The Navy Wants To Know What Female Sailors Really Think About Uniform Changes

Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Seth Schaeffer

Were you not thrilled when the Navy decided to bring back the “Cracker Jack” dress blues in October 2016? The Navy wants to know.

After implementing several uniform changes for female sailors — including a unisex dress cover for officers and chiefs, the enlisted white "dixie cup" dress cover, the choker-style dress coat for officers and chiefs, and the enlisted "Cracker Jack" dress blues — the Navy has decided it needs to know if you actually like them. You know, because it’s better to ask if you want to wear these items after starting to issue and requiring you wear them through 2020, despite the fact initial that wear tests revealed strong opposition.

“Discussions in online forums for female leaders in the Navy suggest that the Naval Academy wear tests were overwhelmingly against the changes,” wrote Andrea Goldstein, a former naval officer.

Protests from female sailors regarding the dixie cup cover led its mandatory wear date to be pushed to October 2018. Outreach efforts and a coordinated refusal by servicewomen to purchase the cap, when then-President Barack Obama signed the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, superseded the requirement to purchase it. What’s more, the sailors’ advocacy made Congress to take notice.

The effort forced legislation that requires the secretary of the Navy to be transparent about the composition of wear test groups and the results, stipulates that wear test groups be representative of female personnel, and identifies costs as a fraction of service members’ pay.

As mandated in the 2017 NDAA, the Navy is now required to survey 8,000 randomly selected female sailors, including active-duty and Reserve sailors of all ranks, about the new uniform items, which were designed to create unisex uniformity among all sailors.

Related: How Female Officers Forced The Navy To Back Down On Uniform Changes »

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told that decision to change the uniforms came about when he realized that it was impossible to distinguish West Point cadets by gender as they marched onto the field at an Army-Navy game.

“The cadets marched out in absolutely gender-neutral uniforms. Mids marched out and you could tell what the women wore by their covers,” he said.

Lt. Jessica Anderson, a spokesperson for the chief of naval personnel, told, "We will conduct a thorough analysis of the survey responses as quickly as possible. The results of this survey will be used to inform the Navy's way ahead on a number of uniform matters we know are of interest to female sailors."

Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

Take $75 off a Casper Mattress and $150 off a Wave Mattress with code TASKANDPURPOSE

And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Karl Munson pilots a 26-foot boat while Petty Officer 2nd Class Gabriel Diaz keeps an eye on a boarding team who is inspecting a 79-foot shrimp boat in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of New Orleans, La., on April 27, 2005

Radio transmissions to the U.S. Coast Guard are usually calls for help from boaters, but one captain got on the radio recently just to say thanks to the men and women who are currently working without pay.

Read More Show Less
REUTERS/Carlos Barria

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.

Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"

Read More Show Less

A low-flying C-17 gave Nashville residents a fright on Friday when the aircraft made several unannounced passes over the city's bustling downtown.

Read More Show Less
George W. Bush/Instagram

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.

In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.

Read More Show Less