Effective immediately, commanders may authorize Soldiers to roll up the sleeves on Army combat uniforms, according to a recent memorandum signed by Lt. Gen. James C. McConville, deputy chief of staff, G-1.
The new policy pertains to the universal camouflage pattern, operational camouflage pattern and Operation Enduring Freedom camouflage pattern ACUs.
“We’re going sleeves up, camo out,” said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey.
The sleeves will be rolled above the elbow, right-side out with the camouflage pattern showing. They should be rolled no more than three inches above the elbow, according to the memo, and this method will be used primarily in garrison.
In addition, during field training exercises or operations, upon approval of the commander, sleeves may be opened and cuffed inward above the wrist on the forearm.
“It’s often referred to as a Delta roll or SF roll,” Dailey said.
This second method of staying cool is specifically for Soldiers in a field or deployed environment, he emphasized.
Soldiers have to remember, though, that these authorizations are only good when not precluded by safety, Dailey said. “Like when you’re in a combat vehicle, the sleeves have to go down.”
NO TIME RESTRICTIONS
There will be no time restrictions on the new policy, Dailey said. “For instance, company commanders in Hawaii can make the decision to go sleeves up any time of year.”
The ultimate decision to roll sleeves any time rests with unit commanders, he said, but added that the Army-wide policy has changed due to input from Soldiers.
“The overwhelming support from Soldiers around the Army was a big factor in coming to this decision,” he said.
SOME EARLY ROLLERS
Soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, were given permission earlier this month to begin rolling up their sleeves for a 10-day period, when visited by Dailey and Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley.
At the time that permission was given mid-month, the sleeve-rolling was considered an experiment for a possible Army-wide policy, according to a G-1 spokesman.
That spokesman, Lt. Col. Jerry Pionk, said “Feedback from Soldiers resulted in us wanting to do a trial over the next ten days to see the feasibility of updating AR 670-1 and incorporating in the future for the force to give commanders flexibility in wear based upon their unit’s mission.”
Soldier feedback on the issue has been populating social media sites for the past two weeks.
For instance, in a June 21 post on the Army Facebook page, the question was asked: “Let your voice be heard!! If your’e a #USArmy Soldier, the #15th SMA wants to know what you want: Camo in or Camo out?”
One commented: “Go back to the good ole days! It was an art to roll those sleeves!” She was referring to 2006, before the Battle Dress Uniform was phased out. At the time the camouflage pattern remained on the outside.
Most, but not all of the sentiment appeared to be “camo out.” Some didn’t agree at all with rolling them up, but that appeared to be a small minority.
That Army Facebook posting generated a lot of interest. Twitter and other social media sites generated similar outpourings.