Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (SS/SW) Rick West wears a prototype woodland Navy working uniform during a visit to the destroyer Stethem in 2010. (MC1 Jennifer A. Villalovos / Navy)
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The Navy on Tuesday released comprehensive new rules for the new desert and woodland versions of the digital Navy working uniform.
Among the new rules: Sailors who wear the legacy desert combat utility uniform will switch over to digital woodland cammies, rather than wearing the new desert digital version, which is only for SEALs and support sailors.
So now, a sailor in, say, Bahrain wearing the legacy tri-color desert cammies will switch over to digital woodlands by June 2012.
The Navy has said that keeping the desert digital uniform within the naval special warfare community protects classified aspects of the uniforms. But the Navy is phasing out the old DCUs by June 2012, which leaves most sailors without a desert camouflage uniform to wear in desert countries like Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain and elsewhere.
But that's not the end of it. http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/reference/messages/Documents/NAVADMINS/NAV2011/NAV11259.txt">The new rules state that commanding officers will be able to request a waiver so that their commands can wear the desert digitals, but only by establishing they need a tactical uniform.
Navy Times wants to know what you think. Does it make sense to have sailors assigned to desert countries wear woodland cammies? Should the digital desert uniform be offered to all hands? Or should the Navy develop an unclassified version, which would be similar to the woodland digitals?
Do you think the process for non-NSW units to request to wear the desert version, which must be approved by the chief of naval operations, will be adequate to get these uniforms to the commands that need them?
Please send your comments to staff writer email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Question from NavyTimes.com reader">Sam Fellman. Be specific. Your comments may be used in an upcoming Navy Times article.