NORFOLK-- The Navy’s digitized, blue and gray camouflage uniform, worn every day by many of the service’s more than 300,000 officers and enlisted personnel, have been found to be highly flammable.
The Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility conducted tests last October on the Type One Navy Working Uniform.
The group found the garments, made of a 50/50 blend of cotton and polyester, will “burn robustly until completely consumed.”
The results of the tests were released last month.
“That kind of does make me nervous because being around the wrong material can definitely be an issue,” said Personnel Specialist Second Class Jerome Graves.
Graves added, “As far as I’m concerned, until I’m directed or told otherwise, I’ll wear this uniform until they come up with a new one that is less flammable.”
Navy Chief of Information Rear Admiral John Kirby said that the NWU’s, as they’re called, were never intended to be flame retardant and that the 50/50 cotton-polyester blend was decided upon to meet sailor’s requests for uniforms that would provide comfort, ease of wear and durability.
However, now that the results are known, Kirby feels action is necessary. “It would be imprudent, in fact, irresponsible, for us not to take a look at those results and ask ourselves a very tough question, do we need to change the way we’re outfitting sailors?” Kirby said.