Pregnant sailors can expect better-fitting uniforms in the new year, thanks to a pilot program from the Navy and the Department of Defense to provide maternity uniforms.
The the four-year pilot program will test the idea of issuing expectant mothers maternity uniforms, fully hemmed with all required sewn-on accoutrements and shipped at no cost to the sailor. It launches officially on Jan. 2, 2022, and will support up to 400 service members each year.
“It’s open on a first-come, first-served basis to officers and enlisted in the active and reserve components worldwide,” said Robert B. Carroll, head of Navy Uniform Matters. “Following years may support more sailors consistent with both pilot demand and funding we’ve been provided.”
Participating in the program more than once over the four years is allowed.
Maternity uniforms issued via the pilot program include the Navy Working Uniform Type III and Service Khaki for E-7 and above, and the Navy Service Uniform for E-6 and below.
“Service dress whites and blues dependent upon the uniform needed and the cardigan sweater will also be issued,” the Navy news release stated.
To participate, sailors will need to route a request through their chain of command. Once approved, their local Navy Exchange (NEX) uniform shop will take each individual’s measurements for the uniform items. Service members will then forward the request and measurements for final approval.
Once approved, uniforms will be shipped directly to the service member from the Navy Exchange.
Issued maternity uniforms “may be worn throughout the period of required wear up to 12 months after receipt,” according to the Navy administrative message.
Sailors will be required to turn the items in once their maternity period is over.
The complete process, details and points of contact can be found in NAVADMIN 284/21.
Navy uniform policy updates result from fleet feedback, uniform working group discussions; command sponsored requests and direction from Navy leadership.
Back in June, the Navy issued and introduced its first maternity flight suits for pregnant aviators and aircrew.
Prior to the maternity flight suit uniform, pregnant aircrew had the choice of wearing maternity khaki uniforms or larger-sized flight suits throughout their pregnancies. Wearing larger flight suits resulted in longer hems and sleeves, and, if not tailored for length, these longer lengths presented safety hazards. Additionally, wearing increasingly larger flight suits without tailoring has the potential to present a less professional appearance.
The flight suits have adjustable side panels made of the same material as the rest of the flight suit to provide not only more comfort, but also improve safety and allow female aircrew a customizable fit. A single adjustable flight suit can expand across multiple trimesters depending on each pregnancy, saving pregnant aircrew the added expense associated with purchasing multiple flight suits and tailoring them to accommodate their changing form.Read comments