It has been one year since that fateful day. Butterbars everywhere are able to talk about the Marine Corps “back in my day.” Candidates “these days” don’t stay up for hours at night folding and refolding their sleeves. Tattoos are hidden. “Guns” earned in hundreds of hours in the gym are covered up.
Welcome to the sad era of no sleeve rolling. One year ago today, the tyrannical Uniform Board removed a favorite tradition (since 1775, perhaps) due to some shady “reasoning,” as one news excerpt attempts to explain below.
On the same day that the Marine commandant lifted a ban on wearing KIA bracelets, another fashion edit is raising howls from within the ranks.
Beginning next Monday, Oct. 24, Marines won’t be allowed to roll up the sleeves of their uniforms. Marine regulations allow for sleeves to be rolled up on camouflaged uniforms, and doing so is a matter of pride for Marines who feel it makes them look distinctive from the other services.
Marine regulations even have precise instructions for how those sleeves are to be rolled: “The camouflage utility coat will be worn outside the trousers. Sleeves may be rolled up at the option of local commanders. When authorized, utility sleeves will be rolled with the inside out, forming a roll about three inches wide, and terminating at a point about two inches above the elbow. ”
A Marine official says the Marine Uniform Board decided to make the change after Marine leaders observed that “deployed Marines were operating with sleeves down…their intent with this decision is to have one uniform policy, a single look.”
So the board has decided that “the Marine Corps will roll sleeves down and remain sleeves down year round, beginning on Monday, 24 October. There will be official guidance released soon directing the uniform change.”