Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pier Mustering

Last month, USS Scranton (SSN 756) had an "All Hands" muster on the pier / personnel inspection to celebrate becoming the first submarine to get the entire crew kitted out with the new Navy Working Uniform; here's a picture:

The Navy website also has a picture of a Scranton Topside Watch in his new duds. I for one always liked the "all hands calls" on the pier. One of the things that always struck me as strange about submarining is that, unless you went to a lot of trouble and qualified guys from other boats, you never got to have the entire crew together in one place from the time the first watch was manned for the entire life of the ship. Even getting 90% of the crew in one place was a tough thing to do, but I thought it was nice when we did. Do you have any good stories from All Hands Musters? And what do you think of this picture of an entire crew in the NWU?


Blogger phw said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/13/2009 3:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are the people? I can't see anybody...

3/13/2009 3:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see how Army guys would want to blend in with the woods or the sand, but why would we want Sailors to blend in with the ocean?

What's next, matte black life jackets?

3/13/2009 3:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Although the fast boat guys may not agree, submarining on boomers is still submarining. And since boomers had two crews, the off crew very often mustered as an entire crew.

3/13/2009 3:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, I meant to say fast boat bitches.

3/13/2009 3:21 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

1. The smokeboats always mustered the entire crew on the pier ... minus the below-decks watch.

2. The new unis are silly/sad/they suck — bad pajamas with stupid caps. Cammy unis in a warship. To what purpose?

3/13/2009 4:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back on the USTAFISH, we mustered on the pier at Pearl. One morning one of my forward ICmen got a little crazy in the head and took off his uniform and burnt it with lighter fluid.

I had a good chief who went over to the confused man and lent him his khaki jacket to preserve his modesty.

The XO sent him to medical for an evaluation and medical sent him back fit for duty. He was a good ICman, qualified and everything.

3/13/2009 4:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the USS Plunger in the mid 80's, we mustered on the pier for quarters and awards.

As the CO was pinning a Good Conduct Medal on a Sailor, the SDO was running around topside like a chicken with his head cutoff (i.e. SOP for the SDO) trying to get the CO's attention.

Apparently the white peice of paper the SDO had was a message saying that the Sailor getting the medal popped positive for cocaine.

Great guy but loved to party. He got sent to the surface navy. I saw him again in 1999 or 2000. He made Senior Chief and was doing well. He said life was easy as a skimmer and advancing was easy.

3/13/2009 4:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

SS-580, 1963-held quarters topside or on the pier every morning, entire crew minus the below decks watch. Had one memorable morning, during which awards were being presented, and the recipients promptly tossed over the side, which drew the attention of a destroyer moored across from us. They flashed a message, stating they would buy a case of beer for every khaki that was tossed over the side. Most of the goat locker promptly jumped overboard, most of the wardroom was tossed over the side. The COB then walked over to the destroyer, dripping water all over their quarterdeck, and collected on the bet. Man, that was the time to be in the Navy-thanks for triggering that memory. MMCS(SS)Ret.

3/13/2009 4:58 PM

Blogger Free The Nucs said...

I like them. There aren't many Navy traditions left that are worth keeping, so why not ditch the traditional uniform?

3/13/2009 5:25 PM

Blogger Steve said...

I don't get it. Camo underwater?
Was the Navy jealous of the army or something?

Dungarees were already the best/most comfortable uniform going...along with the poopy suit.

Did I mention that I don't get it?

3/13/2009 5:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I realize I'm gonna sustain some serious shit storms from some of you guys after I complete my thoughts here we go.

Who ever designed and advertised the NWU should have tried to get the Air Force's attention. The design and pattern for the NWU would have been perfect for A.F. flightline duty, SP roving patrols and ECP and main gate sentry duty.

Damn near everything of operational significance on an A.F. base is either, gray, dark blue or black. So the Navy's NWU would have worked a helluva' lot better for us than the new Airman's Battle Uniform which is made up of light gray, light brown and olive drab patterns that look like post war refugee rags from Eastern Europe. I'm glad I ETSed about 2 years before the "New & Improved" ABUs came out. It's nice that they have thinsulate in the material, but the appearance leave a bit much to be desired.

I always thought you guys wore a one piece dark blue poopy suit. It didn't look bad and I understand it was fairly easy to get in and out of as well. It's like our pilot's and aircrew flight suits. It's easy to hide the JP8, oil and dark red hydraulic juice stains and still look presentable for when the CO show's up at the flight line during a mid morning stroll at any given moment. So, why change a system that clearly works effectively? I never will understand the logic of the military as a whole. But hey, that's life.

When I saw the top pic in this thread, that's what made me ramble on when the A.F. was laying a bead on new working uniform designs a few years back.

One nice thing that the new sailors will appreciate about the NWU is that they are easy to maintain and not too costly. The NWU is similar in cut & fit to the old woodland pattern won't take much money or time to maintain a proper appearance when wearing it aboard ship, boat or base. Blending in to their surrounding will be a bit of a challenge, but atleast they won't have to spend a shit load of money on tailoring and cleaning the damn things.

That's it for my rant for this weekend.

Thanks, J.

3/13/2009 5:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

These uniforms look hideous. It is bad enough that Navy sailors are no longer uniquely identifiable. Now they will be viewed as second rate SWAT or paramilitary rent-a-cops. I hope they are least comfortable...

3/13/2009 6:19 PM

Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

When I see this absurd looking "costume," I wonder to myself "now what mental giant created THIS?"

3/13/2009 8:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prediction: won't last 4 years. Someone in the Navy has a bad case of being-on-the-frontlines envy.

3/13/2009 8:48 PM

Blogger Dave (aka Buckskins Rule) said...

Those uniforms go in the box labeled "Reasons I'm glad I retired". Nuff said!

Speaking of mustering on topside...on the good ship Billy Bates we had odd little custom known as "cracking" (just what you think it is). All hands muster was a great place to crack a few of your closest friends and watch them try to maintain their composure in formation.

3/13/2009 9:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few words come to mind when viewing this camo uni that has absolutely ZERO functional purpose:



POG (a term I learned from USMC classmates at dive school)


Whoever came up with this uniform design obviously wanted to play SPECWAR - but couldn't.

3/13/2009 9:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

free the nucs,

Why are you in the Navy? All I ever see from you is complaining. I took the opportunity to read your blog where you continue to bitch just as you did before. I like this blog because it is a fairly evenhanded approach to discussing the state of the community.

I'm sure there's plenty of guys who appreciate your attitude, but I just can't figure out why you are still in an organization you clearly hate.

Wearing a paper clip? Seriously? Way to stick it to the man.

3/13/2009 9:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not in the navy but I do work with them (submarine force) so I can't speak from personal experience but from talking with the guys the opinions of the NWU's has been mostly very positive. They do what they are advertised to do, that being they are comfortable and hide dirt easily. And at least in person I think they look a lot better than the utilities. More military-professional and soldier-like and less like an auto shop mechanic. I just always thought the utilities made the guys look dumpy.

I haven't heard much about the new black and tans (service uniform) from the sailors themselves, but in my opinion they're something of a mixed bag. They look real good on a well built person. I'm not talking muscle bound but a guy with a narrow waist, broad shoulders, good v-shaped torso looks pretty sharp in them. And a well proportioned female does well also. However, for the more rotund population the service uniform seems to just make them look worse (though the untucked shirt helps some of the females reduce the butt-up-front problem).

3/13/2009 9:39 PM

Blogger Chap said...

I served with the guy who's CO on that boat; I'd gladly work for him based on him on shore tour and reports from the guys who sailed with him.

You're starting to see a significant percentage of sailors on the waterfront wearing the new outfit. The early adopters say they like it; haven't seen anyone wearing the $160 jacket, though.

That said, I just got a spare set of the desert camo I'm getting issued for my next job, spent a hundred bucks on shoes that fit, and will wait as long as possible to be forced into the Zimbabwe Air Force/Man Overboard Camo.

3/13/2009 9:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll say it again.... They all look like a bunch of smurfs. The Marines are laughing their asses off. I hope the CMC gives CNO a blast about "pretend warrior suits"

If your seagoing, you need a uniform that will take abuse, can be washed many times and will last awhile. AND you need to look like your a sailor!!! All the damn pockets to catch on stuff. lets see how they hold up to grease, oil, solvents, paint, etc.

Smoke boats in PH always mustered on the pier except for BDW and Topside Watch even on underway day. "Secure from quarters, station the maneuvering watch, rig ship for dive" and we all trooped on board, pulled in the brow, started three engines, singled up and were backing out about 15 minutes later (no tug required). Pretty simple back in the day.

My two cents and keep a zero bubble..........


3/13/2009 9:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pockets were the worst part when we changed from dungarees. I remember when I got caught on the rail on one of the ladders coming up from the torpedo room. Lets just say I am glad i had a few extra rolls of duct tape stowed in the outboard of my space. That was not a fun duty day.

3/14/2009 4:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smacks of "Hey, Commodore! Squadron CMC! Over here! Look at me!"

Poopie suits and khakis in port, poopie suits underway. The new uniform is good for topside watches (especially with the parka). Has a more "tactical" look for that sort of watch.

But belowdeck: poopie suits and khakis.

3/14/2009 6:15 AM

Blogger Free The Nucs said...

Dear anonymous lifer;

Why am I in the Navy? Because, if I just leave, they'll put me in jail. I'm also not allowed to complain at work (officially, anyhow) so little things like paper clips are all I've got.

That and the occasional blog post.

But I agree, dearest anonymous lifer, that a mere paper clip is no way to stick it to the man. When I want to do *that*, I just follow orders, verbatim, until hilarity ensues.

Thanks for reading my blog!

3/14/2009 7:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

free the nucs,

So you're that guy that hates the Navy but continues to re-enlist? Your blog mentions living in the barracks in the mid-90s so that puts you joining at least 14 years ago. Why stay in?

Your blog is well written and I'm sure the old entries were as well.

3/14/2009 8:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

These uniforms are ugly, which is bad, but not allowed off base except in your car during the commute, which is inexcusable. How can a sailor have a decent life if he can't stop for gas and coffee on his way to work like every other armed service member and every other person in the world.

