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, June 26, 2009

Navy Working Uniform Now Allowed Out In Town

I haven't seen the NAVADMIN yet, but the MCPON reports, on his Facebook page no less, that the CNO has approved the wearing of the Navy Working Uniform (NWU) out in town in some circumstances:
Today our CNO approved a revision to the policy that governs the wear of the Navy Working Uniform. Effective immediately, Sailors in most locations can now wear our newest uniform outside the lifelines of our bases and our ships. They can wear it for short routine stops and even at restaurants out in town as long as it's during working hours.
This is a big win for our Sailors and for our Navy. The American public is going to be introduced to this new uniform and our men and women have been eager to get out there and show it off.
Much of the credit for this decision goes to our CNO, Admiral Roughead, and our Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Admiral Fitzgerald. They recognized a need early on to make sure our Sailors knew exactly how to wear this uniform before we sent them out in front of the American public. Our Chiefs trained them and provided the feedback. Now we're ready to move forward and let communities around the country see what a United States Sailor looks like in blue and gray camouflage.
Also, BZ to Fleet Master Chief Scott Benning and the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Chief's Mess. They led the way in getting their Sailors trained up on the NWU and set the standard for the entire Navy.
More details on this can be found in NAVADMIN 188/09.
Have a great weekend.
This is a policy change that really makes sense. As you might recall, none of us really liked the old "can't wear it out in town at all" policy that was first promulgated. I like how the MCPON tries to exonerate the CNO and CNP for the original idiocy, basically saying the previous policy was only in place until Sailors learned to "wear this uniform". I'm sure our Sailors were very challenged on this point. [/sarcasm]

Update 1824 26 June: Here's a more "official" version of the announcement, from the Navy webpage.


Anonymous steve osc usnr ret said...

Gag me.

6/26/2009 7:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


6/26/2009 7:50 PM

Anonymous QMC(SW)(ret) said...

What the heck is "HOOYAH"? So now the Navy has these butt-ugly cammies and a pseudo war cry too?

6/26/2009 8:17 PM

Anonymous LT L said...

While I concur with the previous comments of "Gag me" and "WTF is Hooyah" (from my experience the Submarine Force's battle battle cry is "Go F--k yourself, sir"), it is nice to see a little common sense in the uniform department.

Poopie suits in the H&C 2010!


6/26/2009 8:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought "hooyah" was a battle cry of the SEALs? For the rest of the Navy, not so much, I guess.

Possible as-yet-unidentified SEAL-community readers of this blog: care to comment?

6/26/2009 10:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps it'd make more sense to make the submarine battle cry "Oprah!"

6/27/2009 6:16 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

The official submarine cry:

"Submarines once, submarines twice. Holy Jumpin Jesus Christ. We go up and we go down. We don't even fuck around. Aoooga Aoooga dive dive dive."

6/27/2009 7:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't Navy "Working Hours" 24/7?


6/27/2009 7:45 AM

Blogger Harry Buckles said...

HOOYAH says it all. This asinine uniform has been created by people who failed to consider the centuries old differences between naval warfare and ground warfare. They feel left out because the Army and the Marine Corps have a great opportunity to carry out a clear mission in the desert.

Why must those of us who made the conscious choice to join the Navy have our service distorted by people who wished they had joined the Army? The MCPON should look into the Blue to Green program.

6/27/2009 8:05 AM

Blogger reddog said...

The bloused in pants and jump boots are going to be a big hit out in town---at Gay bars and gun nut militia gatherings everywhere.

I hear those printed cammo designs can be made to display funny messages if you look at them the right way. I'm sure everyone has some good ones they'd like to try out. What Larks Pip!

Are they going to make little jingle bells sewn onto the points of the cap optional? I sure hope so!

6/27/2009 8:34 AM

Blogger Bigbill said...

I'm stationed on the west coast and the uniform hasn't rolled out here yet. I have a group of guys TAD from Norva who are wearing the new uniform. They like the pants, like the ability to remove the blouse and work in the t-shirt (on the ship), but I get mixed reviews on the boots. Most don't like them compared to what were the normal alternatives to official boots (Redwing, HiTech, etc). I have two pair of Redwings that measure 9" tall so I plan on wearing them when we transition.

