The Sept. 1 uniform policy update from the Chief of Naval Personnel includes several policy changes that will take effect Oct. 1.
Unit commanding officers at sea or regional commanders will be able to grant permission to wear the Navy Black Knit Watch Cap for sailors during cold weather conditions, according to the message.
The watch cap can be worn with service dress and service uniforms, except service dress white and summer white uniforms when worn with appropriate outer wear -- specifically the Navy Working Uniform and cold weather parka, all weather coat, reefer, pea coat and bridge coat. The cap cannot be worn with the Eisenhower jacket as it is not considered cold weather outer wear.
The Navy has also authorized a new optional black cold weather parka, or CWP, according to the message.
The CWP is made of a water proof and wind resistant fabric. It features a hidden hood, center-chest rank tab and ability to support the zip-in zip-out NWU Type 1 fleece liner for additional cold weather protection. It will be authorized for wear with service and service dress uniforms and with civilian clothing when the rank tab is removed.
The parka is scheduled to be available for purchase in November at Navy uniform stores at Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia; Joint Base Myer - Henderson Hall in Virginia; Newport, Rhode Island; and the Navy Exchange Uniform Support Call Center, the message states.
New Recruits at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, will be issued the double breasted all weather coat. The current single breasted all weather coat will remain optional for wear until Oct. 1, 2020, when the double breasted coat becomes mandatory. Enlisted clothing replacement allowances will be adjusted to cover the cost of this uniform change by the mandatory wear date.
With the introduction of the Flame Resistant Variant, or FRV, coverall as the at-sea uniform, the Navy will be dropping the sea bag requirement from four sets of NWU Type Is to three sets beginning Oct. 1, according to a Navy press release. The issuance of FRV coveralls aboard ships has also decreased the usage of standard coveralls included in sailors’ sea bags.
Two sets of standard coveralls will continue to be issued and maintained in the sea bag for all enlisted sailors. As a result, these coveralls will be worn only as a cleaning and dirty-work garment rather than a uniform.
Some uniforms components are being discontinued, due to their infrequent wear and use by sailors, according to the message. The uniform items that will no longer be authorized for wear beginning Oct. 1, 2016, include the male officer and chief petty officer (CPO) boat cloak and the women's dress cape for officers and CPOs.
--Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.