I hated all my uniforms (83-89)- there were cold, uncomfortable, ill fitting, and extremely unprofessional looking.

I think the dolts that select these uniforms (and all the Navy Uniforms) should have to live in them for a month before they get to vote. I love my wife in a push-up bra and F*CK-ME pumps, but i don't get to pick out her uniform.

The NAVY needs to pull its head out of its butt, and realize the demands placed on sailors is significantly worse than those placed on other service men, and start supporting them.

3/14/2009 8:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous Lifer,

You just don't get it do you? The paper clip is a very simple almost meaningless act - unless you happen to be a lifer. It then becomes an irritant so obtrusive that it must be eliminated. At all times the lifer must be on the lookout to quash any form of FTN behavior, even the innocuous "stick it to the man" paper clip. It is your driving force, which is why it is all the more fun to “stick it to the man.”

During each day of my last 100 days of the 2190 day “sentence,” I handed out a penny inscribed with the DTG. It was comical how the COB and other lifers went out of their way to try and stop me. I woulda thunk that they should’ve been dealing with real issues instead of worrying about some guy getting out in a couple of months.

And BTW, in my industry it’s hilarious when the lifer shows up to work and starts at the bottom working for some six and out guy he harassed years ago. Bet they didn’t see that coming. Just like then, it’s merely intended for entertainment, but the shoe is now on the other foot.

3/14/2009 9:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stupidest. Uniform. Ever.

3/14/2009 10:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon above,

That's what brings you joy and entertainment at your job?

You stay classy.

3/14/2009 11:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

O/t, but again: it's clear that this FTN person isn't FTN. He has just posted (and is posting) old posts again. And his story about being in Navy/out of the Navy is grossly inconsistent (so as to not even be a believable cover story!)

Where have you gone EM Log? Still MIA....

3/14/2009 2:27 PM

Blogger phw said...

Oh come on, who cares? The stories are still great.


3/14/2009 2:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the anonymous whiny bitch(es) above: I have a copy of the old EM log (it's on our server at work in pdf form). I can verify that (a) Some of the old posts (but not all) have been re-posted on the new site. (b) Everything posted after the first few days on the site is NEW and wasn't there when the blog went off line last Summer.

After extensive reading, we all believe that FTN is posting a composite of sea stories from various people, and just modifying some of the details to protect the authors. A few of the dates / places overlap.

Whoever's writing them and whether they're true or not, I don't give a crap. They're more entertaining then reading you sniveling lifers whine about uniforms on this blog.

3/14/2009 2:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assuming that the cammies are a good idea in general, why put giant gold bullseyes on warfare-qualified officers? Doesn't that kind of negate the whole cammie concept?

3/14/2009 4:30 PM

Blogger Free The Nucs said...

I'm not me unless you can prove otherwise, in which case I guess I'm wrong. And, if you happen to find my initials somewhere on the boat, that wasn't me either.

3/14/2009 5:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are three phases sailors go through with the NWU.

1) I hate this uniform. It's ugly, and I don't want to wear it...It's also expensive, and I already blew the money the navy gave me to buy it on a PSP and 5+ games.

2) My CO is making me buy this, so I guess I'll get everything I'm suppose to. This is stupid. I am getting the minimum requirements because I'm only going to wear this whenever I absolutely HAVE to.

3) I like this uniform. It's comfortable. It require little maintence to keep it look good, and you can't see me!

I went through these stages, just like everyone else I know who is wearing it. It seems to me like all the people in this comment section complaining about it are retired guys who will never wear it. Thank you for your service, but STFU.

The reason you can't wear it off base, YET, is that commands want to make sure everyone is wearing it correctly before they let them loose on the town. Give it a year or two, and you'll find that you will be able to wear it relatively unrestricted. You can't compare it to other services because other services have consistently worn some sort of BDU before. We haven't for the most part. It's a great uniform and I think it will grow on everyone once they start wearing it.

3/14/2009 6:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No camo uniform is complete without camo face be sure to check in with your local camo face paint provider before standing those life-threatening, 100-to-1000-miles-behind-the front, selflessly carpal tunnel-risking watches in control, sonar or maneuvering.

All together now: "Hoo ahh!"

3/14/2009 6:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn good point Sam. Hopefully the MCPON and the CNO will see and understand that simple example, so the rest of us can wear the fucker off base. I'm not talking about a strip bar either.

I grow tired of having to wait 20 minutes in line to get gas on base before going home. I grow tired of waiting 10 minutes more in line at the Class 6, at the end of the day for a simple 12 pack of Heineken. So let's figure out a way for all of us to wear this damn thing properly and we'll have no further problems. That is the advice I give to my brand new E1s thru CS5s who are issued our beloved new NWUs. Hopefully, by the end of the year, we'll be able to convince the MCPON and everyone else that we have not forgotten how to clean and dress ourselves to navy standards.

3/14/2009 7:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What good is the stupid fucking uniform if I can't wear it in a strip bar?

3/14/2009 7:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point last Anon. I so wish I had an answer for it. If I did, I'd have probably earned a Navcom.

