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

If the word “aquaflage” calls to mind beehive hairdos or really strong hoses, you must not be in the Navy. Aquaflage is also known as “blueberries.” These were 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 as of 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 last October. That was according to Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke who wrote a uniform policy update. There will be a three-phase transition that will be complete by October 2019. It will also include other changes like an updated logo on sweatshirts and pants.

Former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said 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 it happened not a moment too soon. The current uniform has been derisively called the blueberry since the uniform’s debut. Announced in 2008, it could be one of the most hated military uniforms of all time. 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, the military’s version of The Onion, 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.

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

Baseball aside, you can get a glimpse of the uniform that is standard (and brush up on your knowledge of other Naval garb) by checking out the U.S. Navy’s interactive uniform app.

Filed Under:  
Assigned 63 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is the Navy changing its uniform?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (34)
  • ZofiaT-del
    11/06/2017 - 06:04 p.m.

    The "Blueberry" uniforn is a bluish/grayish colored uniform that looks like camo pattern. It has black boots with long pants and shirts with a cap.

    The "Flight Suit" is for air rescue swimmers. It has a white helmet with black shades. They wear a green onsie thing with a tube to let them breathe.

  • AkshayB-del
    11/06/2017 - 06:12 p.m.

    Overall the NWU III uniform looks good to wear instead of the blue uniform. The NWU type III is suppose to comfortable, lightweight, and breathable to wear. This suit has a ballistic helmet which protects the soldiers head from light weight objects. Then they have night vision googles to use for elite Navy missions. They also have a tactical vests with multiple pockets so they can put anything in there. The suit that i picked and liked was the Wet Suit which is the Seal with M4. This uniform is a wet black sealed suit with a horizontal front zip and back. This is made for special combat situations and designed to prevent heat loss for the person. The hood of the person wearing it contains a earphone pocket for communication. This uniform comes with an KA-Bar knife, an M4 with an holographic scope, and a rigger's belt.

  • EmilyN-del1
    11/06/2017 - 06:21 p.m.

    I think that it is nice that the Navy gets to change their hot, uncomfortable uniforms. The people in the Navy serve our country and they deserve to have a uniform that is comfortable and is also light and airy.

  • EmilyN-del1
    11/06/2017 - 06:24 p.m.

    I also liked the Navy working uniform (NWU) type 3 with gear. It is very cool that it gets night vision google and other cool parts. Also it is made for women so it would be a better fit on me.

  • ChloeT-del
    11/06/2017 - 06:39 p.m.

    Navy Uniform Type 3 With Gear is very thick and digital camouflage. It also comes in four colors. The next one I picked is the Flight Suit. Its colors are sage green or desert tan. It also has pockets which are either snapped or zipped shut.

  • JaredI-del
    11/06/2017 - 06:53 p.m.

    so that the new suites can be better than the old suits. also that the enemies wont recognize them.

  • NatalieH-del
    11/06/2017 - 06:59 p.m.

    The Blueberry Navy uniforms are made up of different shades of green. It has a yellowish green, an olive green, and a slightly darker olive green. It has hiker boots, a helmet, pants, and a bulky shirt, along with a bag full of supplies.

    The officer uniform is white. It has badges, a white cap, a white, buttoned down shirt, white pants, shoulder pads, and shoes.

  • WilliamF-del
    11/06/2017 - 07:14 p.m.

    I think that the coolest and most protective and effective suit is the Bomb Suit. The blast shield helmet which is blast resistance and air cool. Then there's the blast suit which allows movement but protects the wearer. Finally there's the Environment and light control. This allows the wearer can control temperature, lighting and audio within the suit. A lot of the suits were cool but this was the one that really stood out to me.

  • JasminderK-del
    11/06/2017 - 07:34 p.m.

    It is good that the navy is changing their uniform in order to make them more comfortable and lightweight

  • ChloeR-del
    11/06/2017 - 07:50 p.m.

    The Navy is changing its uniform for multiple reasons. They didn't like the design at all. It was hot and uncomfortable as well. They are the opposite of burn-proof. Lastly, they have been called Smurfs because of the blue pattern.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT