Home » Budget Industry » Congress Questions Navy’s Plan to Phase Out Iconic Peacoat


Congress Questions Navy’s Plan to Phase Out Iconic Peacoat

The statue “A Lone Sailor” by Stanley Bleifeld wearing the iconic US Navy peacoat.

Congress is questioning the Navy’s decision to phase out the peacoat – its best-known piece of outerwear – as part of its 2018 budget deliberations.

In August, the Navy said it would make the wool double-breasted coat optional in sailors’ seabags starting in 2018 and replace the maritime wardrobe staple with a synthetic black cold weather parka. Sailors can still wear the peacoat after the transition but the uniform shift and its potential effect on U.S. manufacturers have raised concerns with lawmakers.

To that end, the House Armed Services Committee’s proposed defense bill requires the Navy to justify their decision rooted in protecting the industrial base.

The panel is “concerned this decision was made without considering upgrades or alternatives to the traditional pea coat or an impact to the nation’s domestic textile industrial base,” read draft language in the HASC bill.
“The committee notes the importance of a stable domestic textile industrial base to produce garments such as these and encourages the Department to take into consideration, when making decisions about uniform changes, such an impact upon the domestic textile industrial base, including the small businesses that provide critical contributions.”

The concern is in part due to the money involved with the change. The manufacturer, Boston-based Sterlingwear, was awarded a four-year contract with options of up to $48 million to produce peacoats and overcoats for the service in 2015.

“The U.S. Navy phase out of the traditional Navy peacoat will result in several hundred lost jobs, and could mark the beginning of the end for New England woolen manufacturing,” Sterlingwear VP and chief operating officer David Fredella told the East Boston Times-Free Press in March.
“We believe that the U.S. Navy was unaware of the collateral damage of their decision to phase out the wool peacoat by replacing it with a 100 percent synthetic parka. It will not only result in the closing of manufacturing facilities and lost jobs, but it will also impact the ability of the woolen trade industry to satisfy other U.S. Military wool clothing requirements.”

While Sterlingware is the current manufacturer, the peacoat has been a naval staple for hundreds of years and popularized by the U.K. Royal Navy, military uniform historian Jennifer Daley told USNI News last month.

The first mention of the garment was found in 1731 Royal Navy uniform manual and was adopted by the U.S. Navy which is still rooted in British naval tradition.

“A peacoat or pea jacket was historically the mainstay of the sailor’s cold weather gear and maintained its fashionable reputation for centuries, to today,” Daley told USNI News.
“The pea jackets of 1731 were required due to the expansion of the British Royal Navy into the northern Atlantic and other extreme regions of the world where cold weather gear was required.”
For its part, the service said the parka was a more versatile and lower cost option for sailors moving forward.

The decision, “as predicated on the desire to reduce current Navy sea bag uniform component requirements and reduce cost to the Navy’s annual uniform budget,” read a statement from the service to USNI News.
“The Cold Weather Parka was determined a suitable substitute because of its more modern appearance, light weight fabric and inclement weather (rain, snow and cold) protective qualities/characteristics. The parka was also selected for its versatility in being able to be worn with service and dress uniforms and civilian clothing.”

While the parka might make the best fiscal sense for the service, Daley told USNI News the change would be stepping away from its heritage by removing the coat from the seabag requirement.

A U.S. Navy officer wearing a traditional peacoat. US Navy Photo

“If the U.S. Navy were to delete the sailors’ peacoat from its required uniform kit, then the Navy would essentially be deleting a part of history, a fashion that is strongly identifiable with sailors, an item of clothing that has been used for centuries as a recruitment tool,”
“New sailor recruits always gladly anticipate their first pea coat. The Navy can still move forward with technology and strategy while still maintaining its strong sartorial past.”

  • PRONESE

    Oh, That will go over well at RTC Great Lakes in the dead of Winter. The Pea Coat and Bridge Coat should stay in the Seabag IMHO…

    • Gary Rice

      froze my butt off on the grinder at great lakes in Feb 69 I still have my peacoat !

  • Mentok The Mindtaker

    Yes, please continue destroying tradition in the Navy! Brilliant idea! Next, get rid of the dixie cup! After that, get rid of that silly bell thing! That one that goes ding-ding!

