PENSACOLA, Fla –
Representatives from Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support’s Clothing and Textiles supply chain visited the Navy Exchange Service Command South East Distribution Center in Pensacola, Florida, July 13, to learn about the service’s best practices implementing the maternity pilot program.
DLA is spearheading the Congress-directed program to provide pregnant service members maternity uniforms at no cost, said C&T Division Chief of the Operational Clothing and Individual Equipment Customer Cell Eboni Martin. Martin attended the visit along with C&T Director Air Force Col. Matthew T. Harnly and Deputy Director David Johns.
NEXCOM hosted the Navy MPP Roadshow to share best practices of its implementation with DLA and other military services, including representatives from U.S. Army Logistics, HQDA G-4, and the Air Force Financial Management and Comptroller Headquarters.
The Navy is the first military service fully operational with the MPP as they leveraged an existing uniform issuance process, Martin said.
“Some services give enlisted [service members] allowances for their maternity uniforms, and officers have to pay for them out of pocket, so this would provide a program that would give everyone equity,” Martin said.
Once a pregnant sailor submits a request to participate in the voluntary program, NEXCOM issues the uniform items and after no longer needed, the uniforms are cleaned, tailored, and reissued.
Within this process the Navy is testing if the MPP can provide cost savings, however the efficacy of the MPP program may not be contingent on it’s fiscal return on investment, as their goal is to do what is best for sailors, according to the Navy MPP Operation Brief.
Most service members require maternity uniforms for about five months of their pregnancy, and most uniforms last up to 24 months with normal wear, Martin explained.
Navy maternity uniform items include service dress blue and white coats and trousers, Navy working uniform type III blouses and trousers and insignia.
During the visit attendees also toured the warehouse to view uniform item packing.
Within the pilot program DLA will continue to provide uniform items, collect data and ultimately present findings to Congress to determine if it’s a viable program to fund, Martin said.