The CNO's Rationale and What's in Store
"This wasn't a popularity contest by any stretch. But we would have been foolish not to consider the opinions of the men and women who will wear these uniforms. It was very clear to me during recent visits to the fleet -- through the informal polls I conducted at all hands calls and on the mess decks -- that Sailors are ready for a change, and not just for change's sake. I believe they honestly desire better and more professional uniforms than the ones we are issuing them today. That matters.
There will be critics, to be sure. I'd be surprised if there weren't. And I'm OK with that -- as long as they realize we went about this the right way and for the right reasons. This was about reducing the sea bag and outfitting Sailors for a new century in crisp, professional uniforms that more closely reflect the joint and combined warfighting environment in which they operate.
The bottom line for me, however, is culture. Uniforms reflect our culture -- who we are -- what we stand for. They identify the team. And I've said all along that no matter which way we decide to go with respect to TFU, I want Sailors to look like Sailors. I really believe these uniforms pass that test."
And, with respect to the future:
"I have directed TFU to consider in Phase Two the cost and feasibility of additional uniform options, to include a Service Dress Khaki uniform for chiefs and officers; the use of a ceremonial cutlass for E-7 to E-9; and a service-wide physical training uniform. TFU will also continue efforts already underway to evaluate and study current officer and enlisted dress uniforms and investigate the practicality of adopting a service-wide all-weather coat."Service Dress Khaki, eh? Okay, maybe that's a fair trade for wash khakis. And I've always thought chiefs should rate a cutlass.