Uniform changes are always hard for the military personnel. It was something we wore every day, so a little change could be a big impact. We got the black beret at tail end of my time in service. The thing was awful. The previous hat was cotton and could be tossed in the wash when it got sweaty from work; the new one had to be dry cleaned. The new one also cost $40–do you know how easy it is to lose a hat?
This particular change the Navy did was bizarre. They wanted the all the sailors to look alike, so they declared everyone would have one uniform–with the default being the male uniform.
Which means with some women, they will have to be several sizes up and do some major alternations. And the Navy has a lot of different uniforms–they have the white one we’re used to seeing and its winter black companion; the camo uniform; the work uniform–all with different hats as well.
Not all women have the same shape, so some alterations are always necessary, even with regular clothes. But changing clothing made for a man’s body to fit for a woman’s body–that’s at least one, maybe two major alterations–on four different uniforms, each with multiple sets.
I spent $25 to have darts put on a shirt so it would fit me better. That was a minor alteration. Even though the enlisted get a stipend (Army was clothing allowance), I wouldn’t be surprised if it only covered the cost of buying the uniforms, not on alterations.
It also amazes me that the men are complaining that the women are being treated as special for asking for clothes that fit and don’t require extensive alterations.