US Navy throws much-mocked uniform overboard
The US Navy is ditching its much-maligned blue-and-gray camouflage uniform that sailors complained was uncomfortable.
Columbia: The US Navy is ditching its much-maligned blue-and-gray camouflage uniform that sailors complained was uncomfortable and joked made them harder to spot if they fell into the ocean.
Enlisted sailors and naval officers alike invariably grumble that the "aquaflage" clothing makes them feel self-conscious, and some worry the colorful camo fatigues -- which are not flame retardant -- put them at greater risk of burn injuries.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus this week said the so-called Type I uniforms -- also known as "blueberries" -- were to be phased out over the next three years.
"One of the issues (sailors) consistently want to talk about are uniforms," Mabus said in a statement.
"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."
Sailors will instead wear a more muted "Type III" uniform, featuring a conventional green-and-black camouflage.
US lawmakers have criticized the proliferation of camouflaged uniforms in recent years.
Before 2001, American troops all wore the same camo, a green version for temperate climates and a beige model for the desert.
But as military spending mushroomed after the September 11 attacks, the US Marine Corps, Army, Navy and Air Force crafted their own combat uniforms for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.