The United States Naval Academy was chosen as a test site for the Navy’s Standard Cov

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by tankercaptain, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain 5-Year Member

    Jun 28, 2012
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    US Navy Looks to Promote Gender Uniformity, For Example…

    I was driving through Annapolis the other weekend when I saw some midshipmen walking around near the city dock area. I did a bit of a double take because something didn’t look quite right as one of the mids walked past my car.

    To my surprise, one of the female midshipman was wearing a “combination cover”, or the brimmed, flat-topped hats depicted in the top right image.

    Women don’t wear “combo covers”, they wear hats like the one shown in the image on the left. Only the men wear those sort of hats… or so I thought.

    The United States Naval Academy was chosen as a test site for the Navy’s Standard Cover Initiative, which according to a statement by their Public Affairs Office, is part of the Navy’s goal to “further a climate of inclusion for female Sailors and officers and to promote uniformity and professional appearance.”

    As part of that initiative, Naval Academy female midshipmen began wear-testing the male midshipman combination cover (hat) beginning June 26 through the 2012-2013 academic year; and enlisted women in the USNA band are wear-testing the male chief petty officer combination cover beginning Aug. 17 through the 2012-2013 academic year.

    Personally, I think this is a terrible idea and does little except reduce the self-image of the poor woman who has to wear it. However, considering the fact I’m no longer on active duty and I’m not female, I figured I’d ask around and get some other opinions.

    One female officer, and USNA alumnus comments,

    “It’s ridiculous. There’s absolutely nothing to be achieved by swapping covers. You will not gain gender neutrality or parity by requiring them all to wear the same covers. And moreover, it’s distracting from real issues that deserve far more focus than this such as sexual assault, and the combat exclusion laws, and others. Iraq and Afghanistan have proven that our combat exclusion laws are unrealistic for modern warfare. We should be spending time and resources to solving these issues, rather than these empty, and meaningless gestures.”
    Another female officer offered a slightly different view:

    “As a line officer and engineer, the amount of time I wear dress uniforms which might require this cover is quite minimal. It’s also unlikely it’ll ever affect me, so to be honest, I don’t really care all that much. If the Academy wants to make everyone look the same, then fine, but thinking that it’s going to promote a climate of professional inclusion is highly doubtful.
    The fact is, both hats look terrible.
    Men’s uniforms were designed many years ago and they are timeless. Women’s uniforms were designed in the 50s to be in line with the fashion of the day back then. Unfortunately, they are still stuck in the 50s.”
    Another summed it up her opinion in one word… “ridiculous.”

    The fourth officer I spoke to stated:

    “The more we try to make our female and male sailors the same, the more apparent the difference becomes. We are all sailors, but it is ok that our uniforms are different, it doesn’t mean we are less or more capable. It is about looking professional and representing the US Navy.”
  2. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain 5-Year Member

