Sometimes when you're working from incomplete information -- notwithstanding the seniority of your sources -- the story can get a bit muddled and confusing.
It doesn't help when the people who could clear the issue up in one phone call, refuse to do it because they're afraid to "get in front" of the issue before someone more senior does.
That's what happened with our story on what the Navy was going to do with regard to the Navy Working Uniform Type II and III for specifically the Naval Special Warfare community and those who support them.
We wrote last week that the Chief of Naval Operations had told us that the SEALs will keep their specialized uniform used in combat situations. We want to direct Kit Up! readers to our friends at Soldier Systems Daily who filled in the gaps of our story yesterday. The SEALs will still be allowed to wear their PCU-9 combat uniforms, and it seems that those are the uniforms CNO was referring to when he told us this:
Clearly the uniform that the SEALs are wearing has some very special features that I believe need to be in limited distribution.Unfortunately, Kit Up! learned that there was some confusion in the SEAL community when we wrote about this. Here's the straight gouge we learned from an informed source on the matter.
The SEALs will be issued both NWU Type II (desert) and Type III (woodland) uniforms in the same "cut" as all other Sailors who are designated to receive those uniforms -- primarily the NECC community and NSW. Kit Up! learned both from SSD and our source that the decision has been made on the cut of the NWU
Our boots on the ground sources tell us the Type II uniforms are already being issued ("I have one sitting right here in front of me," one person told me) to NSW and that Type III woodland versions are on the way. I do not have any sourcing in the other NECC communities, so I don't know if they've gotten them yet or not (though I have seen pics of Seabees wearing some sort of Type III NWU -- it's unclear if these are prototypes).
According to our source who has one of the Type II uniforms, it is allowed to be worn by NSW personnel on missions and in training, but not as a day-to-day uniform for work in garrison in CONUS. So, for example, a SEAL will wear the NWU Type II when he's doing mission planning in Bagram, but don his combat uniform (or a mixture of whatever he wants) when he's out kicking in doors. When that SEAL is back in Little Creek or Coronado, he'll wear the NWU Type III on the compound.
The only issue still left open is whether Sailors deployed to arid climes will be issued the new NWU Type II, old-style DCU (the desert version of the BDU) or something else. As it stands now, ONLY Sailors in the NSW or supporting them may wear the Type IIs on deployment at, say, Kandahar air field. All others are still required to wear the DCU. But we hear the Navy is leaning toward adopting the Type IIs to replace the DCUs fleetwide.
So bottom line frogmen: You will get to keep and wear on missions your current combat uniform setup (PCU-9 or Crye or whatever) and the new Type IIs and the incoming Type IIIs will be your new uniforms for work on the compound or at the ranges. Thanks to all who helped Kit Up! get this straight...