  • Chuck

    200+Years of tradition uninterrupted by progress.

  • CurtNewton

    Has anyone in the Monument to Murphy’s Law even consider the co$t to enlisted sailors to purchase a Pea Coat? What about the Bridge Coat? Is that going away too??

    • vincedc

      They get a uniform allowance. Officers take the hit.

  • Curtis Conway

    I really begin to wonder what the mindset of the US Navy Chain of Command is when they embrace concepts like this today, when pieces of HiStory start disappearing that are utile, function well, and are an Iconic part of who and what the US Navy is and represents. If this upgrade is all about costs, then I would say “you get what you paid for”. We will trade American workers for those overseas to save a buck? It would seem the Chain of Command wants to turn the US Navy into to something that looks like any other navy on the planet, and of course ‘It Is NOT’! Bad move when considered from every direction except for perhaps cost.

    • The US Navy – a global farce for good (as in from now on).

    • Chasseur1814

      Unfortunately, part of this decision is about “rent seeking”. The Berry Amendment requires all uniforms to be made in the USA. So whether a wool Pea coat is made in Massachusetts or a high tech synthetic jacket is made in Montana, they both will be made by American workers. While I loathe seeing the Pea coat (Reefer for officers) go away, and think it is a dubious decision; it is in large part political payback for all those liberal politicians from the “Bay State” dissing the US military over the years. Why send tax dollars to “Blue” states that hate the military when they can go to “Red” states that love, support, and more importantly vote for increased military budgets.

      • Curtis Conway

        Move the wool coat production.

      • Sara Bernard

        Your assertion that the military is “hated” by blue states simply because they don’t automatically vote for increases in military expenses is rather unfair. As an active duty military member who happens to hail from a blue state, I have to disagree. It was Norfolk, VA, not San Diego that had signs saying “dogs and Sailors, stay off my lawn.” Historically, VA’s been considered quite red, and has only made a shift in the last few years due to populations shifts to the Capitol area.
        But I digress. Voting against military increases does not mean that the military is not respected, rather it could mean that they see that the increases in military spending are meant for new equipment instead of more people or better training, leading into a weakening of our forces.
        Additionally, we need to invest in our schools and public infrastructure. That money has to come from somewhere.

    • Duane

      Yup, the Navy should remain as it was 170 years before you were born. That’s the way to defend America in the 21st century, alright.

      Navies are measured on one scale only – how well they defend their homeland and win naval wars if necessary. Pea coats, or the old dungarees that I wore back in my day, have zilch to do with that.

      • Curtis Conway

        Stood many a watch wearing my Peacoat and it never failed me, as it has not for over longer than I can remember. All traditions are not necessarily good, but some, like take care of your people and they will take care of the tasking (Leadership) NEVER change. Peacoats are Rock-Solid and a recognized icon of the the average US Navy Sailor. I recall the same argument that took away our Crackerjacks and put us in the Milk Man outfit. What a tragedy, and now the US Navy wishes to repeat that tragedy. What a fraud that was . . . I joined the Navy looking at a recruiting poster with a Crackerjack clad sailor, and the US Navy put me in a Milkman outfit.

        I’m an Aegis gas turbine sailor who loves my Crackerjacks and my Peacoat, so excuse me when I muse about how perfectly functional it is in doing its job.

        • Mark

          I still wear mine (it still fits). Got it in 1966 when the pocket liners were corduroy.

      • Fred Gould

        Tradition counts for much and cannot be measured in dollars.

        • Duane

          Tradition is nice, but clearly ranks far below the needs of the service including the needs of the sailors.

          • Bill Tremewan

            No reason why needs and tradition can’t go together.

  • CharleyA

    The Navy has had some missteps in uniform changes. But if the change is a practical improvement in comfort and protection, it should be done. Saving a dying industry is not a valid justification

  • Ctrot

    The Peacoat should be kept, but for traditions sake not to save a few jobs.

  • Probably done to get a jump on “global warming”. They really should also consider bringing back Bermuda Shorts to the officer’s tropical wardrobe. Of course women would look much better in short skirts rather than Bermuda Shorts; the shorter they make ’em the more dough they can save on material costs. That’s the ticket – really short skirts.