    Jun 28, 2012
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    Ref: (a) COMDTMIDNINST 1020.3B
    Encl: (1) Fit and Manner of Wear of the Male Combination Cap
    1. Purpose. To publish the policies and procedures governing a Department
    of the Navy initiative to conduct a fit and wear evaluation of the current
    male combination cap by female Midshipmen assigned to the U.S. Naval Academy
    and female members of the U.S. Naval Academy Band. This is part of the
    Department of the Navy’s goal to further a climate of inclusion for female
    Sailors and officers. Enclosure (1) depicts the proper wear of the male
    combination cap.
    2. Objectives. The objective is to fit and wear test a male combination cap
    with all female uniforms designated in reference (a).
    a. Familiarize female Midshipmen and USNA Band members with proper wear
    of the male combination cap.
    b. Conduct a test evaluation period and gather feedback from the Staff
    and Brigade of Midshipmen.
    3. Action
    a. Commandant of Midshipmen. The Commandant of Midshipmen is
    responsible for overseeing the fit and wear evaluation for all female
    Midshipmen assigned to the U. S. Naval Academy and female band members
    assigned to the U.S. Naval Academy Band.
    b. 6th Battalion Officer. As Uniform Board Chairman, the 6
    Officer is responsible for the overall training and execution of the SCI at
    the U.S. Naval Academy. Additionally, in conjunction with the Naval Academy
    Business Services Division, he is responsible for supervising the fit
    schedule of the male combination cap as well as collecting feedback during
    the evaluation period.
    c. Naval Academy Business Services Division. The Naval Academy Business
    Services Division shall establish an adequate inventory of male combination
    caps. They shall also schedule the specific fitting dates with the Uniform
    d. Battalion Officers. All Battalion Officers shall be responsible for
    establishing an inspection schedule to ensure that the male combination cap
    is worn in accordance with prescribed uniform regulations, as delineated in
    reference (a) and pictured in enclosure (1). COMDTMIDNNOTE 1020
    13 Apr 12
    4. SCI Guidelines. Guidelines regarding key administrative aspects of this
    initiative are as follows:
    a. Fitting Schedule. The Uniform Shop will begin fitting and
    distribution of the male combination cap to female Midshipmen during the week
    of 16 April 2012. Fitting will be complete by 20 April 2012 with the
    exception of female Midshipmen who are on study abroad or conducting the
    Service Academy Exchange Program. The female members of the USNA Band will
    be fitted following the completion of Midshipmen fitting and will be
    completed prior to Indoctrination Day for the Class of 2016.
    b. Test and Evaluation Period
    (1) Female Midshipmen assigned to the 2012 Plebe Summer Detail shall
    wear the male combination cap commencing on 26 June 2012 in support of
    Indoctrination Day for the Class of 2016.
    (2) Fourth Class Female Midshipmen in the Class of 2016 shall
    commence wearing the male combination cap as directed by the Plebe Summer
    Officer-in-Charge of the Fourth Class Regiment.
    (3) First, Second, and Third Class Female Midshipmen not assigned to
    Plebe Summer Detail shall commence wearing the male combination cap
    commencing at Brigade Reformation on 17 August 2012.
    (4) Female members of the USNA Band shall commence wearing the male
    combination cap commencing at Brigade Reformation on 17 August 2012.
    (5) The wear and evaluation period shall be in effect until this
    notice is superseded or cancelled by the Commandant of Midshipmen.
    c. Single Cover Distribution Policy
    (1) Each female Midshipman and female member of the USNA Band shall
    be issued two male combination caps during this test and evaluation period.
    (2) Fourth Class female Midshipmen in the Class of 2016 will not be
    issued any standard female combination caps, as depicted in reference (a),
    until directed by the Commandant of Midshipmen.
    d. Cost. During the wear and evaluation period, there will be no cost
    to female Midshipmen or female USNA Band members for the male combination
    5. Evaluation and Feedback. Throughout the evaluation period, the Navy will
    collect wear feedback from participants through in-status surveys. The 6th
    Battalion Officer (Uniform Board Chairman) will coordinate the administration
    of these surveys at the U.S. Naval Academy. COMDTMIDNNOTE 1020
    13 Apr 12
    6. USNA Uniform Regulations. Enclosure (1) takes precedence over current
    guidance for the wear and maintenance of the female combination cap as
    delineated in reference (a). There will be no change to the current USNA
    Uniform Regulations promulgated in reference (a) during the wear and
    evaluation period.
    7. Wear and Evaluation Period. The wear and evaluation period will remain
    in effect until otherwise directed by higher authority. Female Midshipmen
    shall retain their female combination caps until a final decision is made
    following the wear and evaluation period.
    R. E. CLARK II
  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Likes Received:
    I noticed this change in photos over the summer and ran into some female Mids in Ireland, they were all 1/C or 2/C. I asked them what they thought. None of them were fans of the change. On the majority of the females the covers looked too large. Females tend to have slimmer faces and necks and the covers just looked huge on them. The females mentioned they have had to alter alot of their standard hair tricks to make the cover fit right. I did notice alot of the female Mids hair did look sloppy so I would like to attribute it to hopefully they are learning to modify their hair tricks of braids and buns. Mids where the combo cover nearly everyday so I do think the Academy is a great test place for this. Uniformity is good, but not sure this hits the mark. But, I am curious to see the results of the study over the year and glad they are doing a trial period, instead of just sweeping change.
  4. COmom

    COmom 5-Year Member

    Aug 25, 2011
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    DD is active duty and would agree with the other women whose comments have been posted. Clothing styles are decades behind, and the men's cover is not flattering to women. The Navy is currently looking at changes to women's uniforms, but so far doesn't appear to understand what the true issues are.
  5. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 5-Year Member

    Oct 27, 2008
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    This is all very consistent with the Navy's seeming obsession with social engineering.

    Female midshipmen have to wear the traditionally male combination cover. Yet, they wear skirts. Dumb!

    From behind, it makes it appear as if it is a male who badly needs a haircut.
  6. suddensam

    suddensam USNA BGO 5-Year Member

    Feb 7, 2012
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    Has there been any new word on this initiative? My son is (obviously) male, so it doesn't affect him directly, other than to the extent that it makes the Brigade as a whole look shabby. I think it would be a great idea to modernize the female uniforms, but simply slapping the male cover on female midshipmen isn't the way to accomplish that.
  7. Craig

    Craig 5-Year Member

    Dec 19, 2010
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    Maybe this year they will have the male MIDS wear the female covers :smile: to properly access all options.
  8. osdad

    osdad 5-Year Member

    Feb 10, 2010
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    My 2/C says the female mids hate them. They made no provisions for differing head shapes or where to put the hair bun. So the round cover doesn't rest cleanly or squarely, covers their eyes (the back gets raised to clear the bun) and there's no good way to keep it from blowing off in the wind. She has no problem looking different cause...wait for it...she is different.

    MIDNDAD 5-Year Member

    Apr 3, 2008
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    It does look odd to see female Mids in the traditional male covers. As my Marine daughter points out it does not get any better in the fleet for female Marines. The female Marine cover makes them look like "train conductors". :smile:
  10. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    I hate to tell you but they told us the same thing in . . . . 1985.:eek:

    And I don't see any significant changes that have occurred since then.:rolleyes:

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