A typo I just saw in my 2nd to last sentence. I said CS5. I meant to say CS-2. I've been filling out S2 paperwork all damn day for next month so I have eye strain. Is it Sunday yet? Can I have half a day off please?? We always wish for what we will NEVER get.

Have a good weekend everyone.


3/14/2009 7:23 PM

Blogger Patty Wayne said...

The one nice thing about the uniform is the true uniformity between officers and all enlisted.


3/14/2009 8:10 PM

Blogger phw said...

Norfolk Sam...

Good comment. I guess since we never have to wear the uniform, we never get past the first stage. If you guys who are still serving like the uniform, whom am I to argue with that.

I think these guys look sharp...


3/14/2009 9:44 PM

Blogger Sabra said...

The reason you can't wear it off base, YET, is that commands want to make sure everyone is wearing it correctly before they let them loose on the town.

The hope with the uniform changes has ALWAYS been the carrot of wearing them off-base. Hasn't happened yet, & I don't think you should hold your breath waiting on it this time.

I will say that they look better than the utilities, but just about anything does. I pray they're sturdier than them as well. If they are like BDUs, they're probably comfortable, and that's a good thing.

As J said way up top, they look like something better suited to the Air Force. I don't think I will ever understand why the Navy no longer wants its sailors looking like sailors, however looking like an airman is better than looking like a janitor.

3/14/2009 11:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Butt up front"

Hmmm, that's a new one.

Oh yeah, I wonder what Mikey Jr. thinks about these. He always has something, uh, remarkable to say, heh heh.

3/14/2009 11:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am currently stationed aboard one of the subs stationed in Norfolk. We are doing phased in introduction of the uniforms right now with officers and chiefs wearing the uniform. They like the uniform, comfortable and pretty easy to maintain. The blueshirts will be wearing them in about a week. We will still be wearing coveralls underway and doing dirty work (might as well wear a green coveralls for those in Engineering). The uniform isn't bad, comfortable and seems durable. As for the pockets, just got to live with them. The current utilities are not that great, they don't cover up the grease, paint, or whatever work you have done (if you didn't change over to coveralls or accidental contact with wet paint and no sign stating wet paint).

3/15/2009 7:29 AM

Blogger Chap said...

I sense BS with the emphasis on "wearing the uniform correctly". How many uniforms have I had to figure out on the fly, like woodland or desert or a new iteration of mess dress? How hard is it to wear a uniform where the insignia is sewn on?

I think what happened is the usual skimmer "enlisted aren't good enough to be seen in town" attitude towards uniforms got into the Naval Enquirer and now people are slightly backpedaling for public consumption.

3/15/2009 7:56 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

Hey, I've got an idea. Let's hide the whole crew. We could put them inside a big tank with machinery stuff in it and go out to sea and somehow figure out how to put the tank underwater. Get that: completely submerged!

It will take a lot of technological development to ever make this concept operational, but it sure beats wearing those stupid goddam uniforms.

3/15/2009 8:17 AM

Blogger reddog said...

On the call to attention, a bag of weed flopped out of a buddy's sock, onto the pier. He was in the first rank, everybody saw it. The XO came by on inspection with the COB. He pushed the baggie under the cuff of the guys bell bottoms with the toe of his boot and walked on.

Good Boat. Good crew. The crew never warmed up to the next XO.

3/15/2009 9:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quarters on thje pier 1987 -- post FIELD DAY w/o notice (SSN-693). CO hands out GCM to several filthy MMs (M & A). COB pissed ... all get BS EMI that evening. I had RADCON XFER and good dog medal ends up in poly bottle. Only bad "quarters" story I got.
MCPON arrived in Bahrain in DEC '08sporting new cammies with CNO. Since JAN '09, all criticism has virtually stopped (???). MCPON has "drunk the kool aid" and unless there is a mass burning pierside, the NWU is here to stay. Until Bob Caroll needs a pay raise and reinvents TF Uniform of course.

Any takers on a uniform pool?

3/15/2009 11:19 AM

Blogger Harry Buckles said...

Where does all this warrior crap come from? We are the Navy. Some of us considered the other services and specifically choose to join the navy. We stopped having bullets flying at us over a hundred years ago when we started propelling our ships with steam vice wind. Even before that the nature of naval warfare has always been different.

Instead of the gay NWU, we should have coveralls made with decent material, reinforced elbows and knees, and a plethora of pockets to include pen pockets on the forearms.

3/15/2009 12:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

People have stopped complaining about the uniform because they like it. See stage 3 of my earlier post. The people on this blog complaining about it are either a) retired from the navy, b) not in the navy, but are married to someone who is, or c) not in the navy at all.

It's a good uniform, its better looking than the air forces tiger stripe pattern, and enough already about not being able to be seen in a MOB situation. I love the point that the previous uniforms are all dark blue...

3/15/2009 12:22 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

Norfolk Sam:

Please offer one reason for a camouflage pattern in a sea-going uniform. One. Uno. Un. Um. Ein. одно. One reason.

3/15/2009 3:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duck: you likely intend "один," which means "one," though "одно" does mean "single" and isn't necessarily incorrect.