  • Ed L

    A good and bad idea. Having Spent many Quarterdeck Watches. On some days the Peacoat was okay and other days it plain suck in keeping one warm. Once I even abandon mine to wear a mustang suit while standing OOD in port. Weather was 5 degrees F with Wind 20 MPH and ice rain. I had two Peacoats one of them was one size larger so I could layer clothes under it. I remember running boats one time a bowhook fell off the boat. He almost drown due to his peacoat. but he was able to get it off.

    • Kevin Lane

      If you would have worn the proper clothing, you would have been warm as toast…T-shirt, Navy wool sweater, Dress Blues, Peacoat, and gloves. I went through boot camp in the middle of winter at Great Lakes in 72. The clothes were made out of 100% wool , as was the Peacoat. Not like the 60/40 % of today.

      • Secundius

        Apparently “Nylon” is cheaper to buy, than ~200,000-pounds of Natural Wool on a Yearly basis…

  • Jim A McPherson

    I did 5 years in the Navy and I loved my peacoat. I loved it so much they I never wore it, it was too nice. It was also really heavy, took up damn near half of the sea bag, and people were always having to replace them because they are expensive and sailors steal from each other. I still wear my peacoat now proudly wherever I travel somewhere cold but I honestly believe there is room for improvements on the design.

  • skye pilot

    What fool places money over sailors lives? 100% fake fabric burns quickly while emiting toxic fumes! The USN should consider safety above finances.
    Wool and wool blends are superior in many ways. Protect our sailors, nylon is for parachutes.

    • El Kabong

      What fool doesn’t know about Nomex?

      It’s what flight crews and armored crews wear.

    • Smart Cookie

      yeah because there’s only one kind, smart guy.

  • muzzleloader

    I was issued my Peacoat in 1974. And wore it on Liberty in Chicago to shore patrol in Hong Kong.After my Naval service I wore it through for 4 years of college and Ohio winters. I wore it on a couple of occasions after that, and got compliments on it. It hangs in a back closet now, but it still looks good enough to pass down to my son. One of the best government issues ever. I would hate to see it go away.

  • Timo

    She looks stoned.

  • Chasseur1814

    I stopped actually caring about US Navy uniform decisions when an idiot CNO years ago decided sailors should wear a khaki top and black pants instead of just going back to “salt & peppers” (which most navies in the world traditionally wear and which would have required no new uniform designs, expenses, or an expanded sea bag). Mark my words, senior Navy managers (and I purposefully used the word managers, because there is a dearth of senior leaders in the Navy today) will soon have Sailors in some sort of silly futuristic Star Trek uniform with no regard to tradition and the importance it plays in esprit de corps.

  • Old Navy guy

    Let’s see now: a warship named after a congress critter who’s only accomplishment was to get shot, khaki and navy blue enlisted uniforms, PT “uniforms;” yup, let’s change something else. Why even have uniforms? Just let the “sailors” decide what to wear. It would be a great expression of progressive freedom. If the Navy does away with peacoats, how are chiefs going to be able to tell young sailors to get their god damned hands out of their pockets?

  • Weagle97

    Good riddance. The pea coat sucked. It took up too much room in a sea bag, wasn’t versatile, and cost more than it was worth. This decision should have been made in the early 1900s. It is sad it took us another hundred years to move on. I bought the parka over a year and a half ago and have never looked back. It is great and about the only uniform item in my current sea bag that I can say I’m proud to own.

  • Richard Turner

    It not about losing jobs it is about tradition the us navy has had this garment for hundreds of years it makes the sailor look sharp and it stands out congress needs to fix health care and not worry about the navy and its uniform I still have my pea coat I am retired from the navy since 84

