The U.S. military is undergoing drastic changes as it establishes itself in the 21st century. Female service members who are, or plan to be, pregnant will soon see a uniform that is more inclusive to their needs.
A group of 60 female airmen who tested the new prototype uniform for the U.S. Air Force hope to see the new clothing roll out next October.
"Most people didn't even notice that it was different, so that was kind of a plus," said Captain Mollie Eshel, a deputy branch chief in the Air Force Research Laboratory. "It's been really comfortable to wear all the way through."
The new uniform is one size fits all and was meant to be more comfortable and fit better based on what pregnant airmen say they needed most, said Stacey Butler, a clothing designer who led the changes.
"So far, it is comfortable for them to wear through the entire pregnancy," the clothing designer said. "I think I had only one person change sizes through their pregnancy."
Also, nearly one out of five airmen are women, the highest percentage among U.S. military branches and highest in history.