The Navy Just Gave Women Iconic Sailor Hats for the First Time

Female sailors will now also have the chance to toss off the symbolic white hat to someone they love when their ship leaves port.

The U.S. Navy just distributed iconic white sailor hats to female recruits at a training command in Great Lakes, Ill. The caps, also known as "Dixie Cups," "Dog Dishes," and "Squid Lips" will become an official part of the women's Navy uniform on Oct. 31.

According to the Navy's website, the white caps were introduced to Navy uniform regulations in 1886. Male sailors often tossed off the white hat to their wives or girlfriends — an old-fashioned gesture of leaving someone behind. 

The move is part of a larger effort throughout the military to make uniforms as well as formal titles more gender neutral.

Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a spokesman for the chief of naval personnel, said on Wednesday that the changes show the Navy is one team, has one standard, and is one in dress.

"When individuals look at a group of sailors, they should see a group of sailors, indistinguishable by uniform," he said.

Although a U.S. Navy survey released in January 2014 included suggestions for changes to the women's uniforms that were primarily focused on comfort, rather than new headwear.

We hope the push for gender neutrality in the U.S. Navy promotes fair and equitable treatment for all women in the military.

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