Sleeves up, but only roll'em if you know how
March 14, 2014
Warmer weather will bring Marines a change other than spring.
For the first time in two years, Marines are allowed to roll up their sleeves in conjunction with the changeover from the winter to summer uniform.
During those years, many Marines graduated from boot camp not knowing how to properly or efficiently roll their sleeves.
Fort Leonard Wood Marine noncommissioned officers took it upon themselves to teach this generation of Marines a few tricks of the trade.
Marine Staff Sgt. Christopher Kirby, marshal arts instructor trainer and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear defense instructor, is one of the Marines who offered to teach the Marines Awaiting Training.
"Most of these Marines haven't been in long enough to have had any experience at it. They've heard about it, and people talk about it. We always joke, that was a really good way to gauge from afar how much care someone took in their uniforms. But short of hearing stories, nobody's been exposed to it up until now," Kirby said. "It's very new to them still."
Kirby said there's more to it than just rolling up the sleeve, making it important that they are shown the proper way to do it.
"The way that these are all tailored, not to mention the athleticism and the build that most of these Marines have, you actually have to take some care. In order to get it (cuff) to sit properly right on your arm, there's something that you have to do with the body of uniform as well," he said.
Marine Pfc. Nikolai White, MAT Marine, said he is proud to be wearing the uniform of a U.S. Marine and is looking forward to wearing his sleeves rolled for the first time.
"It shows that we're going back to our original traditions," White said. "It's a big competition to see who can do the best sleeves. It's in the details. Anyone can roll their sleeve up; it's just about how good it looks and how sharp it is, which takes time."
Kirby added, "I'd be lying if I told you we haven't all been there before, every single one of us. We were all privates and Pfcs., too, at one point, and we didn't just learn it overnight; we had to practice. It took probably a good solid season of rolling sleeves, before I got to the point where I was falling in line with the guys that had been doing it for years."
Marines had been mandated not to roll up uniform sleeves since Oct. 24, 2011.
The commandant of the Marine Corps recently rescinded that order.
Marines are allowed to roll up sleeves while they wear the summer uniform, unless operating in a field combat or field environment.