Navy Expands Uniform Plan to Allow Health Trackers and Smartwatches

All Navy personnel received official authorization to have on smartwatches and fitness trackers whilst in…

All Navy personnel received official authorization to have on smartwatches and fitness trackers whilst in uniform. 

In a new apparel- and grooming-centered policy update, the armed service branch prolonged its permissions to allow for the technology-centered, biometric-capturing wearables. This regular is established to go into influence 60 days after the document’s publication.

“The policy modify recognizes technologies frequently utilized by sailors and culture on a day-to-day basis,” LT Travis Callaghan, a public affairs officer for the Main of Naval Staff, instructed Nextgov on Thursday. “Additionally, inclusion of the health trackers supports our sailor’s self-overall health consciousness at all times.”

While in uniform, sailors and all other officials can dress in 1 physical fitness tracker and just one wristwatch or smartwatch simultaneously—but every on a diverse wrist, in accordance to the update. Bracelets just cannot be worn on the very same arms as all those equipment. Further, only smartwatches and trackers in distinct colors outlined in the coverage are permitted.

This nascent common was mentioned as the past amid a selection in the document. Via it, Navy insiders are also now permitted to incorporate punctuation marks in their uniform identify tags, identify patches, or identify tapes—if their authorized names include accents or in any other case. Ladies are granted permission to sport pretty-limited-but-not-bald hairstyles, even these that present their scalps. And adult men can wear bald, flat topped, pale, and large and tight styles—though bald with sideburns is not permitted. Updates linked with sun shades, swimwear, earrings, women’s sneakers and a lot more are also mentioned.

On Tuesday, Navy officers stated these shifts are the result of Fleet comments, uniform-targeted doing work team conversations, listening classes, and instructions from leadership. The update also aligns with the branch’s diversity fairness and inclusion initiatives and supports its Sailor 2025 aims to bring in and retain sturdy expertise.

Callaghan confirmed that this shift marks the first time these equipment have at any time been explicitly incorporated into uniform specifications. “Although [they] were being being worn prior to saying formal coverage, it was determined formal steerage for wear with Navy uniforms is warranted,” he observed.

Smartwatches and fitness trackers are modern-day, wrist-worn add-ons that conduct various capabilities and can hook up to the world wide web and GPS. Health and fitness trackers usually seize information all-around wearers’ functions and detect information and facts with regards to walking techniques, managing distance, coronary heart rate, sleep styles and swimming laps. Smartwatches can also history facts such as heart rate and other essential symptoms, but are a lot more like mini-computer systems with accessibility to cell apps. 

The Navy and other military branches have considered equipping staff with this kind of products to execute a range of takes advantage of. Nevertheless, the wearables are created to seize area data and link to the website, which provides some cybersecurity challenges. A pair decades ago, for instance, a internet site and app utilized to gather athletic facts with GPS details, compiled users’ info in a heatmap and inadvertently disclosed spot of a number of overseas military bases. The Pentagon later banned all staff from working with geolocation solutions on their own and governing administration-issued equipment in all “operational locations.”

In the plan update, Navy officials noted “smartwatches and health and fitness trackers are subject matter to applicable protection restrictions.”

“We are unable to remark on particular security techniques and protocols, but our policy makes sure sailors know that protection restrictions get priority over this uniform plan that will allow [them] to dress in this variety of know-how,” Callaghan reported. “It is significant to be aware that we have recognized the uniform policy to assure a qualified and uniform visual appeal, even though maximizing a sailor’s opportunity to decide on wearable technological innovation as they see in shape.”