Navy bids goodbye to "blueberry" uniform A newly promoted group of petty officers stand in formation in Yokosuka, Japan. The blue working uniforms they are wearing will start to be phased out this October. (U.S. Navy/Flickr)
Navy bids goodbye to "blueberry" uniform
Lexile

What does the word “aquaflage” call to mind? Maybe its beehive hairdos or really strong hoses. If so, you must not be in the Navy. 

Aquaflage is also known as “blueberries.” These are the uniforms with blue and gray digital camouflage pattern. They were a required part of the U.S. Navy”s working uniform since 2010. But last year it was time to bid the less-than-blissful blueberry goodbye. Navy officials announced that their working uniforms were getting a green camo makeover.


The Navy’s shore working uniform began to transition to the so-called NWU Type III uniform in a green-and-tan camouflage pattern. This happened last October. That's according to Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke who wrote a uniform policy update. There is a three-phase transition that will be complete by October 2019. It will also include other changes like an updated logo. It will be on sweatshirts and pants.

Former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus says that when he traveled around the world, sailors wanted to discuss uniforms with him. “They want uniforms that are comfortable, lightweight, breathable. And they want fewer of them,” he added. “We have heard the feedback and we are acting on it.”

And not a moment too soon. The current uniform has been derisively called the blueberry since the uniform’s debut. It could be one of the most hated military uniforms of all time. It was announced in 2008. The uniform was designed to replace the dungarees and blue shirts that had long been the Navy working uniform.

The uniforms were mocked as Smurf-like. They were hot and uncomfortable. In 2013, a burn test revealed that they were anything but flame resistant. DuffelBlog is the military’s version of The Onion. It helped explain the controversy about the design. It pointed out that the uniform did a great job disguising service members who fell into the water. But this is not exactly the job description for people who serve in the Navy.

The age of the blueberry has come to an end. Now sailors can look forward to working uniforms that are more on par with their counterparts in other branches of the Armed Forces. The announcement has been met with glee by some, with the Navy Times’ Mark D. Faram callinf it “the military’s most pointless uniform.” It’s bad news for entities like the San Diego Padres. The Padres had previously announced that they planned to switch to blueberry-style jerseys during some games.

You can get a glimpse of the uniform that is standard by checking out the U.S. Navy’s interactive uniform app. You can also brush up on your knowledge of other Naval garb.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is the Navy changing its uniform?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (28)
  • Lexib-bru
    11/13/2017 - 01:54 p.m.

    It states in the text that the Navy is changing their uniforms because they were hot and uncomfortable and people were saying that they looked liked smurfs.

  • 24arocch
    11/14/2017 - 10:32 a.m.

    The Navy was changing the uniforms because, they wanted to give them a new camo makeover. I think that this article would be easier to follow with a picture or two of the blueberry uniforms, and the new uniforms. I wonder why they didn't have comfortable easy-to-work outfits, for the Navy members. Is there a reason for blue uniforms? Overall, this is a well-put together article.

  • 24lmsove
    11/14/2017 - 10:33 a.m.

    They wanted them to be light weight and comfortable. They also wanted less of them.I think that they sound very uncomfortable. They also sound heavy. They also have had them for 7 years.

  • 24mgblum
    11/14/2017 - 10:36 a.m.

    They wanted the uniforms to be light weight, comfortable, and breathable.They also wanted to have fewer of them.They were hot and uncomfortable. They were mocked as smurf like. I think these are better for the soilders.

  • 24aenagy
    11/14/2017 - 10:36 a.m.

    The Navy is changing its uniform because, It is very hot and uncomfortable for them to were. They should have changed the uniforms a long time ago, so the suits can be breathable light and not thick. This is a good thing, to change there uniforms because it is very tiring working in those suits. And they should not be working on that.

  • Nevaehahing
    11/14/2017 - 11:34 a.m.

    The navy is changing its uniform because it was changing colors to green

  • Zyleahring
    11/14/2017 - 11:34 a.m.

    The Navy is changing its uniform because it was changing colors to green

  • Tyannajing
    11/14/2017 - 11:35 a.m.

    The Navy is changing uniforms because it was changing colors to green

  • Kaiydenjing
    11/14/2017 - 11:35 a.m.

    The navy is changing its uniform cause its was changing colors to green

  • 24lkmalo
    11/16/2017 - 10:31 a.m.

    The navy is changing its uniform because it's hot and uncomfortable. It looks like a blueberry and the Navy workers are made fun of because it also looks like a Smurf. People are calling the uniform pointless. The Navy is now changing their uniform to a green and tan camouflage pattern. I think the name blueberry uniform is creative.

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