Navy officials have changed uniform regulations for female sailors wearing ball caps and will now allow a hair bun through the cap's opening, a June 21 Navy release said.
It's a move that reflects reality, as many female sailors had already been quietly wearing their hair this way for years. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson decided to push forward after a June 6 all hands call in San Diego.
The release outlined several other uniform changes ranging from earring authorization to new uniforms for prisoners in the Navy's brigs.
"Effective immediately you can now wear your cap with the bun through the hole in the back above the strap," Richardson said in a Facebook video addressing the Fleet.
"I think this will be more comfortable and will look a lot better. Thanks to the Lt. j.g. out there for making that known to me. We promised to fix it and now it's fixed."
MT @CNORichardson: All hands call question prompts decision allowing female Sailors to wear bun through ball cap. Details coming in NAVADMIN pic.twitter.com/kYrhAOug84
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) June 8, 2017
The message also authorizes women to wear white pearl or synthetic pearl earrings, as well as round cut white diamonds or white synthetic diamond earrings with their dress uniforms. The earring must be 4 millimeters to 6 millimeters in size.
Navy officials also say the supply of the soon-to-be-discontinued Navy Working Uniform Type I maternity blouses are running thin due to production cuts in preparation for the Type III working uniform becoming available in the Fall. Pregnant sailors can now wear Type III maternity uniforms if they're unable to purchase the Type Is.
Sailors assigned to the Defense Health Agency and Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency are now authorized to wear the identification badges of the commands but only while assigned those units.
Currently, prisoners in the Navy's brigs wear their respective service uniform while confined. Starting in July, however, the Navy will transition everyone, regardless of service, to one of two new "Standard Prisoner Uniforms." Officials say the reason for the shift is to "enhance correctional security."
Prisoners in a pre-trial status will wear a brown uniform, while khaki will be the color worn by post-trial prisoners.
Mark D. Faram is a former reporter for Navy Times. He was a senior writer covering personnel, cultural and historical issues. A nine-year active duty Navy veteran, Faram served from 1978 to 1987 as a Navy Diver and photographer.