By MIDN 1/C Annie-Norah Beveridge
Female midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy have been afforded the opportunity to wear skirts with the working blue class uniforms and service dress blues as part of an awareness campaign to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Originally inspired by “Movember,” when male midshipmen are allowed to grow regulation mustaches during the month of November to raise awareness for men’s health, many female midshipmen were motivated to do something to recognize a disease that affects a vast number of women around the world.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is typically marked by people around the world wearing pink ribbons and National Football League players wearing pink as part of their team uniforms. Uniform regulations in the Navy and Marine Corps restrict pink adornments on uniforms, so the mids and Brigade staff formulated this idea to get involved.
“Breast cancer is a sensitive subject among most individuals, yet nearly everyone knows someone who has been personally affected by it, said Midshipman 2/C Renata Bucher, the Brigade Sgt. Major and one of the organizers of the effort. “There are definitely times at the Naval Academy when academics, sports practices, briefs, and parades pile up to the point where midshipmen are solely thinking about the Academy and how busy they are in their own personal lives. Raising awareness allows members of the Brigade to focus on something that is affecting hundreds of thousands of individuals across the globe.”
One of the main challenges that had to be overcome during the process was the issue uniform regulations and finding something female mids in the Brigade would support.
“Finding something additional that women could do/wear on a daily basis that would comply with fleet regulations was a challenge,” said Bucher. “We tossed around several ideas but wearing skirts to class was the perfect balance of something new to raise awareness while remaining in line with the fleet standards.”