NORFOLK, Va. -- The Navy has started distributing flame-resistant coveralls to its sailors.

The service announced in May it would phase in flame-resistant clothing for every sailor who goes to sea aboard surface ships and aircraft carriers. On Wednesday, sailors aboard the USS Bataan at Naval Station Norfolk became the first to receive the dark blue cotton clothing.

Testing in 2012 revealed the camouflage nylon and cotton blend uniforms worn by most sailors aboard ships will burn and melt until they’re completely consumed. The Bataan was chosen by U.S. Fleet Forces Command to receive the new uniforms first because it is deploying soon. The Navy says distribution to all other sailors should be complete by the end of the year.

Army and Marine combat uniforms already are designed to be self-extinguishing.