One comment that I will make based on my experience in the mixed gender of the surface world is: the cut and fit of the uniform makes for a uniform appearance between male and female sailors. Unless they work in a t-shirt.

6/27/2009 10:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This uniform was designed and developed by SPECWAR poseurs, REMF, FOBBITs and general wannabes.

And as far as "Hooyah" goes, I refused to use the term while in Dive School precisely because I knew that it was SEAL lingo and I wasn't (by my own standards) qualified to impose on "their" turf.

6/27/2009 11:44 AM

Anonymous STSC said...

Get a grip.
Hooyah has been in limited use by regular Navy for at least a few years now. On my last boat we finished every 1MC, "Hooyah, carry on." My current boat doesn't use it anywhere near as much, but it is used.

If the origin of the term came from the SEALS, who cares. There isn't a trademark on it and it is different than the Hoo-ah / Hua. Some recruiters are using it w/ their Deppers, so the new generation is growing up with it.

Used correctly, it builds esprit de corps. Something alot of the fleet is sorely lacking.

While I'm still against dropping the wash khakis, the NWU hides stains and everyone I talked to (only CMC's can get them in Pearl atm, or transplanted boats like the Jacksonville that picked them up on the Lant side already) is happy w/ them and says they are comfortable (albeit ugly).

btw, I predicted the shift in wear policy a few months ago in a post here...

Since the Hartford incident, using "Go F- yourself" should soon become a thing of the past. Messages have already flown where professionalism in watchstanding/comms is now a graded metric.

The times, they are a changin'

6/27/2009 3:55 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

Again, por favor, the logic behind a camouflage uniform aboard ship? Stoopid.

6/27/2009 4:28 PM

Anonymous LT L said...


The CO of Hartford personally instilled the "go f--k yourself" ethos in me when he as my XO.



6/27/2009 6:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: stsc and "hooyah," spoken like a true wannabe.

What possible logical reason could there be for anyone in the SILENT service to go around shouting HOOYAH?!

6/27/2009 8:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...using "Go F- yourself" should soon become a thing of the past."

Since this is the third time or so I've seen a reference here to this statement, help us 10-20 years post-Navy guys out a bit: what in the world is up with this nonsense? Back in the day, at least one broken jaw would've been the result for this kind of horseshit if spoken from a subordinate to a superior.

What's the reality out there these days?

6/27/2009 8:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And LT L - sorry, but I can't figure out from your post if your XO instilled it by example or by opression. Please explain further.

6/27/2009 8:55 PM

Anonymous STSC said...

To anon at 8:08
What possible logical reason could there be for anyone in the SILENT service to go around shouting HOOYAH?!
Let's the top of my head:
1) During Command PT.
2) After putting warheads on foreheads - an allowable verbal expression instead of "F--k yeah, we got 'em!"
3) Any time you'd like to say "Amen, Brother!" but now due to BS PC'ness you don't.
4) To describe an enthusiastic sailor, IE "PO Schmuckatelli is full of HOOYAH".

Basically anytime you want to show enthusiasm (see 1-3 above).

To Ducky - Camo makes no sense to me, except that topside watches look visibly militaristic (oooh, scary...NOT) as compared to a couple of guys in utilities, and the NWU will visibly hide dirt, a coffee stain, or a Skillcraft failed pen ink splot better than the utilities. It is also a lot easier to not look unsat while wearing them compared to utilities.

To LT L- If that's what you learned, I'm sorry for the guys that have to serve under you. There is just as much to learn from having a bad XO/CO as a good one, the only difference is in learning which traits you will avoid compared to which you will adopt when leading.

6/27/2009 10:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lt L,

Just to be clear, when you say Hartford CO, do you mean the unfortunate fellow who was recently relieved? From context, it appears to fit better with Portland, late of the Hampton.

6/28/2009 6:19 AM

Anonymous LT L said...

@ 6:19,

Crap, you're right: Hampton. Damn you alliterative naming scheme (shakes tiny fist)! I have another connection to Hartford, and my tiny brain tends to mix it up.

And STSC, this is what I learned:

- Most of the "successful" people in the submarine force are assholes. That's why retention hovered around 19% until the economy went to hell.