My sense is that there is a feeling-threatened-if-not-useless emotion behind choosing camouflage for sailors during this extended period of land war. Witness, on a much closer to home basis, the effective "draft" condition that exists today by way of IA duty. Tell me that isn't going on, still, because the Navy -- a little or a lot too desperately -- wants to be closer to the action.

The new uniform is one way of communicating a "we're goin' in" attitude, and in all honesty I can't say that's a bad thing.

Norfolk Sam: Having said all that, don't expect a free pass. If you can't take a little heat for an obviously goofy, not-directly-functional, anti-tradition uniform, well, man, you're clearly without humor...the Brits idea of the ultimately bad personality. Face it, you'll be goofing on the submarine females' uniforms when you're retired (horrors!). We all have our time in the sun.

3/15/2009 3:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norfolk Sam- you are full of it.
1) Who likes spending more scarce money on something else to carry in a seabag?
2) It takes a year to teach us how to wear a uniform before being allowed to wear it in public?
3) Officialy promulgated statements include looking more like riflemen. What does that have to do with me?
4) There's no better use of these people's time than copying another service's cammies? Why not design from a shipboard perspective? Why is a redesign needed at all?
5) I bet YOU are allowed to wear your working uniform offbase. STFU yourself.

3/15/2009 3:47 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

"Duck: you likely intend "один," which means "one," though "одно" does mean "single" and isn't necessarily incorrect."

Straight copy/paste from my jimdandy translation widget. Oгорченно.

As to 'land war,' I find that idiom troubling. Wars have enemies. And our enemy in Iraq is...? Religious sects? Tribes? 'Beats me but they're shooting at us?' Who?

Afghanistan: the Taliban? Al Qaeda (those guys in Pakistan)? Tribes? Again, whom?

Or is this the GWOT, whatever that intellectually artificial construct is?

From standpoint of pure military strategy, would avoid dignifying the incredible mess Bush and Cheney created by calling it war or by conjuring up war idioms to define it. Whatever it is, let's end it and get back to defending national interests.

3/15/2009 3:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norfolk Sam,

As a retired smoke boat CPO and COB I lived through the Zumwalt uniform-change-craziness-fiasco of the 70's. Looks to me like the Navy didn't learn a damn thing out of that experience.

Lesson 1. You can't fix fundamental morale/retention problems by prettying up uniforms, or dragging an old one (dress Khaki) out of the rag barrel. If you want to do something about those issues deal directly with them--It's called leadership.

Lesson 2. The Nav's just wasted tons of money on this project and that includes yours.

Lesson 3. The identity of the US Navy and Sailors for the general public is rooted in those pictures of white hats, crackerjacks,and the dungaree clad. The Navy can't seem to learn the importance of it's uniform heritage. The Marines Know it and thats why they haven't changed their dress or service dress uniforms in over 80 years. They don't need to--they're not in search of an identity, they know who they are.

So, by all means enjoy your new smurf uniform.

My two cents, and keep a zero bubble......


3/15/2009 4:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only people who have a legitimate gripe about having to spend money on these uniforms are officers. They didn’t get the uniform stipend to cover it. If you’re an enlisted guy, you got payed for it, so don’t act like you are wasting your money.

You’re probably right, it doesn’t take a year to teach guys how to wear a uniform...wait a second, how many times have you had to stop someone and correct the way they are wearing a uniform they’ve probably been wearing for well over a year.

I don’t know what you do, so I can’t really comment on wether or not it’s important for you to look like a rifleman. Did you prefer to look more like a janitor or a Jiffy Lube Mechanic?

I’m not sure what cammies you are refering to when you talk about the Navy copying someone elses.

I’m not allowed to wear it off base. To be honest, I can’t even wear it at work yet for a couple weeks. I sit in my house, with the curtains drawn and the lights dim practicing drill movements.

You can either have a positive attitude about it and accept that they aren’t going pull these uniforms or you can add it to the long list of things you probably complain about constantly. Regardless of what the new uniforms looked like, I’m guessing you would have found some reason to complain about it...and if there wasn’t a new uniform coming out, you’d probably complain about that as well.

I do agree that this money could have/should have gone to building ships, but it didn’t, so deal with it.

3/15/2009 5:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My back-in-the-day is a little more recent than others in this post but I recall that the Zumwalt era poopie suits had this odd spandex-like expansion panel at the waistline. I never owned one but looked strange on folks who wore it.

Army lets their folks go anywhere in their cammies. Aside from that they have been doing this for ears longer than the Navy - beret and all - they seem to have figured out the looking presentable in public equation.

Along that line, and to an earlier post, I think officer and enlisted should be somewhat distinguishable from each other.

3/15/2009 5:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norfolk Sam's quote: "its better looking than the air forces tiger stripe pattern."

I honestly can't give him any shit about that one. That's quite correct actually. The A.F. would have done just fine to stick with Woodland Cammies for another 10 years. There would have been no problems. I keep up with 5 guys who are still active duty Security Forces, and they feel the same way. the woodland pattern looked better than the tiger stripes but the stripes do have a couple of extra pockets in order to put extra shit in. You don't starch them and they don't rip and fade as easily. So, other than appearance, you won't hear alot of bitching from the A.F. about the new "Airman Battle Uniform."

Thanks, J.

