The Navy’s current phase-out of its Type I uniform, know as “aquaflage,” marks the latest in a series of costly outfit redesigns and modifications, CNN explained in a recent article.
Since 2002, the Pentagon has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on uniform upgrades and many of these didn’t last long. Replacing the Navy Working Uniform (NWU) Type I will cost roughly $180 million over a five-year period, a source told CNN.
The military previously relied on two uniforms, but after 9/11 branches began opting for distinct service cammies. This led to the development of seven unique uniforms in different patterns and colors. The new uniforms were designed to meet specific tactical requirements, boost morale, and help with recruiting.
The list of scrapped styles includes the green-and-gray Universal Camouflage Pattern, introduced to the Army in 2005 and replaced by the MultiCam Uniform in 2010. A 2012 Government Accountability Report later revealed the Universal Camouflage, which cost $3.2 million to develop, was never properly tested for its ability to conceal the wearer. Then, in 2012, the Navy dropped the Service Dress Khaki Uniform after only six years. Footwear has changed across all services as well.
In contrast, the Marine Corps has continued to use its Combat Utility Uniform, which was developed in 2002 for only $319,000.
Congress responded to the growing expense by cutting off funding for new camouflage designs in 2014.
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