Get ready, soldiers. Your commander can now authorize rolled sleeves with the camo facing in or out.
A memo signed Tuesday follows a decision by senior Army leaders to make some key changes to where and how you can roll your sleeves.
In June, after a 10-day pilot at Fort Hood, Texas, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley decided to allow sleeve-rolling with the camo facing out. The policy was met with mostly positive reactions, with everyone from four-star generals to privates getting in on the sleeve-rolling.
Now, the chief has approved even more changes, providing commanders with more options in determining the uniform of the day. The changes are effective immediately.
Whether sleeves go up or down will be determined by company, battery or troop commanders, unless a senior leader requires a specific uniform, such as for brigade-wide formations or division-level ceremonies.
The intent behind this change is simple. It allows junior leaders to "practice mission command on a day-to-day basis," Milley said.
"It's to decentralize decision-making and empower junior leaders with decision authority on something as simple as the uniform of the day," he said.
While the original policy allowed sleeve-rolling at the commander's discretion, some senior level leaders – for example at division or National Guard state levels - were implementing blanket policies for their entire formations.
The new rules provide several options for local commanders. Here's what's now allowed:
- Sleeves down.
- Sleeves rolled with the camo facing out.
- Sleeves rolled with the camo facing in.
In the field or deployed
- Sleeves down.
- Sleeves cuffed with the camo facing out.
- Sleeves cuffed with the camo facing in.
"You've got options, and you make the decision, company commander," Milley said.
What hasn’t changed is the timeline for rolled sleeves. There are still no time or seasonal limits as long as it’s approved by your commander.
Rolled sleeves also will be rolled neatly above the elbow but no more than 3 inches above the elbow.
The policy also still applies to the Army Combat Uniform in the Universal Camouflage Pattern, Operational Camouflage Pattern or Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern.
Rolled sleeves are prohibited for the Army Aircrew Combat Uniform.
Milley on June 16 announced the trial at Fort Hood after a soldier asked during a re-enlistment ceremony for permission to roll his sleeves.
Throughout the trial, Army leaders sought feedback from the force, including whether sleeves should be rolled with the camo facing out or in.
The issue of rolled sleeves – the Marine Corps allows sleeve-rolling in the summer, as do the Air Force and Navy – has been a hot topic among soldiers for years. Until this summer, soldiers had not been allowed to roll their sleeves since the Army Combat Uniform replaced the Battle Dress Uniform in 2005.
Soldiers model different sleeve-rolling styles. 'Camo in' on the left, 'camo out' on the right.
Photo Credit: Army
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.