Wearing a slip-on insignia, called a rank tab, on camouflage uniforms will be optional in any situation other than tactical or training environments, and is the same indication of rank used on Navy cold weather parkas, according to U.S. Navy officials
The new administrative order comes after complaints from sailors that rank was difficult to distinguish on camouflage uniforms. The insignia consists of a black rectangle with red, silver or gold detail to indicate rank.
“Your concerns have been heard,” an official announcement said. “The Navy has now authorized a new and more recognizable rank tab for optional wear.”
The change was initiated by Vice Adm. John Nowell, chief of naval personnel, who told of a town hall event in 2019 in which a male sailor expressed discomfort in peering at a female sailor’s chest to identify her rank.
“We hear you about the uncomfortable gaze and we hear you on the visibility issue,” Nowell wrote in explaining the change, which is effective immediately.