Ever since it was introduced, the Navy’s blue camouflage uniform has been unpopular with seamen everywhere. Now the U.S. Navy is spending millions to dump the useless blue camo.
Almost immediately after the blue and black camo scheme was introduced back in 2008, sailors mockingly named it “aquaflage” or the more sardonic “blueberries” camo and complained that it didn’t actually blend with anything but the ocean. Sailors wondered just how they were supposed to be protected if the only way the uniform helped conceal them is if they were floundering in the water.
Even Navy Secretary Ray Mabus once slammed the camo scheme telling reporters in 2013, “The Navy ‘blueberries’ — I don’t know what the name is, that’s what sailors call them — the great camouflage it gives is if you fall overboard.”
The pointless color scheme wasn’t the only complaint Naval personnel had over the “aquaflage” camo. The material it was made from was also a danger, many said. The cloth was both too heavy and also presented a possible fire hazard in that it melts when exposed to heat, a possible threat to a sailor’s safety.
Now, according to CNN, the Navy has heard the complaints loud and clear and is to spend up to $180 million to eliminate the hated blue and black camo. The derided aquaflage will be replaced with a traditional green and black camo to be called the Navy Working Uniform Type III.
In making the announcement of the new regulations, Secretary Mabus said, “They want uniforms that are comfortable, lightweight, breathable … and they want fewer of them. We have heard the feedback and we are acting on it. As a direct result of Sailors’ input, effective Oct. 1, we will transition from the NWU Type I to the NWU Type III as our primary shore working uniform.”
As a result of the change, all Navy personnel will be required to wear the new Type III uniform ashore or in port by October of 2019.
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