Naval uniforms have changed and developed ever since they first became regulated for officers in 1748.
The ratings of "common" sailors were not really catered for as far as uniforms go.
They wore "slops" or ready-made clothing sold to the ships by contractors with many ship captains establishing their own standards of appearance.
Prior to the birth of the RAN, Naval khaki uniforms were worn ashore by members of the Victorian and NSW contingents to the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 -1901, after which they retuned to a traditional uniform until 1942.
Though the supply of uniforms during the early stages of WWII became critical and in order to keep sufficient supply they opted to return to the khaki uniforms to ease manufacture and for comfort.
A Naval version consisting of the "littoral colours" (coastal or seashore) of various shades of greys and green called DPNU's
Disruptive Pattern Naval Uniform (DPNU) were adopted by the Royal Australian Navy in 2009.
These were introduced to replace the grey fire-resistant overalls which had been in service since 1992. The new DPNU's have been designed to be lighter and more comfortable than the overalls that they have replaced and are inherently fire resistance to continue the protection offered by the uniforms developed over the preceding 17 years.
Contrary to popular belief, the use of AUSCAM pattern is not to provide camouflage, but to align with the other services which use distinctly Australian patterns making personnel identifiable as Australian.
Service caps have changed and developed ever since
regulations were issued in 1748.
Over the past 100 years they have changed from an officers bicorn hat to standard the peaked hats like we have on display.
Each hat we have on display here cover's the variation that is evident in the RAN today.
Also on display with our officers hat's are the officers qualification badges and rank slides. A qualification badge signifies the completion of specialist training and is worn on the left breast of the uniform.
The first of these specialist badges were approved by the Naval board on the 25th July 1966, and introduced these distinctive badges to be worn by qualified RAN submarine personnel.
The introduction of the specialist qualification badge during the 1980's for Principle Warfare Officers was introduced over time, followed by a range of others denoting specialist qualifications for both officers and sailors.