3/15/2009 5:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norfolk Sam,

How about checking the manufacturing label for me. where are the new smurf suits made? USA I hope.

When the Army shifted into berets they were manufactured in China.

Thanks in advance, and keep a zero bubble........


3/15/2009 8:22 PM

Blogger Harry Buckles said...

So as an officer who has yet to purchase this ridiculous cockamannie piece of rifle/penis envy, I, according to Norfolk Sam, am allowed to complain about the expense. Here I go. They're a waste of money.
Do I also get to complain as a taxpayer for all the millions that all four forces have wasted on their own pet project uniforms. Where has anyone's, be it legislative or executive branch, fiduciary duty to avoid fraud, waste and abuse gone? If five different camouflages don't constitute waste, perhaps the taxpayer can get five different interchangeable toilet seats for the head in my office. Each one will be designed to maximize my sense of self-worth and identity depending on the consistency of the anticipated dump.

3/16/2009 4:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would appear that the uniform procurement section operates under the same rules as ship procurement. Bad ideas, poor execution, somebody else can clean up the mess.

This is another thing in the long line of things we did not need. TQL(M), the LCS (in its present configurations), Lean, etc. Were these uniforms the product of a Six Sigma project for a non-existent problem?

The budget axe will fall heavily in DOD with this administration. The Navy's upper echelon has done everything it could to be the first neck on the block. Congrats to the CNO and all the rest. You've accomplished what the IJN could not.


3/16/2009 11:24 AM

Blogger Marty said...

I work at EUCOM in Stuttgart. As one who appreciated poopie suits, submarine sweaters, and yes, even dungarees and work khakis, I think today's "Uniforms" across the services are a joke. On any given day you can find at least 30 different uniforms presented by the 4 services just by walking around the base. Wanna-be "warrior" uniforms, flight suits, flannel jackets, leather flight jackets, coveralls, it's absolutely abysmal. The one good thing out of it all is that it's very rare to find anyone now wearing a uniform with ribbons -- which is equally disgusting because of the ungodly number of rows of them. (except the Brits)

3/16/2009 2:14 PM

Blogger Chap said...

Norfolk Sam, you're full of it. I'm active, and I hereby complain about the uniforms.

--What problem did this new uniform solve? Don't tell me "replaces several uniforms", because we could have done that by merely canning the ones nobody wears like tropical white. We could even have learned from another service and used an existing camo, a camo we still have to issue, or even gotten slightly smart and adopted the Coast Guard's working uniform (a poopy suit-looking shirt and pants, which allow you to go to the can without dropping the clothes on the deck).

--If the goal was to reduce total number of uniforms, then why did we just add three more uniforms to the seabag (the Irish-insulting black-and-tans, the unusable-at-sea PT uniform, and the other-services-laughing-at-us blue camo)?

--How is this, and by this I include TFU, the best use of resources in a reource-limited environment?

--Why did it take that many years to design and implement?

--Given the enlisted got a uniform allowance already for the man overboard camo, how many of those guys will have the money still there in FDNF when they change over years from now?

It'll blow over, but it's still crap. We spend time and effort on being some kind of mutant pretty boys while we can't buy ships for the rapidly shrinking fleet.

3/16/2009 8:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coming from a joint command in the DC area, it's pretty easy to see what caused this atrocity known as the NWU's.

Working in a massive non-Pentagon building, every service was in cammies, except us, the Navy. Even our little brothers the CG didn't wear service uniforms.

It's all about perception. It's hard to fund submarines when we're perceived to just punch holes in the ocean and fight the Soviets. It's hard to fund the rest of the fleet for similar reasons.

With the NWU we'll 'look' like we're in the fight. Even though we all know we are.

What people don't understand (to include TFU) is that the Navy is a fundamentally different fighting force than the rest of the military (excluding the SEALs/CB's/EOD...)

Since our founding, we've been educated men (and now women) - engineers and men of science who applied a certain skill to warfare. And as such, we dressed the part - practical (khakis developed in the tropics) with a little flourish as a nod to our nautical history.

So, we'll pretend to be soldiers/Marines for a few years - and hopefully we'll nip this terrorism thing in the bud and get back to looking like sailors.

3/16/2009 8:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the last time, the camo is not designed to hide anyone. It's designed to hide stains. End of story. And every current active duty sailor I have spoken too is glad of the fact. And do you really think you are any more visible in the middle of the ocean wearing utilities or a poopie? Why is everyone, civilian and military, within the age range of about 38-55 so damn cynical?

3/16/2009 8:46 PM

Blogger phw said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/16/2009 9:06 PM

Blogger phw said...

The typos made my original post incomprehensible... Reposting...
Since when has anyone in the Navy wanted to look like a marine or an army soldier? Certainly never when I was in the Navy...

The uniforms look good. They hide stains. They do not look like marine or army uniforms. They are comfortable. And this whole argument is silly because the uniform is fact.

Is this uniform destined to go the way of McPeak's Navy want-to-be uniforms? Who knows, but my guess is that it will stick around if the rank and file like it.


3/16/2009 9:16 PM

Blogger Bigbill said...

