Monday, June 16, 2008

Now THAT looks like an officer

I know some of you don't like it - but I do. Check out the CNO strut'n.
At the moment, about 118 male and female officers and chief petty officers are participating in the dress khaki tests in Washington, D.C.; Norfolk, Va.; Millington, Tenn.; and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

“We picked our participants carefully, and most of those selected have jobs where they travel frequently, allowing more in the fleet and around the Navy exposure to what this could look like,” Carroll said.

Some of the wear-testers are high-profile sailors such as Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (SW/FMF) Joe Campa and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead — both of whom have been seen out and about recently in the uniform.

Adm. Mike Mullen, the former CNO who requested the uniform tests, soon will be testing it himself in his current job as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

What’s being tested is an updated version of the Navy’s iconic, World War II-era dress khaki uniform, nixed by CNO Adm. Elmo Zumwalt in the 1970s.

Two separate weights of uniforms are being tested — one with a 55 percent polyester and 45 percent wool blend, the other a 100 percent wool version.

“We are not just trying to duplicate the traditional look of the uniform,” Carroll said. “We are trying to improve the look and functionality of it as well.”

There have been major improvements in the textile industry since these uniforms were worn full time, he said, and that is expected to fix some of the reasons the uniforms were mothballed in the ’70s.

“The uniform was just considered heavy and hot back then,” Carroll said. “Cotton shirts were heavier, and uniforms were mostly tailor-made.”

Officers and chiefs will wear their silver rank insignia on the collars of the khaki shirt under the jacket, along with the standard Navy black tie for men and button tie for women.

In that configuration, no ribbons are worn on the shirt, only qualification and warfare pins.

“They’re good to go that way out and about walking with a cover,” Carroll said. “It’s a bit more casual look and more in line with what our service counterparts wear as well.”
But there has to be a skunk at every steel-beach picnic. Guess what? Isn't everything and EO complaint? What about equality? Harumph. Believe it or not, I am one of the more pro-female servicemembers, but this is just enough to make you want to - well - quote Skippy or sump'n.
A new female variant of the khakis will be tested soon, based on initial feedback from women who say that the “throwback” look is unflattering to them.

“This uniform was never worn by women before, and initial feedback is that it looks too masculine,” Carroll said. “So we have produced an alternate version that looks much better, and the female wear testers will shift into that for the final two months of the wear tests in the beginning of July.”
Dude-et; flying a F-18 or driving a DDG is fairly masculine as well. Sometimes you can't hide a well gifted baby-bucket regardless of what you wear. Suck it up and get to sea duty, you can wear something that covers better out there.

A masculine uniform in the military - we must stop that RIGHT NOW!
UPDATE: Sid sent along a pic of the SDK in action here.
Thats Frank Ault in the middle. The blackshoe on the right is Bruce Stone, then CHENG of the Coral Sea. Early Nuke. Colorful character. A few years after this pic Told Rickover that he didn't want command of the California because (as he told me), "I don't want to have to fight a ship out of a goddamned book!"
Leaders focused on fighting. What a concept. Speaking of leaders, read the link about CAPT Ault - it will remind you that some of the selection problems we have today are still with us - but those who go to Sea bat way above their weight in spite of it all. Skippy should read it as well for his battles against stealing pensions. BTW, can anyone help us on the "Golden Banana?"

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