Navy bids goodbye to "blueberry" uniform
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.