Can you explain the process of how you designed the uniform?

The Navy Senior Enlisted representatives closely collaborated with Naval Special Warfare (NSW) and proposed features of the uniform to provide the most capability to the Sailor. Further inquiries regarding this question should be referred to Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Public Affairs.

To ensure the military uniform will last, it must be resistant to tears, abrasions, water and fuel; able to withstand repeated washings; thermal insulated; moisture vapor and air permeable; and must not melt when exposed to heat.

The difference between the uniforms is the embedded Anchor, Constitution and Eagle (ACE) emblem which is only found in the NWU Type II/III.

What were the requirements/capabilities for this uniform?

To provide tactical uniforms for two main potential operating environments (woodland and desert), increase probability of mission success and survivability in combat and irregular warfare operations due to reduced signature in these operational environments.

Why does this uniform not include flame resistance (FR) as a feature?

The NWU Type II/III are not inherently FR.  The Navy has leveraged the USMC's work in developing and employing Flame Resistant Organizational Gear (FROG) that complements the NWU Type II/III.  Expeditionary Sailors that require FROG are equipped with additional FR equipment aligned to their mission.

How were the colors of the uniform determined?

The Personal Signature Management (PSM) efforts included investigation of several technologies and commercial off the shelf products that were available.  Field and laboratory analysis of those technologies revealed which colors are most likely able to provide the lowest possible visual signature given the most likely terrains and environments Sailors are expected to operate in.

How and when were the new uniforms previously tested?

Naval Special Warfare Command executed a 2003-2006 SOCOM funded program investigating improvements in PSM.  More than three years of field/operational testing verified the pattern’s effectiveness and the features of the garment design.  Subsequent testing in reproducibility of the fabric with pattern and prototypes were conducted in 2009-2010.  In the summer of 2010, a conformance test was conducted to validate form, fit, and design before initial production of the uniforms began.

What are the new uniforms made of?

The fabric is a blend of 50 percent Nylon and 50 percent Cotton Ripstop.  It is also referred to as NYCO. The boonie and helmet cover are made of a nylon cotton twill.  The parka is made of laminate and codura.

Did Sailors complain about anything during previous testing?

Yes, and their feedback has been incorporated into the uniforms. There were significant complaints about the use of rank insignia on the mandarin collar when it is up. There was irritation and chaffing; it was difficult to access the thigh cargo pocket when seated in a vehicle; use of a pistol holster attached to the riggers belt is awkward due to the placement of the belt loops; pocket flaps still wing up on the corners; drawstring waistband was not as comfortable as the elastic waistband; trouser button fly and cargo flap buttons could easily tear without reinforcement.

Isn't Velcro noisy (the original reason for having buttons instead)?

Design improvements of the Velcro system have reduced the noise signature when opening. Tactically, the flap can be quickly secured while gloved due to the inclusion of Velcro.

Did the war fighter have the requirement for the ACE?

No. The requirement for the ACE was not intended to provide enhanced mission capability. The ACE was included to provide consistency with the NWU Type I while providing a professional looking Sailor. The Type II/III under the Personal Signature Management (PSM) is just one part of the overall program, we have not begun to develop or adopt SOCOM/NSW products to fulfill the PSM requirements.

Are we talking about NLI way ahead with service common gear that include load carriage, body armor carrier, packs, etc.?

Not every Sailor requires the benefits the uniform provides with PSM, but provides commonality across the force and interoperability with other services. If and when we get a requirement to provide matching print gear, we will pursue optimal signature management. However, this would require Navy to abandon common solid coyote brown gear and manage/procure gear for each camouflage print.

Doesn’t the solid coyote brown personal protective equipment such as body armor deter from the effectiveness from the pattern?

Yes. Although not optimal, the coyote pattern is minimally acceptable to both the Type II and III uniforms and allows a one system solution to be usable.

Are the new uniforms considered more "stylish" than the ones currently in use? Was this a concern?

The uniform was not designed to be more stylish. It was designed to provide better capabilities to the Sailor.

Why can’t the Sailors just wear the NWU Type I while in the field? Aren’t they just going to be on bases behind the fence?

The NWU Type I is a standard working uniform and not tactical organizational clothing. It was not designed to perform as one. Sailors operate globally independently and with USMC and U.S. Army forces on the ground both behind and outside the wire. Today’s battlefield is dynamic and asymmetric.

Are the insignia sew-on, slip-on, or pin-on?

The insignia are slip-on for the blouse, parka, and fleece. 8-pt covers have sewn on insignia.

Many Sailors complained about the NWU Type I.  How are these concerns/ recommendations incorporated into the design of NWU Type II/III?

