Apr 07, 2016 06:18 AM EDT

Female U.S. Navy Recruits Wears Iconic ‘Dixie Cup’, First To Receive Headwear

By Jane Reed

Is this a sign towards gender equality in the United States Navy?

Seawoman Recruit Maria Frazier proudly told UPI that she was excited to don the iconic headwear. "I am very excited to be one of the first females to be given the opportunity to wear the Dixie cup," she said.

The division commander, Engineman 2nd Class Shanice Floyd was also proud to present the dixie cup to Frazier and Recruit Megan Marte. The enlisted hat, or most commonly known as dixie cup, was issued during the Recruit Training Command. Marte and Frazier were one of the first female recruits to be issued the naval headwear

You've seen it in the movies, where white uniformed sailor wear white boat looking hats? Those are the dixie cups. But it has always crowned men. In an effort to install uniformity in the United States' service members' uniforms, the Navy has decided to share this crowning glory to their female recruits.

The traditional white cap was proudly presented on Tuesday at the Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is the person responsible behind this change in order to promote gender equality in the Navy. Starting with the uniform is just the first step.

How does the female recruits feel about this welcome change? Engineman 2nd Class Shanice Floyd, RDC, said,"Junior enlisted males and females already wear the same dress white uniform so this way when we get into the same dress blues uniform we'll look more as a unit."

Moving along, it can be expected that the Alternative Combination Cover and current male combination cover for officers and chief petty officers can now be worn by both men and women in service dress uniforms, as announced by the Department of Defense. All officers and chiefs will be required to wear them by Oct. 31.

This is a great step towards promoting gender equality in the workplace, especially with the country's finest naval officers. This iconic dixie cup does not only present the profession but as a symbol of camaraderie and teamwork.

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