- I am not an asshole. Therefore I will not be successful. I should quit this submarine thing for surface or aviation or whatnot.

- NR won't let you quit unless you quit via DD214.

- The guys who make stuff that goes into submarines don't seem to be assholes. And they make more money than I do. And they don't deploy. Maybe I should go hang out with them.

- LT L

6/28/2009 9:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That's why retention hovered around 19% until the economy went to hell."

That is very true. with the exception of the 3 Nuke rates, the CREO for all of our SS rates is going up. It'll be interesting to see what the updated CREO list looks like again a few months.

As for the NWU, it's not so bad. They do hold up well, No starch and yes they hide everything from Hydrolic stains, oil stains and beer stains.

6/28/2009 12:22 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

The question of why the Navy needs camo onboard ship aside, one of the things that has always distinguished the Navy & Marines is not wearing working uniforms on the beach. Very professional. Just look at the Army in fatigues and Air Force in flight jumpsuits in town - pretty crappy.

6/28/2009 1:42 PM

Blogger Greg said...

Been wearing the NWU for a month now. I love them. A hell of a lot more comfortable than the Utilities. I knew they would be as my previous uniforms were DCU's and Woodland's. You wash, dry and wear them. No ironing like you had to do the Utilities.

You can wear any 9" full leather boot(no mesh) so long as it doesnt have the thread over the toe like the old flight deck boot

6/28/2009 1:49 PM

Anonymous EM1 said...

Not wearing them yet in the PAC-NW, however most of us dirty-blue shirts are pretty happy about the idea, if not the execution. I could care less about the camo, sure its ridiculous but are you saying its less ridiculous than the prison inmate uniform we wear now? At least these will hopefully hold up a bit, look the same on most and not get trashed the second I stick a hand in something to do maintenance.

6/28/2009 1:51 PM

Blogger Greg said...

since I cant "edit".

The NWU is the primary SHORE uniform now. Some on the ship will wear them but they will still wear Flight Deck gear and other uniforms on ship.

I see lots of dumb comments about if they go overboard you wont be able to see them in the new cammies, BS, its no different than wearing BLUE coveralls. And 90% of the people on the flight deck will have on a colored turtle neck and float coat anyway.

6/28/2009 1:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You active duty guys will be changing uniforms again in another year or two. The elephants will direct the uniform board to come up with something new to change your image when this psuedo-marine phase expires.

You don't look like sailors. You'all look like smurfs.

I put the blame on all this uniform change nonsense square on Admiral Zumwalt. This is the logical extension of his policy to put sailors in bus driver uniforms. can you imagine trying to "create" hanging locker space on a diesel submarine for 60+ sailors to hang up their bus driver uniforms? Stupid! trying to address morale and image problems with uniform changes...

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


6/28/2009 4:01 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

Don't forget Watkins' ill-fated salt-and-peppers...

6/28/2009 4:20 PM

Blogger 630-738 said...


Give ADM Zumwalt a rest. Very few folks still in charge are remnants of the Zumwalt era, so I seriously doubt any desire to change uniforms can be attributed to him anymore. The changes implemented now are from a completely new crop of idiots aching to make their mark. Interestingly enough, the service survived the Zumwalt era, and it will survive this one as well. Eventually, tradition will return.

As for "Hooyah", sailors can claim it all they want, but it belongs to SEALS. Other sailors sound foolish when they try to use a battle cry used by SEALS, plain and simple.

BTW, my official submarine battle cry is the one Rubber Ducky quoted. Hooyah will never be heard from my mouth, ever.

6/28/2009 6:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You don't look like sailors. You'all look like smurfs"

I've got to tell you, I'd rather look like a smurf than a prison inmate. I'd like it better if the NWU had been developed in plain navy blue, but I understand why they went with the stain concealing pattern.

I know this is going to come as a huge shock to some of you khaki's out there, but the W in NWU stands for Working- as in this uniform was designed with wrench turners, rather than flashlight wielders in mind. Also, it's past time for the Navy to start looking like the military, instead of a combined janitorial/ ice cream service.

If only they would put Dress Blues/Whites in a formal occasions only box (sort of like Marine Corps/ Army Blues), and put a light jacket on the NSU, we'd almost have it.

