Finally, we’ve come to the last new military uniform — the Navy Working Uniform (NWU). Just as the Navy is the last in our series on replacements for the BDU, the NWU was the last new military uniform to be introduced.
The first Navy soldiers to be issued the NWU received their uniforms in January of 2009. The NWU is replacing a myriad of other uniforms formerly used by the Navy, including the Utility Uniform and Working Khaki Uniform. The most exciting change in these uniforms is the fact that they’re camouflage. They are based on the camo patterns of other new military uniforms, and make use of the “digital” camo design. There will be three alternatives for the pattern: primarily blue, with some gray; woodland digital; and desert digital. The primarily blue pattern will be used by sailors more than any other. The NWU will be the required uniform as of January 2011.
The components to the uniform are fairly standard. In addition to the cotton/nylon coat and pants, a blue cotton undershirt is be worn, along with an eight-point cap. The boots for the NWU are the same as those used by the Coast Guard, although non-shined boots will be allowed for activity while not on a ship (otherwise shined boots will be worn).
The NWU is not to be used in combat, as soldiers engaged in combat situations are given tactical clothes to wear. Like the Marine’s MARPAT uniform, the NWU makes use of infrared technology to help those using infrared detect wearers of the NWU (read about the technology here).
Like other new uniforms, the Navy Working Uniform is so new that it’s one military surplus item that’s tough to find. Be sure to check back later, as the uniforms are sure to be available in the future. For right now, you can get some great blue camouflage items right here.
Be sure to check out all the other articles on replacements for the BDU (right here), and let us know which new uniform you like best.
Written by Craig Kent, member of the Best Military Surplus team.