Coordination between NAVFAC, OPNAV, CFT, and NCTRF ensured we are including the best of breed in the tactical features to be evaluated during the conformance test. During and after the conformance test, test candidates indicated what features they liked best and what if anything would lessen the ability to accomplish the mission. After the Conformance Test, the best features were incorporated into the approved final design.

Is this uniform combat proven?

Yes. Naval Special Warfare Command (NSW) executed a 2003-2006 SOCOM-funded program investigating improvements in PSM. More than three years of field and operational testing verified the pattern’s effectiveness and the features of the garment design. For additional information, contact NSW PAO.

How will the sleeves be rolled up (inside or outside)?

The sleeves will be worn just like the Type I. Intent is to be consistent across the family of NWU uniforms when practical.

What are the Velcro patches for the exterior shoulder flaps for?

Infrared reflective tape to identify friend/foe; Joint environment sometimes dictates use of identification or marker. Future improvements for Velcro on the shoulder flaps will utilize patterned Velcro loop to further reduce the visible and IR signature of the shoulder flaps.

Explain the purpose of the flap and Velcro beneath the left collar?

It helps secure the neck area when wearing armored vests or to assist in MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) levels in CBR (Chemical, Biological, Radiological) defense.

What is the reason why the Navy is introducing two different uniforms?

In 2006, the CNO saw a need to improve their tactical uniforms and announced this via NAVADMIN 070/06. The most important improvements are the increased capability for mission success by a significant reduction in signature thus improving personal safety. The uniforms also offer the best option to protect our forces and maintain our tactical advantage now and into the future.

Why is there only one warfare device on the uniform during the conformance test?

Multiple warfare devices do not improve the performance of the uniform; the additional cost to include all of the warfare devices earned by Sailors is not relevant to the scope of the conformance test.

How are we addressing concerns with velcro closures?

Some expeditionary forces within the Navy have a requirement for parachute insertion operations. Velcro was never designed to be a permanent closure but more of a quick closure when required. NWU II/III are designed to handle harsh environments in all terrains.

Is there a Merchant Marine insignia?

The Merchant Marine Insignia has been disestablished by OPNAVINST 1534.1D. The replacement insignia - Strategic Sealift Officer Warfare Insignia (SSOWI) - will soon be reviewed by the CNO for approval. Upon the CNO's approval, availability of the new insignia to the Fleet will take approximately 12 months. A NAVADMIN will be released with associated details.

Other Service Related Questions

What capabilities does this uniform provide that the other service utility uniforms (CUU, DCU, ACU, ABU, MCCUU) do not provide or provide as well?

The NWU Type II/III provides increased performance and mission success, the lowest signature available, and increased personal protection in jungle/woodland and desert/tundra environments.

How do I buy this uniform?  What about when I get promoted or earn warfare qualifications?

Since it is Organizational Gear, your command will buy and outfit you with it.


What is the predicted lifetime of the new uniforms, and how does that compare with the old ones?

The average life of a CUU blouse is 13 months before problems are observed. The new uniforms are expected to last just as long. The blouse and shirt are designed for 180 days of wear. Due to multiple blouses and shirts issued per sailor, these should last just as long as current CUUs. However, some design features were incorporated that should extend the service life of the garments and reduce the potential for required field maintenance.

What will happen to old stocks of the CUU and DCU?

DLA Troop Support (DLA TS) will decide what to do with the legacy uniforms. DLA TS has indicated they will support the Navy's uniform programs.

What is the largest waist size that this will be made in?

Same as the Type I. Special sizes can be provided, but must be coordinated through the program manager.

Is it possible to receive a complete listing of all of the items and national stock numbers that are associated with the new Navy Working Uniform Type II/III?

Yes, please visit the NWU Type II/III Guidelines page for details.

As the uniform ages, is there a way to repair the Velcro tabs as they become clogged and worn out?

There will be maintenance instructions provided to help with the care of the Velcro (and other aspects of the uniform). The Velcro is not intended for day to day use, but rather as a quick method to secure the flap when conditions do not allow for the time to button the flap. The primary method to secure pockets is to use the buttons. Use the Velcro cover sewn into the top seam of the back of the pocket in order to disengage the Velcro closing method. Use a toothbrush to clean the velcro. And also use the velcro covers hidden inside the pocket to cover the velcro when laundering.

Do these uniforms integrate with tactical vests and other personnel protective gear?

Yes. In fact, it was a key design element in the uniform from the beginning.

Are maternity uniforms available?

Yes, they are available only in the Type I and III

How do I submit feedback on my opinions, recommendations, or observations of this uniform? Who do I submit my feedback to?