  • Rick Dillard

    I thought the stupid ideas went away with Mabus but apparently not. Why doesn’t the senior Navy leadership concern itself with fixing the officer corps (i.s., the ongoing and repeated issues with Fat Leonard,sexual misconduct, financial mismanagement, etc.), for one thing, rather than trying to rid the Navy of an important part of Navy culture going back hundreds of years? The last two decades of Navy leadership decisions on uniform matters has made the United States Navy the laughingstock of all of America’s armed services. Which genius thought camouflage uniforms were good for the Navy? I can see it for SEALs and SEABEES but not the fleet. Who thought the office uniform emulating Marines was a great idea? Why can’t you come up with original ideas supporting the traditional values of the Navy rather than emulating the Marines? Why is it the Marines are always leading and the Navy is always following? If stupid ideas like this are the best you can do then retire and go live with your stupid ideas at home. Everybody knows making a uniform item optional is simply the first step in eliminating that item forever. Didn’t you people learn anything from that debacle of last year in trying to eliminate Navy ratings? We are proud of our heritage – QUIT TRYING TO DESTROY IT! Here is a stupid idea for you, if you are in the officer corps and assigned to the Washington, D.C. area change the eagle on your officer emblem you wear on your cover to a turkey or a chicken as your actions more closely resemble those fowl (foul?) and their perceived traits. Don’t change it for all of the officer corps as there are damn fine officers out there that have not been corrupted by the political correctness and ineptitude shown by those presently in D.C. and they are our hope for the future.

    • Jeff Kindrick

      Let’s not be denigrating the wild turkey. It is a proud, independent bird and during the mating season displays red, white and blue! Ben Franklin thought the turkey a better choice for the national emblem than the bald eagle.

      • Rick Dillard

        Yeah, you’re right. Substitute “kingfisher” for “turkey” where appearing. Kingfishers are known to eat their young and only worry about number one. It is more appropriate.

  • vincedc

    Using that logic, we should bring back battleships and bi-wing airplanes. Tradition is nice, but once you have had to pay to have a pea coat dry cleaned, you start to wonder why we have to pay extra for a coat when more efficient and warmer designs and fabrics are available. Sterlingware can bid on the contract and keep its industrial base alive, or pay lobbyists to cling to the past. Bottom line, is what is best for the sailor and the taxpayer.

    • muzzleloader

      Battleships and bi/planes? Hyperbole thy name is lol

  • David Blauw

    Still have mine from long ago aboard USS Coral Sea CV 43 5th div.gunner. 74 77 RIP Coral Sea

    • David Mcleod

      did you know a little guy named Mark Grummet he was on the Oriskany fifth div when she was moth balled i was a gunners mate 5th div

  • MLepay

    Well change always happens. In my opinion it should probably be optional, it was never good underway, a deck jacket or utility jacket worked better even if I had to layer underneath. I will say on shore duty in Great lakes the peacoat was great and looked sharp. I do have a soft spot for the coats in general, when I made Chief my Father gave me his bridge coat (he bought it the same year I was born!) and had never worn it. He had to have it for a commissioning ceremony or some special event, and because of the weather he carried it on his arm one time and it never came out again until I got it. Still have it and throw it on occasionally on cold upper mid west winter days. I am all for tradition but if there is a better product for less money and is made here then hopefully the design is good enough to be someday considered iconic too.

  • Liberalismsucks

    LEAVE OUR TRADITIONS ALONE! YOU IDIOTS!

    • Proud Enlisted /retired sailor

      I have had my Peacoat since 1957, it’s pretty tight now but it’s still useful. When did Officers ever wear Peacoats . At least they could have had a picture of an enlisted person that actually wear them.

  • Michael Lopez

    The Peacoat is tradition. I am tired of my Navy trying to “Go Modern”.

    • Mark Tercsak

      My neighbor a World War 2 vet, U.S.S. Wabash. Used to say Wooden Ships and Iron Men,
      Now adapts it’s Iron ships and
      Wooden men.
      The Pea Coat should stay.

      • Secundius

        What it comes do to is Cost! One Pound of Premium Wool costs ~$263.34 USD. While Nylon costs ~$5.00 USD per Square Foot. And 36-ounces is used to make a Wool Pea Coat or ~$527.27 of Wool. And the US Navy purchases ~50,000 Pea Coats/year or ~$30-Million USD (probably MORE). Which do you think the “Bean Counters” like Paul Ryan is going to Purchase…

  • ABHC(AW/SW)

    The people who want to phase it out have obviously never stood shore patrol in the winter in their blues. No, you wouldn’t wear it with NWU’s but watches are still stood in Dress Blue’s.

  • EM1

    Please for the love of God STOP CHANGING THE UNIFORMS. PICK ONE AND STICK WITH IT. First blue camo, now that’s not good enough, so let’s go type 3. We already know that doesn’t meet requirements for shipboard use. Then we come out with new coveralls, doesn’t meet requirements. Now we have the new improved frv. It upsets me that all money wasted in this uniform fiasco could have put to better use. Last I heard, Congress was debating cutting our payraise to balance the dod budget. Better yet, stop wasting money on constant uniform updates!

