In 2008, the Navy debuted a new blue, black and gray uniform named Navy Working Uniform Type I. It just had a couple of hiccups: It melted in heat, weighed a ton and was effective camouflage only for sailors who happened to find themselves in water.

Mockingly nicknamed “aquaflage” — though the Navy noted upon its release that it wasn’t intended for concealment — the Navy deep-sixed the design this month. Instead, it will clothe its staff in a new green uniform, known as Navy Working Uniform Type III.

While the move was widely welcomed among the ranks, it is perhaps a pyrrhic victory. The recent uniform change is just the latest in a spate of redesigns and modifications across the services in the post 9/11 era. Most have been more short-lived than their predecessors, costing the Pentagon hundreds of millions of dollars. As a result, Congress two years ago refused to provide funding for any new styles.

Prior to 2002, the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force relied primarily on two combat uniform variants: the Battle Dress Uniform, which came in a woodland camouflage pattern, and the Desert Camouflage Uniform, introduced in 1990.

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