Use your chain of command and/or submit comments via the Contact Us page. If you desire a response, please indicate.

Why is it hard to get certain sizes of items for CUU and DCU?

The contracts for these items either have expired or are about to expire. DLA Troop Support has indicated they will support the Navy's uniform programs. The sizes that are hardest to get are those that are most common.

Can we buy this in the NEX? Why not?

NWU Type II/III's are defined in the Navy Uniform Regulations as organizational clothing. These uniforms are to be issued to Sailors by the command only. They are not available for sale to individual Sailors.

Navy Exchange Bahrain and Djibouti are the only locations that are approved to stock and sell NWU Type III uniforms to authorized commands. ***Individual sale is not authorized.*** Only commands on the authorized list of users can purchase Type III uniforms. Refer to NWU Type II/III Guidelines for additional information on procurement.

NWU Type III 8 Pt Covers are available for sale at multiple NEX locations as a convenience to Sailors. Individual Sailors may purchase the covers with their own personal funds; however, they are not required to pay for organizational clothing.

It appears I cannot use my left pocket flap properly because I have a second warfare device sewn through the pocket flap.

The bar tack on the pocket flap should be removed before the tailor shop sews on the warfare device. And then re-install a bar tack at that location to ensure proper pocket flap function. Instructions have been provided to KYLOC and the Navy Exchanges. If this becomes a nuisance, simply use the Velcro as the closure method for that admin pocket.

My new Type II/III feels warmer than old DCUs. Why is this?

Both uniforms are made from the same material. And the colors between the two are similar (overall light brown for Type II and overall green for Type III), although the pattern of DCU has large areas of light brown. The age/care of the material can be an impact. DCUs that have been worn for months and washed dozens of time will have different comfort traits than brand new uniforms that have not been broken in yet.

Who Can Wear

Which uniforms should Seabee/CEC assigned to a Marine Corps base wear, NWU Type IIIs or MARPAT?

It is up to the installation commanding officer (ICO). There are generally two options. First, the installation can issue the sailor MARPAT uniforms. Second, the installation can purchase NWU Type IIIs from DLA using PWD/installation funds. See Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 6, Section 5, for all regulations pertaining to naval personnel serving with Marine units.

What does “units in direct support” mean for Type II?

On policy related matters, please contact the Uniform Matters Office per NAVADMIN 259/11.

When and where will they be used, and by how many Sailors? Will they be used in Afghanistan?

On policy related matters, please contact the Uniform Matters Office per NAVADMIN 259/11.


Will there be a regulation that will prohibit the dry cleaning, starching, and pressing of the uniform?

No. However, NAVADMIN 259/11 specifically details care instructions as well as the garment. Sailors are not authorized to deviate from those care instructions. Dry cleaning, starching, and pressing the garments will lessen the performance of the item.

Is there a regulation that governs the wearing of the new NWU Type II/III?

See Navy Uniform Regulations and NAVADMINs 188/09, 374/09, 259/11, and 366/11.

Can the wear of Type II & III be allowed in DC except for the Pentagon and other high level meetings?

See the NAVADMIN for new definition specific to NWU for the National Capital Region.

Can we wear the Fleece as an outer garment? If so, how does one identify rank/name?

Sailors will be able to wear the black NWU Type I parka fleece liner only with the NWU Type I 90 days after the release of NAVADMIN XXX/11. The NAVADMIN also contains the proper wear of the liner. The coyote brown fleece liner is authorized as an outer-garment with Type II and III. Rank will be identified for E4 and above. Names are not identified.

What kind of accessories can be worn with the NWU Type II and III?

NAVADMIN 374/09 addresses the kinds of accessories that can be worn with the NWU Type II/III. NAVADMIN 259/11 addresses this in further detail.

Can I keep my uniforms once issued to me?

Organizational clothing is defined as any protective equipment, safety clothing, or accessory loaned to an individual by a Naval activity for which there is a requirement above and beyond authorized Navy uniforms. It remains the property of the Navy and is returned to the activity when the individual is transferred. Contact your command for unit level policy and practices on consumable organizational gear.


Are repair kits available?

Repair kits will be provided to units in the 10% extra inventory. Repairs kits are available for the blouse/trouser/cover and parka. An extra button is provided on the inside front seam of each blouse for future sewing repairs in case a button is lost/damaged.

What is the correct placement of the primary warfare device?