  • b2

    The knuckleheads would have mandated a synthetic, aquaflage, pea coat if they could…
    Go back to traditions, or fail again, you fools. That is the only thing that will turn this crap around. We did it after Carter and we can do it again after Obama. Have some Cojones…

  • David Mcleod

    dam congressmen always fucking with the sailors uniform when i was in over 40 years ago they switched us from cracker jacks blues they gave us those stupid look alike officers uniforms then when i get out they switched them back leave the p coat alone dam it

  • mark1016

    The Navy, in the last few years, has tried to eliminate many of the traditions that made it a unique service. The Navy, by its very nature, is different from the other services and their uniforms should reflect that fact. BDUs for sailors is ridiculous. Dungarees are cheap and comfortable and easy to maintain while shipboard. Now they want to do away with the peacoat? What are these idiots thinking?

    • Duane

      So you prefer pea coats that are anything but cheap and comfortable and easy to maintain shipboard, as compared to modern textile parkas? The idiots aren’t the ones that want to drop the pea coat.

      • Mark E Mangus

        I still have mine and it is 40 years old!

        • Duane

          Still got mine too, still sitting in my seabag for the last 39 years since discharge .. and which I never wore more than once or twice on duty in 6 years.

          The only time in my Navy service that I needed cold weather gear, I didn’t need a dress coat … and when it got really cold, we wore parkas anyway (on the polar ice cap).

          • Mark E Mangus

            We always wore them on quarterdeck watch during the winter.

        • Ray Flo

          I wore my for a few decades in Minnesota winters toasty and still looks new.

    • kenward42

      I always thought that the denim jeans, and blue chambray shirts were very comfortable, and practical.

  • William Beal

    WOW!! More uniform craziness!! Wonder how the Navy fought wars in the past with only one sea bag
    per sailor!! I remember when all of my sea bag fit into a little foot locker at the bottom of the 3 racks
    in the berthing compartment. Foul weather jackets were issued as appropriate out of ship’s allocation.
    Uniforms were worn overseas as civilian clothes were not allowed aboard ship except for officers. Keep
    the Peacoat as aside from military installations and formal inspections – nobody wears them off-base anyway.

  • Marty Tarver

    I wore a Peacoat proudly for years. I also had a green Nomex flight jacket and a brown leather bomber jacket. Why can’t they just add the new coat and allow it to be optional? At the sailors experience, cost the tax payers nothing. Everything is always all or nothing, my way or no way. I guess it depends on what district you represent in Congress.

  • Johnny Seattle

    Officers do not wear a Peacoat. Their version is called a “Reefer”. I was proud to honor the traditions and heritage of the Sailors who came before me. Nowadays the newcomers just want to trash the past.

  • Mike Carlton

    Wool is a renewable resource, keep it.

  • Brian Tucker

    I have to admit being upset when I read the headline, then I remembered that I haven’t pulled my peacoat out of the closet in over 20 years. It’s not the most practical coat, though I’m pretty sure it’s the heaviest!

  • Tom Stuart

    My peacoat was issued in 1955. I still wear it in cold weather. My issue sweater has worn outbut I got a replacement one in a surplus store. They are still my winter rough wear. Times change. If the new parka is practical it may be time to move forward. While I enjoyed the look of the crackerjack the milkman was more comfortable and practical. My 13 button pants go in the same catagory

  • Joseph Dadi

    I wore mine exactly one time, to see if it fit in boot camp. Granted I was stationed in San Diego… if I were north, probably would have worn it all the time. Uniforms should be functional/practical first, then down the decision tree give some consideration to history and tradition.

  • Harold Nichols

    Leave the peacock alone. I was in when Zumwalt put us in suits aND then four years later we went back. Leave some items alone and the first one is the EA COAT.

