Today, March 9th, 2014 the Marine Corps returned to rolled sleeves after a several year hiatus.
You may not think rolling your long sleeves up to become a short-sleeved shirt is big deal, but to the grunts, POGs, leathernecks and Devil Dogs of the USMC it’s a tradition, sets them apart, and it IS a big deal.
On October 18, 2011 the Marine Corps announced Marines would wear sleeves down all year round when not in a combat zone. In an online poll 90% did not like the change. Commandant General James F. Amos listened to his Marines (ok, they want more important things, but hey you take what you can get) and gave them back what they were wanting. Rolled sleeves. On February 25th, 2014 he announced sleeves would return to rolled up status the word went viral across the internet. Even my sons took notice, can you tell who is no longer active duty?
My oldest Marine EAS’ed as of January and lives in Chicago, he had to live with sleeves down in the heat of Yuma Arizona for several years, my youngest Marine son went through Marine boot camp learning to roll sleeves, but didn’t get to stick with the tradition very long before the rule changed. I’ll bet last week he was brushing up on his sleeve rolling skills.
For those Marines who have never rolled sleeves below is the official video from the United States Marine Corps on how to achieve fitted rolled sleeves on the desert blouse. Properly rolled sleeves should lay flush against the arms, look neat and professional without a lot of bulk. Can you believe it was the Marine Corps who taught my son to properly iron?
However, if a Marine has arms of a weightlifter, or “guns” that make the girls blush there is a trick to not cutting off your circulation. It’s called the “cut and stitch” method of rolled sleeves and many drill instructors use this uniform tactic without anyone knowing. My oldest Marine learned this tip in boot camp and when the sleeves down rule went into effect he had several blouses which were no longer usable.
The Marine Corps is the only branch of the military who rolls their sleeves as part of the official uniform.
Learn About Marine Corps Traditions
Backbone: History, Traditions, and Leadership Lessons of MarineOne of Us: Officers of Marines–Their Training, Traditions,Marine Corps Lore: US Marine Corps Customs, Traditions,Encyclopedia of the U. S. Marines