Primary and secondary warfare insignia positions will be as prescribed in Article 5202.2.C.(3) of the Uniform Regulations. Primary warfare insignia is always worn above any other insignia on the left side of the uniform. Normally, it is worn just above the US Navy tape. However, if a uniform has both an identification badge (such as a Command Master Chief), and a secondary warfare device, the badge is placed on the left pocket flap, the secondary device is above the US Navy tape, and then primary device is above the secondary device. Wearing more than two warfare devices is not authorized.

Why is the SEABEE logo on the right pocket and the image of the logo reversed?

Approved Force logos are only authorized on the right chest pocket to be consistent with the appearance of the Type I uniform. The logo is reversed in order to look toward wearer’s the heart.

What if my unit previsuly wore CUUs but it has not been identified on the force/unit fielding list in the NAVADMIN?

Please use Contact Us page for assistance.

Conformance Test Results

What did the conformance test results indicate?

The result of the conformance indicated a preference to version two of the uniforms tested. This is the version with the center rank tab, canted pockets, elastic waist, and tapered pocket flaps. Some improvements resulting from the conformance test include: raising the calf pocket, the pocket flaps are stitched together for easier opening, adjustable Velcro covers are attached interior to the uniform pockets, and other minor improvements.

What units participated?

The conformance test had 159 participants from ACB, EOD, RIVRON, UCT, 1NCD, CBMU, MDSU, NECC headquarters, NAVELSG, NSW, and NAVFACHQ.

What were some of the functions/conditions that the versions were tested under?

The uniforms were tested in the field while the users worked on their daily functions and also training exercises. Activities performed during the test included training and certification, combat training, construction, diving/swimming, counter-terrorism, EOD, administrative functions, and other expeditionary skill sets.

What kind of response rate did you get from testers?

There was a 74% participation rate for focus groups and a 48% response rate for online surveys. These response rates are considered high given the test population.

What were the problems identified during testing resolved in the final design?

There was an issue with the calf pockets bunching when bloused and not being accessible. There was another issue with the pocket flaps not stitched together and thus hard to open with a gloved hand or with one movement of the hand. The elastic on the waist was said to be too tight. The shoulder pocket flaps winged up.

What features or adjustments were made to further improve the recommended features?

The calf pocket was raised to meet concerns. The pocket flaps are tacked together for easier opening. Hinged Velcro flap covers were added to the pockets with combination buttons and Velcro closures. The elastic on the waist has been adjusted. A belt loop was added to allow ease of wearing holsters. Ribbon buttons are being used in the fly area and cargo pockets to reinforce strength and increase range of motion. The shoulder pockets were moved toward the front of the blouse.

Why was the center tab rank insignia chosen?

The center tab rank insignia was chosen for tactical and safety reasons. It was determined that since this is considered a tactical uniform, the functionality of having a center tab rank, which prevents chafing of the neck of by the mandarin collar when also wearing a collar rank insignia was more important than identifying the specialties and rank of the individual sailor. Chafing can occur when wearing the collar up when the Velcro is secured across the neck. The collar is worn in this configuration when wearing body armor or CBR gear.

Is the uniform designed primarily for tactical purposes first, garrison functionality second?

Yes. This uniform was designed primarily for tactical purposes first and all the design changes took that into consideration. We consider this a modern uniform for the Expeditionary Navy that will increase mission success and survivability.

What is the purpose of the Velcro flap cover for the button-velcro pockets?

The pockets are intended to be secured with buttons for daily use. The Velcro provides a quick closure in operational situations and can be secured while wearing gloves. The Velcro flap cover can be tucked into the pocket when needed tactically. When the Velcro flap cover is engaged, the buttons should be the primary feature used to secure the pocket flap.

Why isn’t there Velcro on the back hip pockets?

Velcro is not on the back hip pockets because those pockets are intended for administrative purposes.

What is the purpose of the ribbon button on the fly and cargo pockets?

The ribbon buttons improve the trouser durability and range of motion. In testing, it has been shown that the buttons on the fly and cargo pockets are the principle locations of initial failure. The ribbon buttons extend the performance of these higher use areas and offer greater range of motion than traditional buttons.

Why not angle the chest pockets? The other services do this.

Access of the chest pockets when wearing body armor, whether straight or angled, is impractical. The chest pockets are primarily used for administrative functions. Further, the pockets are not angled to maintain the same appearance of NWU family of uniforms.

Why is the cargo pocket canted?

The cargo pocket is canted to allow easier ergonomic access by the sailor when sitting in a tactical vehicle. The angled bellows offer greater storage capacity in the pockets as well.

Why not wear staff corps or enlisted specialty collar devices?

These devices are not critical to the tactical performance of the uniforms. Collar devices were removed from the uniform design due to chafing of the neck and in order to provide a central focal point for identifying name, rank, and service.



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