The Navy announced the expansion of hair styles for women along with several other uniform policy changes and updates July 11 in Naval Administrative Message 163/18.
Among the several hair style changes is the authorization for women to wear locks. The NAVADMIN provides specific and detailed regulation on how locks can be worn.
Women are also authorized to wear their hair in a single braid, French braid, or single ponytail in service, working and physical training uniforms. The ponytail may extend up to three inches below the bottom edge of the of the shirt, jacket or coat collar. The accessory holding the ponytail must not be visible when facing forward, and be consistent with the color of the hair. The hair cannot be worn below the bottom of the uniform collar where there are hazards such as rotating gear.
Women may now wear a hair bun that does not exceed or extend beyond the width of the back of the head.
Other uniform changes include the approval of the Navy Optional Physical Training Uniform, or OPTU, that consists of a navy blue high performance shirt and five-inch running shorts. The uniform is expected to be available at Navy Exchange Uniform and Customer Care Centers starting October 2018.
Navy is also developing a standard navy blue Physical Training Uniform, or PTU, that will be phased into the seabag issue at Recruit Training Command in the next 12-18 months.
The Black Relax-Fit Jacket (Eisenhower Jacket) has been designated a unisex item and Sailors can wear the men or women's jacket sizing that best suits their uniform requirements.
To allow for greater visibility female Sailors have the option to wear identification badges on the right side above the pocket of their uniforms.
Wear testing of the improved female officer and chief Service uniform skirts and slacks will be complete this summer. Improvements include a straight line Service skirt, and redesigned khaki and white Service slacks with lower waist and reduced rise (waist to top of the inseam). These items are expected to be available at Navy Exchange Uniform and Customer Care Centers at the end of the year.
An improved Black Leather Safety Boot (I-Boot 4) for optional wear with all Navy working uniforms and coveralls will be for sale at designated fleet concentration locations beginning this October. The boots were selected based on Sailor feedback and the 2017 Navy Boot Study.
New uniform policies are the result of fleet feedback and the ongoing efforts to improve Navy uniforms, uniform policies and Sailor appearance.
The Navy Uniform mobile app will be updated in late July. The update will include all of Navy Uniform regulation illustrations, policies and NAVADMINs. The expanded uniform app's goal is to provide one-stop uniform policy access and ability to submit uniform questions links to Navy Exchange on-line uniform sales via the app.
For complete on these uniform policy, details, guidance, and where to direct questions see NAVADMIN 163/18 at http://www.npc.navy.mil.