Sun’s out, guns out: Rolled sleeves to make return with Marines

The Marine Corps announced Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, that Marines would be allowed to roll up their sleeves again when wearing desert camouflage in noncombat areas.

SAN DIEGO — Good news, Marines and fans of Marine biceps (ahem): Rolled sleeves are coming back.

Commandant Gen. James Amos and Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett announced Tuesday via Facebook that the Corps is bringing back rolled sleeves.

“I can’t tell you how many times we have been asked the persistent question, ‘Commandant, are we ever going to return to SLEEVES UP?” the Facebook announcement states. “I’ve thought a lot about this over the past 2.5 years; I realize that it’s important to you. Sleeves up clearly and visually sets us apart.”

Amos and Barrett sent the message via email to all Marine sergeants and corporals, noting that they had heard the comments about rolled sleeves as they’ve traveled around the world talking about recent efforts to “reawaken the soul of [the] Corps” with a renewed focus on discipline, adherence to standards, engaged and concerned leadership and faithful obedience to order.

Before October 2011, Marines wore their sleeves rolled up — in a very particular way, of course — in the spring and summer months when wearing their desert camouflage utilities in noncombat areas, and kept their sleeves rolled down in the winter while wearing the woodland camouflage uniform.

The brief Marine administrative message canceling the 2011 change and reverting to previous policy was posted Wednesday morning.

Many were unhappy when Amos announced that Marines would keep their sleeves rolled down year round, particularly those who work in warm climates. And, as noted in Amos’ message, they made their opinions known.

More than 28,000 people had “liked” the Facebook post by Wednesday morning, and dozens had commented in disbelief, wondering if the message had been some kind of hoax. It is not.

The change will go into effect March 9, when Marines make the seasonal switch to the tan desert camouflage.

Now, Marines are just wondering when they will be able to go back to spit-shining their boots, wearing “silkies” for PT and using knife hands.

Join the conversation and share your voice.

Show Comments