Thursday, September 13, 2018

For 50 Years the Navy Peacoat Has Been Made Here in Boston, Let's Fight for It!

The following article appears in the September 14, 2018, edition of Boston's Post-Gazette newspaper (page 2).

Time is running out to save the iconic Navy peacoat. Soon, the peacoat will become an optional component of enlisted sailors' seabags, replaced by the synthetic Cold Weather Parka as the mandatory outerwear. The Navy cites a desire to reduce budget and uniform requirements as its primary reason for making the change, but this reduction in cost for the Navy comes at a price.

For more than a century, the peacoat has been a staple in the seabags of new-enlisted sailors. It is one of the most iconic and recognizable symbols of a strong U.S. Navy. Its natural wool construction is virtually impervious to cold, making it ideal for colder climates, and when adorned with Navy insignia, makes a statement about a special and valued group of patriots.

The loss extends beyond the Navy, though. The U.S. woolen textile industry, centered in New England, with small to medium businesses in the chain throughout the U.S., is likely to be hard hit by this change. The shift away from the peacoat could mean millions of dollars in lost revenue and the potential loss of thousands of jobs.

Since 1968 all official U.S. Navy peacoat been made right here in the City of Boston, at the Fredella family's East Boston, Sterlingwear of Boston, factory. Good-paying manufacturing jobs in Boston are at risk. Factories in the supply chain that will be affected are located in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. Thousands of sheep farmers in the Western States will also be harmed when the wool peacoat is dropped by the Navy.

If you, like many others, would like the Navy to reconsider this change, then make your voice heard by signing the petition ( and show the Navy that protecting the peacoat is about more than a budget -- it's about protecting tradition and American workers.

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