6/28/2009 6:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Sailors like them, then that should be good enough. Glad to hear the Navy finally had some common sense and let them be seen out in town.

And who cares where "hooyah" came from?

6/28/2009 8:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And who cares where "hooyah" came from?.

Right, it's fucking stupid no matter where it came from.

6/28/2009 9:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Battle cries are f***ing hokey in any capacity. I find the "F YOU" battle cry to be much more appropriate for the submarine community, and more congruent with the submarine mentality than any of that stupid boot camp noise.

6/29/2009 12:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

STSC mentioned "hooyah" at "Command PT." I'll bet that's a freaking sight to behold - a bunch of pasty faced, jelly rolled (for the most part) submariners huffing thru 5 eight count body builders, sucking in enough wind to squeal, "HeeHaw."

6/29/2009 6:10 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

"I've got to tell you, I'd rather look like a smurf than a prison inmate."

This argument would hold more water if sailors were still wearing dungarees. The utility uniform, WORN PROPERLY, is a very professional looking uniform that says "Sailor" a helluva lot more than blue BDUs. Now sailors look like confused soldiers.

"I know this is going to come as a huge shock to some of you khaki's out there, but the W in NWU stands for Working- as in this uniform was designed with wrench turners, rather than flashlight wielders in mind."

I know this is going to come as a huge shock to you, but you already have a working uniform- Coveralls. They're cheap, durable, and are perfectly suited for the shipboard work environment.

"Also, it's past time for the Navy to start looking like the military, instead of a combined janitorial/ ice cream service."

So you would rather copy the remainder of the services than wear a unique, easily recognizable uniform that says "Sailor?" You should have joined the Army/Marine Corps/Air Force. The funny thing about that, they all have their OWN UNIQUE UNIFORMS. They didn't have to copy other service's designs so that they could "look like the military."

"If only they would put Dress Blues/Whites in a formal occasions only box (sort of like Marine Corps/ Army Blues), and put a light jacket on the NSU, we'd almost have it."

Here we partially agree. I have always cringed when I saw a sailor come to work wearing their white or blue jumper uniform for work. These are DRESS uniforms, and should be treated as such. There is a reason folks snap their heads around when a Marine is seen in his dress uniform. Besides it's sharp appearance, it's rarely seen. Sailors should do the same. As for the light coat with the NSU, not sure what you mean there.

6/29/2009 6:22 AM

Blogger Jarrod said...

There is one overwhelmingly good thing about these uniforms: they hide dirt well. I didn't even have to be doing work on the boat for my khakis to get filthy. Just resting an RPM on my lap or brushing up against something would get a gray smudge on them. I can just imagine how it is for the guys cleaning an MG. Actually, I don't have to imagine; I've seen it lots of times. Nasty stuff. At least with these there's a chance you don't have to replace them all the time because of dirt that doesn't wash out.
Don't think I'm talking down about the men here; they worked really hard on cleaning and the result was noted by just about every flag to come through on a tour. We were in an overhaul - real dirty place to be.

6/29/2009 7:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 6:16,

The USN image to the American publics mind is rooted in the sailor in crackerjacks or dungarees as worn for generations. Picture the statue of the lone sailor in dress blues, peacoat, whitehat, seabag by his side. Now picture todays lone sailor statue in his Navy Working Uniform.

The Navy Uniform Board is nothing more than the "fashion and entertainment" department that keeps todays sailors saying, WOW! ain't the new duds cool, and leadership at all levels spending a lot of time on uniform issues at the expense of the "real business of the Navy."

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


6/29/2009 11:15 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

"The USN image to the American publics mind is rooted in the sailor in crackerjacks or dungarees as worn for generations. Picture the statue of the lone sailor in dress blues, peacoat, whitehat, seabag by his side. Now picture todays lone sailor statue in his Navy Working Uniform."

Even better, picture the Lone Sailor in a khaki shirt, black trousers and a black garrison cap! Oh wait, that would be the "Lone Marine."
I've said it before and I'll say it again.. Tradition will prevail.

