whining about something not relevant to themselves in here…

    I've been (and am still serving) in the Navy for nine years now. The utilities (that replaced dungarees) were horrible. Anybody that did any actual hands-on work had a horrible-looking uniform by the end of the day. The light blue shirt looked dingy and dirty, and the pants would fade. Unlike the dungarees, we couldn't throw utilities in the washer with a die packet to make them look better. The new camouflage uniform is a significant improvement in form and functionality, plus it's nice to wear a uniform deemed worthy of public sight so I can go get lunch or go to the store without having to change.

  12. If finding people in the water and reducing wrinkle visibility is important, why not use a camouflage based around a pink color scheme:


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