Aiguillettes are now approved for wear with the Navy working uniform. (Navy)
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An April 1 fleetwide message that streamlines six years’ worth of wear rules regarding the Navy working uniform also adds two new ones: more boot options aboard ships and a new accessory worn by aides to high-ranking officials.
The six-page NAVADMIN 084/13 replaces 33 pages of documents on NWU regulations released since 2008. Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens said in a February interview with Navy Times that having the information in one easy-to-access place will better prepare sailors to correctly wear the NWU.
There’s also a 16-minute video that includes primers on rolling sleeves, blousing trousers and properly wearing covers.
Know your ropes
Sailors authorized to wear an aiguillette can don them with their aquaflage at the discretion of the CO, the message stated. The ornamental braided cords were not previously authorized with the NWU; the change was made to present a uniform appearance among service, working and dress uniforms, said Lt. Hayley Sims, spokeswoman for the Chief of Naval Personnel.
Aides to high-ranking officials — including the president, vice president, defense and Navy secretaries, and flag officers — are authorized to wear aiguillettes, as are others covered in Chapter 5 of the uniform regulations.
Sims could not provide a number for how many sailors are authorized to wear the device, nor could she say how sailors would clear a hurdle provided by the message: The aiguillette can be worn over the NWU blouse or parka, but sailors aren’t allowed to pierce the parka shell.
Sims said the solution would be “determined by the commanding officer that authorizes wear of the aiguillette on the parka.”
Boots at sea
Sailors at sea may have more flexibility in boot types, if their commander gives the go-ahead. Of the three boot types authorized to wear with the NWU:
The 9-inch, rough leather steel-toed boots can be worn at sea, with CO approval. They previously were shore-only.
The 8-inch aviation flight deck boots can be worn by all flight-deck personnel, again with CO approval. They previously were limited to sailors in the aviation community on flight duty status.
The smooth leather boots remain authorized for ship and shore duty.