  • Glenn Baxter

    I read the comments of others and find them fair and accurate. What I disagree with is the cost factor and how much cheaper the new so called foul weather coat costs. I went to the uniform support center site and found that the Pea Coat cost under $200 while the foul weather coat was over $321. According to my math, the foul weather coat costs over $100 more. My first pea coat was issued to me over 45 years ago and was the warmest coat I ever owned. Even the newer version I received decades later kept me warm. Granted they are a little bulkey, they still do the job over any other outer garment even when WET. I have served with USMC and now the Coast Guard Auxiliary and by far, PEA COATS RULE! Just my two cents.

  • Western

    You are on watch at night in the North Atlantic, wearing your spiffy synthetic parka. Your synthetic deck shoes slip and you fall in the water.
    Is there anything yellow-colored or international orange? Reflective tape?
    There is a fire on board, and you are part of the damage control party. Is your synthetic parka flame-resistant and heat resistant? If it catches on fire in the berthing compartment, does it give off toxic fumes?
    Or does it only look good at the front gate and in the Pentagon?
    Does it absorb oil? Can it withstand the industrial laundries aboard ship?
    I am open-minded to a point regarding uniform changes, however, if they do not make functional sense, and if they are done too frequently, it starts affecting the mission. Mattis should get on this, there are much bigger things to focus on at the moment.

  • Machia

    The Navy is ditching tradition . The Navy has embraced diversity over meritocracy now in many areas . What is happening to my Navy ?

  • Geoff Harvard

    Ditch the silly blueberry camo utilities, and keep the peacoat.

  • RobM1981

    Suddenly Senator Warren and her friends are pro-Navy? Interesting.

    From a technical perspective, the peacoat isn’t the finest cold-weather outerwear. It’s good, but in many conditions there are better choices.

    What the peacoat IS, is… style. Pure, gorgeous style. On a man; on a woman. You see a Navy peacoat and you know that’s a sailor. A sailor who looks *goooood*.

    Shore leave matters. Give the sailors the tools to get the job done.

    😉

  • Grim Reaper

    You might as well get rid of the Blue Jackets Manual, or the Crackerjacks.
    Leave the Pea Coat alone!!! Leave it alone!!!

  • Wardog00

    Since the coats became available in the 18th century, you have it backwards. Like all progressive, your logic is faulty. The rest of your comment is nonsense.

  • muzzleloader

    Go find another forum to troll, idiot. Put on some clothes, get out of your mom’s basement and get a job.

  • You’d think they would be spending time on other issues like LCS, CVN FORD, BMD or other more important issues than an iconic uniform item that isn’t broken… UGH!

  • James B.

    The wool peacoat is an iconic uniform item for dress purposes (ashore), but the GoreTex/PolarTec/etc parkas are clearly better on ships. Therefore, keep the peacoat as a shore uniform, but cut the deployment seabag to a minimum.

    A big Navy problem is the idea that we should be taking service/dress uniforms to sea. When I last cruised, I carried khakis, whites, blues (and all the shoes), and the uniforms I actually wore. The khakis were never worn, whites were worn once when we manned the rails at Pearl Harbor, and the blue jacket was worn (with PT shorts) for the cruisebook photo. For the remainder of the deployment, those uniforms wasted closet space.

    If the Navy was smarter, and focused on preparation for actual combat, the CO, XO, and CMC would be required to deploy with uniforms for dignitary visits, but the rest of the crew would be in working uniforms and nothing else, with no need to store or fuss over unnecessary uniforms.

  • seamarshal

    About time!! CG got rid of it years ago. Get modern and come into the 21st century Navy!!

  • The only item I have left of my original sea bag issue, 6/15/62 , is my P-Coat. Moved buttons outboard a little and still fits. Every ship had a P Coat locker in crews berthing. Enough foolishness. We spent 28 million dollars for uniforms for the Afgan army. I wonder how many P coats that would buy at $200.00 a piece. The actions of our Navy leadership makes me again and again want to puke to leeward. That is down wing for you new 21st century sailors. MMCS(SW)(SS) USN Ret. PS – CPO’s and above wear Reffers ,P-coats with gold buttons. Also there is a long overcoat called a bridge coat. Kept me BIGLY warm in the winter in Newport RI.

