Navy adjusts uniform sizes to accommodate larger sailors

Lt.j.g. Alexandro Tornatore Zachary Flechsig performs dumbbell chest presses in the gymnasium aboard amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor is part of Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, which is transiting the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Russell

As the US Navy’s vessels and force size get smaller, their sailors are getting bigger- at least if you go by their clothing sizes.

According to Navy Times, the results of a year and a half long measurement study taking place between October 2014 and June 2015 have shown that sailors are indeed larger than the last time they were measured back in the late 80’s and 90’s.

“It’s been more than 20 years since the Navy has measured its personnel, and the men and women of the force have physically changed in that time,” said Capt. Robert Gantt, deputy commander for uniform programs at Navy Exchange Service Command. “U.S. Navy body dimensions were last measured in 1997 for males and 1988 for females.”

Gant went further to say that the Navy Exchange uses the data to create the sizes and patterns for all the uniforms in a sailor’s kit. But with the Navy’s data 30-40 years out of date, in some cases, they needed new data to create new patterns.

Prior to the recent study, the Navy had been using Army measurement data.

We were hoping that we’d be able to use their data instead of having to do a full-size study of our own,” Gantt said. “But first we needed to correlate their data and conclusions to the people in the Navy.”

Body measurements are crucial for the design of everything from protective equipment, uniforms and even aircraft cockpits.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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