The wait is over: New crackerjacks are coming.
The Navy’s top officer has approved the long awaited overhaul of the iconic dress uniform, a modernization that officials say will make them more comfortable and functional. Both dress whites and dress blues, worn by E-6 and below, have been updated after a six year trial-and-error effort.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert “has approved the revised designs for the service dress blues and the service dress whites,” Rear Adm. Tony Kurta, director of military plans and personnel for the chief of naval personnel, said in a May 17 interview. “With the crackerjacks, it has been a long road, and that is for good reasons. We did multiple wear tests. We did tests of both different designs and differing materials.”
This is the first update for dress whites — worn by all sailors, with women wearing the combination cover instead of a “Dixie Cup” — since World War II. The uniform takes cues from full dress whites, a version of crackerjacks phased out in 1940.
The new whites now mirror the blues in appearance: They feature a yoke around the chest and black piping on the back bib and along the tailored cuffs at the end of the sleeves. Two stars rest in the back bib’s corners, just like the dress blues. The look of the dress blues, worn solely by male sailors, won’t change considerably. But the wear may be different. For one, getting in and out of the pants just got much faster — a zipper has been installed in the front, rendering the 13 buttons a purely decorative element. Two front pockets are on both sides of the zipper. No changes have been made to the female service dress blues, which has a white shirt and black tie underneath a black coat, in lieu of a jumper.
To see the new uniforms and their features, pick up a copy of the May 28 Navy Times on newsstands now. Or you can subscribe here.