The Navy is introducing several uniform changes in 2023 — including a new, lightweight safety boot and adjustments to the maternity service dress blue coat.
The changes come as the Navy is starting to distribute a new two-piece, flame-retardant uniform billed as the “primary at-sea” option for sailors. The uniform, known as the two-piece organizational clothing uniform, or 2POC, will become more widely available to sailors next year.
Recruits at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Illinois, received the I-Boot 5 as a seabag requirement starting in October, and the shoe is expected to become available to the rest of the fleet in April 2023.
“The I-Boot 5 is a lightweight constructed safety boot, black or brown with full inner lining, steel toed, and smooth outer leather,” according to a naval administrative message released Dec. 20. “The I-Boot 5 is suitable for wear in multiple Navy environments and weather conditions afloat, airborne, and ashore.”
“Existing NWU boots, to include the I-Boot 4, will remain authorized for wear as long as serviceable,” the NAVADMIN stated.
The Navy is also rolling out a new maternity service dress blue coat, which will now feature some adjustable options for pregnant sailors and is expected to become available in the summer of 2023.
“Design improvements to the maternity Service Dress Blue coat will incorporate adjustable side tabs to align with all existing maternity uniform tops,” the NAVADMIN said.
Supply chain issues have also prompted the service to introduce an alternate physical training uniform fitness suit – one that doesn’t include reflective piping. The alternate design fitness suit jacket is expected to hit the Navy Exchange Uniform Center in December, while the accompanying pants are expected in May 2023.
“The alternate design fitness suit is of the same basic design, color, and Navy logos as the standard fitness suit, but without reflective piping,” the NAVADMIN said. “Sailors may wear fitness suit jackets and pants that do not match with respect to reflective piping but are advised to wear a reflective belt or vest when wearing the physical training uniform to conduct outdoor physical activities during reduced visibility hours.”
Several other uniform initiatives are also underway, although it is unclear exactly the timeline for when they will take effect. For example, the Navy is launching a size standardization effort to improve the fit of uniforms so only hemming alterations are necessary. The initiative is currently focusing on female slacks, skirts, shirts and blouses.
Stemming from the sizing standardization initiative is the development of two new female overblouse concepts, for optional wear with female officer and chief petty officer summer white and service dress blue uniforms.
“Concepts are currently in their initial development phase and will be showcased during size standardization fit demonstrations and concept advertisement articles via media publications,” the NAVADMIN said.
Additionally, the Navy said it is working on an “improved” black fleece liner and jacket to replace the current black fleece parka liner.
“The new fleece liner and jacket concept encompasses two zippered side pockets, an attached rank tab, and weather resistant fabric that is suitable for wearing as an outer garment during most weather conditions,” according to the NAVADMIN.