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
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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.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is the Navy changing its uniform?
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COMMENTS (41)
  • GregoryM-del
    11/06/2017 - 07:51 p.m.

    The blueberry uniform is blue and grey. The flight suit is green and tan, it has a helmet and parachute. The blueberry uniform did not disguise the navy members well enough. However, the new uniform the "onion" did a good job of disguising them.

  • SarahT-del
    11/06/2017 - 09:02 p.m.

    There's different types of uniforms that used for different types of situations such as the Flight Suit which is used for obviously flying or the Wet suit which is used for water. They all have different seals for different meanings. Its interesting to learn how the suits the people who serve us work.

  • RushB-del
    11/06/2017 - 09:21 p.m.

    The Navy is changing the its blueberry uniform to a more useful green camo colored uniform, this is because the "blueberry" uniform looked like a smurf, hot, uncomfortable, and NOT fire resistant.

  • OlivierJ-del
    11/06/2017 - 10:43 p.m.

    The blueberry uniform has recently been replaced. This is because it was hot and uncomfortable. I chose to describe full flight suit. The pilot is a naval aviator. He is activated when the NAVY has flight operations.

  • KyleP-del1
    11/07/2017 - 06:23 a.m.

    The navy dress is a long white coat, white pants , and a black tie.

  • EsmeraldaV-del
    11/07/2017 - 07:18 a.m.

    The Navy is changing its uniform. As of last year, the Navy announced its time they got a makeover. According to the article, it could have been "one of the most hated uniforms of all time." The uniforms were also mocked as "Smurf-like."

  • marcusw-lew
    11/07/2017 - 12:14 p.m.

    I think that it was a good idea to get more breathable suits because if a fire started then it would help them to regulate their body temperature, it's lightweight so it doesn't slow them down and it can help people recognize them.

  • jadenj-lew
    11/07/2017 - 12:50 p.m.

    I finally see why that the aquaflage camo uniform isn't that supportable, Because they a probably hot and it's uncomfortable plus it only works in the water. And I agree with the article that the green and tan camo is better!

  • jadenj-lew
    11/07/2017 - 01:06 p.m.

    Because the article said that the aquaflage uniforms are uncomfortable, heavy, and hot. So the navy is changing to the green and tan uniforms because they are more reliable, breathable, and comfortable.

  • marcm-lew
    11/07/2017 - 01:11 p.m.

    It is good that they are getting new uniforms so they can be comfortable, lightweight, breathable so they can move around without being uncomfortable, and can walk without heavy stuff on them.

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