ARLINGTON, VA -- When it comes to fitness fashions, the Navy is on the cutting edge. On May 30, representatives from the Navy Uniform Matters Office and Navy Exchange Command unveiled a prototype of the Navy’s Physical Training Uniform (PTU) Running Suit at the Navy Uniform Center in Arlington, VA. On the same day, sailors aboard amphibious assault ship USS Wasp in Portsmouth, VA, were issued the first set of the Navy’s new physical training (PT) uniform.

The PTU running suit is a prototype and still has to undergo testing. Navy uniform officials expect a final product to be ready in 2009, according to a statement from the Navy.

The PT uniforms, cleared for Navy-wide distribution, were first given to Wasp sailors. Naval Station Norfolk Exchange (NEX) set up shop on the mess decks of the ship to issue the new uniforms.

“Next Monday when team Wasp falls out for PT, it is going to be a sea of blue and gold. I think this will instill a great deal of pride,” says Capt. Daniel Phillion, Wasp’s commanding officer. “The success of today's evolution, making Wasp the first ship in the fleet to have its PT gear ship-wide from the Navy Exchange, is going above and beyond. The support is phenomenal.”

The NEX spent two weeks planning and preparing to bring the new PT uniforms to more than 1,000 sailors.

This is the first time the Navy has ever had a PT uniform that was mandatory to be worn during command-directed physical training, according to a statement from the Navy.

“There is a change going on in the Navy with the new uniforms coming and with the new PT programs which ships are adopting. It’s a great change and well overdue,” says Wasp Command Master Chief James Williams. “I think this change will do more than just help out PT. I think it will help out the way we work and fight on ships as a team.”

The new uniform is available now at the Norfolk NEX and will be available online at www.navy-nex.com in August.