The Navy’s surface warfare officers will soon be able to add a service-approved leather jacket to their sea bag.
It’ll be similar to the aviator bomber and is intended to build pride and symbolize the community’s tactical experience, according to an administrative message issued Thursday.
“The Surface Warfare community has a long-standing history of excellence, and a uniquely identifiable item is one way to signify the outstanding achievement and professionalism of our Surface Warfare Officers,” Vice Adm. Richard Brown, commander of Naval Surface Forces, said in a statement.
“Those who wear the jacket will be easily identified as a part of a long lineage of professional ship drivers and maritime warfighters."
The fully-lined black leather jacket is expected to be available in June. It will feature a center zipper and knitted cuffs and waistband.
While the jacket is meant for wear at sea, it also can be paired ashore with a service uniform.
Officers who earn their surface warfare qualification will be authorized to take the jacket with them if they transfer, according to the message.
Lt. Cmdr. Adam Cole, a spokesperson for Navy Personnel Command, said the announcement affects 6,447 active duty personnel, plus 1,565 reservists and 356 full-time support sailors.
Thursday’s uniform update aimed at SWOs follows an announcement in early December that showed the sea service was moving to add flexibility and choices to cold weather apparel.
Courtney Mabeus is a senior writer at Navy Times. Mabeus previously covered the military for The Virginian-Pilot, in Norfolk, Va., where she first set foot on an aircraft carrier.