The Navy’s most mocked camouflage uniform will soon be a thing of the past, the service announced today.Well praise Buddha - another bad idea from a decade of bad ideas is finally done.
The Navy Working Uniform Type I, blue camouflage utilities commonly referred to as “blueberries,” will be replaced everywhere in the service by the forest-green NWU Type III camouflage utilities developed by Naval Special Warfare Command as a tactical uniform.
According to an announcement today by Naval Personnel Command, sailors will have the option of wearing either the NWU Type I or III beginning Oct. 1 of this year, and will be required to wear the NWU Type III as the primary working uniform ashore and in port by Oct. 1, 2019.
I should have known better than make fun of the Turkish Air Force back in 2005, because a year later - well, you know the story from my opening salvo on the topic in March of 2006, "Sweating My Balls Off;"
All the reasons we are ditching this horrible uniform a decade later were known then. That is why we need to look very hard at the institutional mindset that got us here. This was the uniform no one asked for, liked using, or thought in hindsight was good. Well, some people did - but you know the type.Look at that heat-sink (higher res here). Everyone who has been deployed on the deck (not in the air looking down) to Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and/or Iraq during the summertime in the last 5 years raise your hands. The summer, heck spring and fall, direct sun of SW Asia should not be a shock to anyone. Throw in the deck of a CVN and think about how dark that uniform is. I am not going to even talk about the "blue theme." That BDU is going to give Sailors heat stroke and will do zip, zero, nada to anyone trying to hide in a desert environment.
I hope our Corpsmen get to wear Marine BDU. If you are Haji bringing your AK up on a group of Americans, if you even bother to aim, where are you naturally going to point....right! At the dark target against the light background. This is so wrong in so many ways. I like that they kept the hat and all, but just take the Marine or Army pattern, save some money, and get to the business of the Navy. I am sorry. I don't care about your desire to hide you paint stains (this won't do it BTW). This is the wrong answer. As we say in D.C. - I non-concur, sir.
The evidence was all there that we had options, but we ignored them. Why? It can only be mindless bureaucratic inertia and loyalty to personalities inside a toxic command climate. Then again, this is the same team that birthed LCS, so there you go.
Enjoy this outstanding decision, but use this as an example. Remember the Blueberries for what they represented, and when you are wearing stars, don't be that guy.