6/29/2009 12:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agee with the Rubber Duck on the Submarine Cheer. It seems to not be too PC now though. Last time I heard it it seemed half the khakis about puckered up. I'd proudly sing it anytime 2 Bubbleheads get together. And I'd proudly buy RD a cold frosty also!


6/29/2009 8:17 PM

Anonymous Spade said...

"There is one overwhelmingly good thing about these uniforms: they hide dirt well."

Or, they could go with working uniforms that make sailors look like sailors (and not a third world police force).

And then, and this is the real revolutionary part, accept the fact that (1)working uniforms get dirty and (2)you can't always look like you're on a parade ground.

6/30/2009 1:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've read the navadmin. all it does is align the wear rules for the cammos with the utilities.

6/30/2009 7:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So when did wearing a dirty uniform become a criteria for making it a good uniform? Stupid idea. A submarine sailor makes us proud in the latest All Hands magazine (OR NOT!). Trousers unblosed, looking like a wrinkled potato, with a stupid ball cap (unauthorized in NWU) under his kevlar helmet.

Stupid uniform. There was a day when dungarees were fairly comfortable, very cheap (you stenciled your name on them and didn't have to pay $40 for name tapes and sewing) and could be very easily replaced when they became soiled or torn. When you paint or do dirty work you wear a tyvek suit or working coveralls (not Navy coveralls which turned a $20 working uniform into a $75 affair). Give the new uniforms a year when they all start to get ratty then hear the screaming when you make a sailor go pay over $100 for one new set.

By the way, the salt and peppers would have been much more appropriate then the stupid black and tans. Every other Navy in the World wears them, why not us. God forbid we look nautical. We are after all in the business of taking ships to sea. At least I think that is our business.

6/30/2009 7:24 PM

Anonymous dave said...

This makes me laugh, mainly at the hypocracy of our fine navy leaders. The initial reason we weren't allowed to wear them out on town was because they wanted to make sure we could wear them properly. So they have now determined that everyone knows enough about them to wear them properly out on town? Even those areas which haven't made the transition?

Navy leadership really needs to figure out what it's mission is. I'm getting tired of buying new uniform items...

r/Soon to retire Nuke LDO

7/01/2009 9:02 AM

Blogger Jarrod said...

I hear a lot of concern for looking like sailors, but I hear very little about acting or working like sailors. Could it be the concern here is just a little misplaced? Of course it turns out that anyone wearing the official uniform of a sailor will look like a sailor by definition so the entire argument is inane anyway.

7/01/2009 5:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got my July 2009 "FRA Today". On page 26 there is picture from Branch 43 Long Beach CA. In the picture next to a Marine Sgt. are two, I think Navy recruiters in their new Black and tans. Not a pretty picture compared to the Marine. check it out!!

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


7/02/2009 11:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

History repeats....

July 2009 NIP, pg 12, FROM THE DECKPLATES, by Senior chief Jim Murphy USNRET. the Senior Chief recites the same litany of complaints about the new khaki/black uniform for ALL sailors that I heard when ADM Z's bus driver uniforms went into effect in 74/75. Plus one more. Loss of the tradition of "tacking" on the crow to new promoted 3rd Class PO's. Contempt for our uniform heritage is alive and well in the Navy today.

Check it out!!


7/06/2009 3:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son-in-law, the ADC, just made the change to NWU a couple of weeks ago. His command, at Mayport NS allows them to be worn off-base. Not sure of the restrictions, I'll ask.

I did kinda piss him off; he came over to the house on the way home from work to drop something off. When he got out the car, I asked him if he'd transfered to the Air Farce :) I won't tell you what his reply was. Bottom line, he likes them. No, he doesn't "work" when he has to get his sleeves roled up, in his NWU.


7/12/2009 11:29 AM

Anonymous Ernestine said...

So, I do not really consider it may have effect.

9/01/2012 3:09 AM

Anonymous Joleen said...

Surely, the guy is totally just.

9/19/2012 8:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm enlisted right now and if I ever said "go fuck yourself" to a chief. Standby to standby motherfucker

6/05/2013 11:50 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

I miss utilities


12/11/2013 8:40 AM

Blogger nhzero said...

I miss my coveralls I wore for 5 solid years in the engineroom. Liked them better stenciled with pewter devices, but oh well...

2/13/2014 4:30 AM


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