The Royal Canadian Navy is in the process of creating a new operational uniform.
The existing Navy Combat Dress uniform was designed and developed in the early 2000s, consisting of a three-piece uniform, including a heavyweight jacket, trousers, and a lightweight shirt. The RCN has used this design for almost two decades of use, and are now examining ways to improve the uniform.
“A sailor’s uniform is a source of pride. Wearing quality, well-fitting equipment and clothing are a boost to morale and enables RCN success on operations, which is what makes this project so important,” read the press release covering the announcement.
The RCN and DND are trialling a new design, known as the Naval Enhanced Combat Uniform (NECU), which consists of a two-piece uniform, including a long-sleeved shirt and pants. This design will replace the current operational dress, with features for increased comfort, performance, and a more streamlined fit.
The existing shirt and jacket combination will be replaced by the NECU shirt, which is a heavier-weight.
The new shirt has been developed to have minimized any bulk, and work with current and future layers such as the Naval Wind & Rain uniform.
The pants have been designed with a more modern cut and fit.
The trial uniform is being worn by approximately 400 naval members, with the aim to ensure that the opinions of these members are considered in the final design.
According to the press release, the decision to make these changes were thoroughly researched prior to developing the new design.
Surveys were conducted on the existing RCN uniform, which allowed the research teams to identify any issues and deficiencies.
Surveys and focus groups will continue to be conducted in order to get members’ feedback on the trial NECU and ensure that those issues are addressed.
Members of the RCN can expect to receive the final design of the NECU from Winter 2021, through replacing worn items of the current uniform.
The RCN anticipates that all members should be completely outfitted over the next three years.