I am currently wearing coveralls all the time at work trying to make my khakis survive until next year when we make the switch. My khakis are pretty pale and mismatched. I am heading to a ship in San Diego this summer so I will get the new uniform in January 2010. I'll probably retire in 2012. I like the jacket.

All hands muster story. An ET1 confessed that he was gay at all hands muster on the pier. It was no mystery to anyone on the ship. The typical response was "so?". He only had five months left in the navy and the command didn't do anything about it.

3/16/2009 10:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon e. moose-

Well, that makes sense. And it's believable. And sad.

Thank you.

Re: all hands- I was on the last cruiser, and I never had one. I did fall between changes of command, though.


3/16/2009 10:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why is everyone, civilian and military, within the age range of about 38-55 so damn cynical?"


3/16/2009 11:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norfolk Sam: said, "You’re probably right, it doesn’t take a year to teach guys how to wear a uniform...wait a second, how many times have you had to stop someone and correct the way they are wearing a uniform they’ve probably been wearing for well over a year."

Well, in my 2190 I NEVER stopped anyone about their freakin' uniform. One word for ya: DIGGIT

3/16/2009 11:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does Diggit mean?

3/16/2009 11:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Smart Remark:

Grazing in the Grass by the Friends of Distinction "Baby can you DIGGIT?"

3/17/2009 5:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

They look like Stazi from the days of empire.....does the mottle pattern help the clothes blend in with exposed equipment to hide from Red Team......?other than the fashion down check nice to see almost a whole crew...

3/17/2009 9:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hate or love the digi-camie will be based on one of two things.

1) Will the Navy let it be practical? If we can wear it to pick up the kids / stop by the store on the way home / get some beer for Friday night (acceptable where casual dress is appropriate like other services). You can put up with other shortcomings and just wear your Y2K poopie on board and everyone will think the new uniforms are the best thing since Stern Planes Trim Adjust.
2) Do they hold up and are they reasonably priced? If cammo vs. lockwire or rack hasps is a lost battle then there is no recovering a good rep for them. Especially if they cost around $100 a set to replace as a new set of wash Khaki does.

What people said was "I want a uniform I can wear at work without fear of ruining or in town just like the aviators wear their green pajamas and the Army/Air Force/Marines wear cammo.

TFU heard "I want to completly change my work uniform to justify your task force and I want cammo cause Marines are cool."

3/17/2009 9:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"For the last time, the camo is not designed to hide anyone. It's designed to hide stains. End of story. And every current active duty sailor I have spoken too is glad of the fact."

I'm curious as to how long people think that idea will last?
From: "Hey this hides stains!" to "I got yelled at because some senior guy managed to find a stain on my working uniform."

3/17/2009 10:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Spade,

Wouldn't the woodland cammos hid stains just as well? No development costs on them. DOD has lots of them in stock and they would probably be cheaper than aquaflage becaused the cost is spread over more users.

That way if the navy has to go ashore in a war zone, they may just have the right camo already. I suppose that the aquafage is the right stuff to fight in the artic.

It's a realy shame that the O-rings are worried about seeing stains on a working uniform because that is just what it is - a WORKING uniform. Besides, there won't be too many stains on it for the bubbleheads if they wear their coveralls underway instead of the new uniform.

God save us from stupid decisions of the brass!

3/17/2009 12:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

""For the last time, the camo is not designed to hide anyone. It's designed to hide stains."

That's actually pretty funny, perhaps because the idea is ridiculous. Lots of blue-staining sources on the ships & boats is there? From what? Lysol toilet cleaner?

3/17/2009 3:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Wouldn't the woodland cammos hid stains just as well? No development costs on them. DOD has lots of them in stock and they would probably be cheaper than aquaflage becaused the cost is spread over more users.

That way if the navy has to go ashore in a war zone, they may just have the right camo already. I suppose that the aquafage is the right stuff to fight in the artic."

Except the old BDU Camo pattern apparently doesn't work so well with night vision/IR. Seems the black part of the pattern shows up clear as day on those scopes. That's why there's no black in the ACU, ABU, or Marine Corps Digi's.

3/18/2009 9:57 AM

Blogger David said...

Never quite understood the USN uniform thing... from the assorted iterations of working dress, to the cracker-jacks (white or blue) vs. the undress white or blue stuff. Aviator's greens. The long-ago grey uniform.

The NWUs, from an aesthetic point of view, have to be the ugliest first-world uniform I can think of. Looks like something for el Presidente's personal guard.

Not being auth. wear off base is ridiculous - few things simpler to get "right" than camo/combat-type kit.

Annnnd... the whole "Warrior" image, and the capital-letter "Sailor," "Soldier," and "Airman," thing that goes with, seems like so much PR wanking and four-ringer/one-star make-work.

Methinks everyone's been looking at the Marines, and trying to (badly) copy whatever it is that they've got going for them in the institutional culture dep't. You know, other than centuries of genuine tradition and institutional memory.

Now... betting I'll get things thrown at me. Canadian Forces, notorious for stupid uni changes (from the original tri-service greens, onwards) somehow managed to come up with NCDs (Naval Combat Dress). Wear it with a beret, it's walking-out appropriate; with a ship's ball-cap, it's working rig.

