Much has been said on this thing already. I'll aggregate the facts and opinions already out there before giving you mine:
Navy Times: 08-12-17 | FAQ
No Slack, Fast Attack: 08-12-03 | 08-12-16
Most of what's found behind those links has to do not with the NWU itself, but with the standards and regulations that accompany it. Before I get into that, let me talk about the duds. I'm not a fan of these things. They seem heavier and bulkier than the utilities we wear now, and that's a negative in the confined spaces of a submarine. I don't particularly want to blouse my pant legs into my boots. And this thing is designed to be worn in an all-weather environment. For someone who works in the engine room, this isn't so much a concern in port; once you're back there, the temperature variations are relatively minor.
This changeover wouldn't be nearly as bad if it weren't accompanied by a squeezing of the restrictions on the uniform's wear. Present regulations allow for utilities to be worn on base, or to make stops like pumping gas or retrieving children. In the NWU era, those stops...are done! Nothing less than a genuine emergency justifies appearing outside your vehicle off base. This is the biggest issue the Fleet has with these new uniforms, and it's a legitimate gripe. On Monday, as I transited across Long Island Sound to my ancestral home, an Army specialist was wearing his digital cammies on the ferry. Not that I would do so while on leave, but it saddened me that my service was going to a similar uniform without a similar policy. Command ball caps will also see a diminished role; they're only authorized on a command basis. So one of them could be worn below decks, but when it's FIDE (training simulator) time, you WILL use the eight-point, and no others. Perhaps the biggest example of "visual verification of the small intestine" has to do with the logo on the NWU's left pocket. The NAVADMIN announcing the uniform's rollout spent three sentences discussing the abbreviation for the emblem. "ACE"? Seriously? STOP THE INTERNET PRESSES, I JUST WON BUZZWORD BINGO! I think it's time for some therapeutic lifestyle modification1; it's cold out, so I need to don my personal protective equipment2 first, because I always use operational resource management3. But when I come back, I'd better see ACE on the shelf next to the administrative deliverables4.
This can't even be called a Godsmack moment; it's more like a full-on Godsmack evolution. But wait, let's take a look at the message again. What do we have here in paragraph eight? "JUL 09 - NORTHEAST" ? O RLY? So, you're telling me that I'll never actually purchase or wear the NWU? Apologies to all who do, but clearly, I win the prize! Cue up Kool and the Gang!
2 safety gear
3 common sense
4 files for the boss