The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support is spearheading a new military maternity uniform pilot program, along with the military services, to provide pregnant members uniforms at no cost.
Each military service will implement their own version of the Congress-directed program, and DLA will ensure uniform items are available, said DLA Troop Support Clothing and Textiles Director of Customer Operations Bruce Carson.
“The intent is to have a program where a service member can be issued a uniform, wear it, turn it back in and it will be reissued,” Carson said.
While the pilot program provides immediate savings to pregnant servicemembers through the no-cost exchange program, it will also evaluate whether there is an overall cost savings for the military in implementing this system.
The Navy has been issuing utility and dress uniforms under the maternity pilot program since January. So far, 101 service members are participating within and outside of the continental U.S., Carson said.
During calendar year 2022, the Navy MPP program will be available to 400 sailors.
Each participant will receive the full maternity seabag of 10 items including sewn-on embroidery for working uniforms and rank insignia for enlisted E1-E6 dress uniforms, said Navy Cmdr. Terri Gabriel, Navy Exchange Service Command Deputy Commander Uniform Programs. Hemming and shipment are also free of charge.
NEXCOM manages the inventory of maternity uniform items, coordinates the tailoring and mailing of the uniform items and tracks the uniforms for return and possible re-issue through its Southeast Distribution Center in Pensacola, Florida, Gabriel said.
“NEXCOM also stays in contact with each participant, first to verify receipt of their uniforms and to ensure all items are correct,” Gabriel said. “The participant is then contacted every three months to check the satisfaction level throughout the course of the member’s pregnancy.”
Gabriel said the DLA team has been very helpful ensuring full support of the program.
The Marine Corps also initiated the maternity uniform pilot program in March. The Army, Air Force and Coast Guard are also on track to implement the program in 2022, Carson said.