And comfortable. And, if you trash it, base store's'll exchange it, for free - and the initial issue's free as well.

Oh, yeah - and ironed creases stay in reasonably well, for postings where the CoC cares. Couple days wear, at least.
Submariners (from memory - never served) wear a Nomex coverall, liberally provided with pockets, pen holders, and the like: this is considered a desirable bit of kit for engineers and other non-sub coverall types.

See links for NCDs...


3/18/2009 11:23 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Fastnav:Except the old BDU Camo pattern apparently doesn't work so well with night vision/IR. Seems the black part of the pattern shows up clear as day on those scopes. That's why there's no black in the ACU, ABU, or Marine Corps Digi's.

So how long did it take for use (meaning the Army, Marines, etc) to find out that the woodland cammo was a bad idea?

Seems like there is black in the new aquafage as well and in the desert cammo too.

God help us, would it be too hard to get all services on one, just one, style of cammo?

3/18/2009 1:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going to stay out of this one, since I'll be stuck buying it soon enough. But...

Today I was waiting to go to a meeting in Bangor. I started to observe the broad variety of uniforms that went by while I was there. I saw Dungarees, the new khakis, and WWBs and about 3 different coats and 3 different hats. In just a few minutes I probably saw 12 variants go by.

As much as I don't like the new uniforms, maybe we ought to get back to having some sort of consistency and look, oh I don't know, uniform.

3/18/2009 7:10 PM

Blogger Lou said...

A few words come to mind when viewing this camo uni that has absolutely ZERO functional purpose:



POG (a term I learned from USMC classmates at dive school)


Whoever came up with this uniform design obviously wanted to play SPECWAR - but couldn't.

You forgot FOBBIT

3/19/2009 5:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

These new uniforms took a long time to materialize. I remember back in 1998 when they were telling us that we were going to have to buy them soon. Does anybody know why it took so long? I'm not sure whether I like them or not. As far as the enlisted uniforms, anything has got to be better than looking like a prison inmate as we did in the dungarees. But how are you supposed to work in these things?

3/20/2009 11:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spent 8 years in the Navy and wore the traditional chambray shirts and bell bottom dungarees. I hated them.

After I got out of the Navy, I took a business trip to Folsom, CA. While I was there, I did some tourist stuff. One outing was to the visitor center at Folsom State Penitentiary. Guess what the prisoners were wearing...Yup...chambray shirts and bell bottom dungarees - THE EXACT SAME STUFF. The brand was Seafarer!!!.

The Folsom visit really made me hated the old uniform.

So, even though I think the new uniform looks corny, I would gladly wear it over the other.

3/20/2009 1:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best story ever - My first patrol on Vallejo, SSBN 658(B). I had earned my dolphins early in the morning the day we were handing the boat over to the Goldies. I had hoped to get them before going home to my wife, but there was no time. No biggie I guess, there would always be the offcrew! Anyhow, my wife had made a needlepoint for me with dolphins and my name and rank, etc. while I was away (she was sure I would be a first patrol qualifier). So I got home and she said she'd wait to give me the gift until I was finally presented after R&R. Well it turns out that my wife had become good friends with the CO and XO's wives, as they did needlepoint as well, in fact they met weekly to work as a "club" I guess. Of course I was only an MM3. So R&R is over and we're in offcrew. I mentioned to the COB that I was due my fish on a couple of occasions, but weeks went by and no fish. I am sure he was busy ordering toilet paper and greenies for next patrol, or whatever it is that COB's do. One day the CO's wife called my wife to see how things were and asked what I thought of the needlepoint she had made. My wife explained that although I had finished the board, I still hadn't been pinned with my fish. That was on a Wednesday, which was always our All Hands muster day. The next morning (Thursday) the Chief said there was going to be another muster that afternoon. So we all show up, they call attention, and then for me to come up front and center. The CO then proceeds to apologize up and down that my pin was so delayed, and that he understood my wife had worked very hard on a needlepoint for me and that he was so sorry and had already called her to apologize, etc. and to please accept his apology. I thanked him and went back into ranks. That was it - dismissed. Well, thank God for Navy wives.....

3/21/2009 8:20 PM

Blogger Loping Squid said...

I don't know about the Zim Air Force, but I hope we got the wear test data from the Ghana police. Same pattern. Personal experience with that one.

3/22/2009 3:16 PM

Anonymous Sean_P said...

Quoted from above: "It's a realy shame that the O-rings are worried about seeing stains on a working uniform because that is just what it is - a WORKING uniform."

This is the thing that really annoys me about the aquaflage. "Yes, TFU, we know that our stupid overemphasis on paint stains on working uniforms is counterproductive, but... we just can't stop ourselves! Please, TFU, save us from ourselves!"

Or maybe we could have, you know, just stopped worrying about the occasional paint stain or grease mark on a working uniform.

4/04/2009 11:28 AM

Anonymous Kevin said...

Admittedly, I'm not crazy about the new uniforms, but I did enjoy command muster on the pier particularly for dress uniform personnel inspection and group photos.

4/09/2011 3:01 PM

Anonymous Marianne said...

Pretty effective data, thank you for this post.

9/14/2012 9:27 AM


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