This may come as a shock, but the Navy is rolling out a new uniform.
Over 600 of the Navy’s newest sailors donned the latest duds — the updated service dress whites — during a May 5 graduation ceremony at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois.
Featuring noticeable blue accents, along with new side and front zippers designed to make changing in and out of the uniform easier, the first SDW redesign since 1980 made a positive impression on those in attendance, according to a Navy release.
“I like the change in the blue piping as it adds character to the uniform and makes it look dressier, compared to the old jumper top,” recruit band and choir conductor, Musician 1st Class Joseph Moore, said in the release. “The fit is more athletic along with the zipper allowing for easy removal of the jumper top.”
While the trouser design remains unchanged, the top “consists of a jumper flap with navy blue piping on cuffed sleeves, stars and navy blue piping on the navy collar, and a yoke,” a Navy release said.
“The new dress whites look really sharp and I wish I had them when I was a petty officer,” said Chief Gunner’s Mate Morgan Morgan, recruit division commander. “The contrast looks really great and I think it looks a lot more accurate to the historical Sailor uniform.”
The gender-neutral uniform design continues to reflect a Navy that eyes sailor equality above all.
“Embracing the uniformity of the way we look is one step closer to accepting the equality in the way we serve,” said Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Juliana Gomez, recruit division commander.
The new getup was first issued to recruits in October 2017, and will be standard issue for sailors E-6 and below by Oct. 31, 2021.
Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.