Navy Rolls Out New Working Uniform Early to Sailors in Southeast

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West holds an all-hands aboard the USS Kearsarge during a visit to Naval Station Norfolk. West is wearing the Navy Working Uniform Type III. (Navy/ Petty Officer 1st Class Jennifer Villalovos) | By Hope Hodge Seck

For sailors eager to swap their infamous "blueberries" camouflage with the new forest-green working uniform, the wait is officially over.

The Navy Exchange Service Command announced this week that the Navy Working Uniform Type III, soon to become the standard shore work uniform for all sailors, went on sale at exchanges within Navy Region Southeast on Monday.

The region, which stretches as far west as Texas and includes Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had been scheduled to receive the new uniforms in January, Courtney Carrow, a spokeswoman for NEXCOM, told

"A lot of the sailors are highly anticipating the change and really excited, so we're trying to do what they're looking for and what they're asking for," she said.

The Type III uniform, previously reserved for use by Naval Special Warfare command and in certain expeditionary specialties, was officially announced as the replacement for the Navy's blue digital camouflage last August.

The full rollout of the uniform is expected to take until October 2019 and began this October, when the green camouflage was distributed to recruits at the Navy's boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois.

Officer candidates and sailors assigned to Navy Region Southwest were among the first to get the uniform.

Carrow said sailors assigned to Hawaii have also begun receiving their uniforms since the rollout began last month.

The regional rollout will continue in 2018 and 2019, with uniforms hitting the Navy Exchange uniform website and other service exchanges in summer 2019.

According to the NEXCOM announcement, Navy Exchanges will pull the blue Type I camouflage uniforms off the shelves to make room for the new items. However, the blue uniforms will still be available through the Navy Exchange Uniform Support Call Center.

For now, sailors have the option of choosing which uniform to wear. The green Type III uniform will be mandatory wear by Oct. 1, 2019.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.