As Naval District Washington, D.C., moved into winter uniform mode this fall, some Pentagon dwellers are now seeing the green Navy Working Uniform Type III on sailors assigned to the Defense Department headquarters.
That’s due to a policy change that went into effect in August allowing sailors to wear their woodland cammies in the Pentagon, a policy change that aligns with the other services and provides a uniform option beyond the service khakis.
Woodland cammies are still not allowed in the building on Fridays, according to a naval administrative message, or NAVADMIN, announcing the change.
“NWU Type III wear is authorized while commuting to and from work using privately owned vehicles, government conveyance, public commuter transportation (metro bus, metro rail, rideshare, commuter vans, taxis, and ferries), and slug lines outside the Pentagon,” the NAVADMIN said. “Wear is also authorized in office environments at headquarters staffs within the [National Capitol Region] unless otherwise directed.”
Sailors are still prohibited from wearing the working uniform in the National Mall area “bounded by Capitol Hill and surrounding Senate and House Office Staff offices,” the White House and Executive Office building, the State Department, and the monuments and memorials, the NAVADMIN said.
While the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps permitted camouflage in the Pentagon following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the Navy didn’t catch up with the other services until 2019, according to the U.S. Naval Institute.
But the change was short-lived. In July 2020, the Navy issued guidance barring sailors and Marines from wearing their combat utility uniforms at the Pentagon.
The change occurred weeks after Army Gen. Mark Milley, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, apologized for being photographed with then-President Donald Trump in his camouflage combat uniform at Lafayette Square in Washington after authorities cleared out a demonstration following the police murder of George Floyd.
Meanwhile, the Marine Corps changed its policy in January to allow personnel to sport their green camouflage combat utility uniform at the Pentagon — a move aimed at alleviating the dry cleaning financial burden for junior officers and enlisted Marines.
While service uniforms require dry cleaning, sailors and Marines can simply toss the cammies into a laundry machine.
The Navy started to introduce the NWU Type III wear to the Fleet in October 2017. The uniform became mandatory in 2019 as the service retired the NWU Type I’s, known as “blueberries” or “aquaflage.”
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