Sleeves up! 'Sun's out, guns out' throughout the Corps
March 13, 2014
JOINT BASE MYER HENDERSON HALL, Va. - The rallying cry of the Marine Corps is "Semper Fi," but on March 9 that might have very well changed, at least temporarily, to "sun's out, guns out" as Marines in non-combat areas, including those on the Henderson Hall portion of Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall, rolled up the sleeves of their desert camouflage utilities for the summer months.
"After being in for both sleeves up and sleeves down the first time around, I'm glad it's coming back," said Sgt. Seth Wolley of the Henderson Hall Tax Center. "I think it's something that sets us apart and makes us look a little better."
Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett took to Facebook Feb. 25 to announce that the Corps was bringing back rolled up sleeves for the first time since October of 2011, when Amos announced that sleeves should be rolled down throughout the year.
"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?" Amos wrote on Facebook. "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."
Wolley gave a demonstration on how Marines should correctly roll up their sleeves during physical fitness training March 8.
"You lay the blouse down on the floor, with the buttons up and then you fold the back over so that there's anywhere from an inch to a quarter inch crease in the sleeve," he explained. "Then you fold it one roll at a time, it's the exact length of a cuff, and you keep it very, very tight and make sure it's flat and without any creases or folds."
Pfc. Austin Braun of the Henderson Hall Tax Office had never rolled his sleeves up because he joined the Corps after the October 2011 reversal took place.
"I was very excited because it sets us apart," he said of the commandant's decision to go sleeves up.
Braun noted that Sailors wear a camouflage utility uniform that is very similar to the Marines.
"The other branches, they are trying to take our uniforms, it sets us apart," he said.
Sgt. Maria Prifti of the Henderson Hall Tax Center said that the whole idea of going sleeves down in October 2011 was to make all of the nation's armed forces united and look uniform while on deployment or in country.
"However, the history that we have behind us is what also separates us from the rest of the branches," she said.
She said it's important that Marines not only know their history, but pass it on to junior Marines.
"You want to maintain that identity that separates you from the rest so you can set an example and that's what we're known for," she said.
Sleeves will go down with the Corps' seasonal change to the green MARPAT camouflage utilities during the next daylight savings time, Nov. 2. Official notification of Amos' decision to reverse the previous sleeves down policy was announced in Marine Administrative Message 078/14.