  • Jeff Kindrick

    My issue peacoat was stolen shortly after joining VA-97 at NAS Lemoore in 1970. My dad, a WWII Seabee, gave me his which fit better, had an extra pair of buttons on the chest and a collar tab that could be buttoned across to hold the collar up for wind protection. I wore it exactly once on duty, in Norfolk on a 20 degree February night in ’71 loading cruise boxes in the hangar bay of the Enterprise. I had that collar tab buttoned across and remember one salty looking old Chief that stopped and did a double take, then gave me just a hint of a smile before continuing on his way. I wore it quite a bit when home on leave in Montana, and later in civilian life, and still have it in the hall closet. Have to say though, when the weather gets cold up here, which can be -20 F or lower, it’s the light weight hooded waist length parka beside it that is pulled off the hanger. I respect tradition and believe the peacoat should remain an optional uniform item, but for serious foul weather a modern, fire resistant and lighter weight alternative would be my choice.

  • Donald Carey

    All these comments and no one hit on the real reason: PETA. Can’t have animal products, you know!

  • Richard Heidecker

    One way the Navy could save money is to disband the group that justifies their existence by constantly changing the uniforms. The have changed uniforms totally ignoring tradition and not necessarily for the better. I keep asking exactly why sailors at sea need camouflage uniforms … exactly who are they hiding from??? Dress blues were easy to care for as were dungarees and chambray shirts. The pea coat kept many a sailor warm during those mid-watches on the pier or deck. Please quit messing with what works and wasting money in the process.

  • Ryan Vegas Purser

    Get rid of it. Since leaving A school 8 years ago, I’ve worn it exactly once.

    Since liberty attire is no longer a uniform this coat is a waste of sailors dollars.

    As far as the industry it affects…. Welcome to the free market, adapt to change or go out of business.

    The folks who made dungarees did.

  • Ike_Kiefer

    Interesting that the question to Congress is not framed as a military one about equipping our sailors with the best technology, but a political one about protecting jobs in Massachusetts. Very well, let’s analyze this politically. Only 419 sailors in the active duty Navy hail from Massachusetts. However, Virginia and California supply over 41,000 each. More than 10,000 come from Washington State, and more than 5,000 from Texas. Looks like Massachusetts is in 23rd place for who should manufacture Navy uniforms. I’m sure Elizabeth Warren will be sorry to hear that.

  • Ed L

    Maybe we should dump all of it. combine the Armed Forces into one unit. Call it the North American Union Defense Forces. Europe wants our troops they pay a Hundred Grand a year for each one. A million a year for each Armored Fighting Vehicle. Two Million a year for an Aircraft.

  • Secundius

    I suspect this decision is by the “Bean Counters” on Capitol Hill, then the US Navy!/? The US Navy procures ~200,000-pounds of Natural Wool per Year, at a Cost of ~$8.00/pound or ~$1.6-Million USD. Nylon is CHEAPER…

  • El Kabong

    Ah, “chemically bonded to long chain fibers”…

  • Secundius

    New Peacoat replacement “Doesn’t” go into effect until 1 October 2020. And is expected to cost ~$321.46 USD, compared to the Traditional Wool Peacoat price of ~$145.50 USD…

  • Knights Hawk

    The issue should be what affords the most protection and is the most comfortable for sailors, not keeping any single industry in business.

    • Secundius

      Probably something like the Helly Hansen Odin 9 Lightweight Exposure Jacket, which has a Minimum Temperature Rating of ~ Minus 40F. Currently One of the BEST Jackets on the Market and Comparably Priced with the US Navy Replacement Peacoat of ~$300.00 USD…

  • John

    First off, in what world is it the United States military’s responsibility to support the textile industry? Anyone who thinks this way needs to reevaluate their ideas behind the purpose of armed forces. Second, I have not worn my peacoat since boot camp. It is a heavy, poorly cut uniform item. In six years I have yet to see it donned with any regularity. I bought the Eisenhower jacket so I didn’t have to wear that awful coat. They have the new parkas at the uniform shop now and they look pretty nice. I’d rather pay a bit more for a well made parka. Most people concerned with tradition in these instances are those who are already out of the navy and nostalgic. I still have to wear these uniforms. I prefer something modern and comfortable. I’ll pay a couple extra bucks for something I’ll actually wear.

  • Rexford L

    The most memorable time I wore my peacoat was in Nov 2001, waiting for a shuttle that never showed up on NAS Whidbey Island. (I waited 4 hours for it, in a drizzle that turned into rain/snow mix. I was warm and dry in it..