| July 6, 2014

Ya know what bothers me? Its not the fact that this administration is cutting pay raises among the troops and raising the cost of medical care when they retire. It’s not that good combat experienced soldiers are being considered for elimination from the service – and that they’re not likely to get the medical treatment they earned when they do get tossed. It doesn’t bother me that our military is getting slashed to the bone while the world is becoming more dangerous every minute. Nope, what bothers me is the fact that the troops can’t roll up their sleeves when it’s hot.

Long-sleeves are not only hotter, but also dirtier, said Pfc. Ian Strutt-Kist, a 19-year-old who works at the Tustin, California, Army Reserve. It was a problem in California’s 80- and 90-degree summers, but also when he was digging foxholes in Basic Combat Training.

“When working with dirt, if dirt gets on your forearms under your jacket and you’re sweaty, it basically becomes mud up your sleeve and it is very uncomfortable,” Strutt-Kist said.

Most soldiers told Army Times the heat was the primary reason they want the OK to roll sleeves, adopting the “suns out, guns out” mentality of their Marine brethren.

Other soldiers chimed in to say rolled sleeves could actually improve a soldier’s appearance.

I’m guessing that now that the Army Times has properly focused us on this issue, soon Big Army will hear our pleas and correct this problem like the Marines did recently to prove how much leadership listens to the rank and file to mollify your concerns.

Category: Big Army

Comments (32)

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  1. Sparks says:

    You would think, as poorly as they are treating the military these days that they could accommodate this small issue of comfort. It’s little things like this that drive moral further down. The current DoD attitude though, seems to be, “when we have them down, kick them in the teeth”.

    • Climb to Glory says:

      Exactly Sparks. Did the Army ever have this SOP because I remember seeing on tv and movies in the 90’s soldiers with rolled sleeves. I know it was tv and movies, so it could be just hollywood with their heads up their ass. Maybe some of you older grunts out there could enlighten me on this issue. Most of my buddies that were Marines said it was a pain in the ass. I was surprised that they would say that. They said they would do a “Gunny Roll” sometimes, whatever that is.

      • OIF '06-'07-'08 says:

        Yes there was a SOP way back when I served from 84-88.

        Sleeves up during the summer, sleeves down during the winter.

        • Pigmy Puncher says:

          But don’t forget – it was date driven, not temp/environment driven and did not apply in combat zones were the order was sleeves down 100%. So, you got stupidity like this – early winter. TFB – keep your sleeves up. Texas winter (= summer temps), TFB – put your sleeves down. Also, they had to be folded up so that the cuff covered the material – not rolled up like the Marines. I really didn’t mind that part as you only had to tug the cuff to drop the sleeve down in an instant. Thank God for summer weight BDUs, which I typically used year round.

          • Pigmy Puncher says:

            Should have added – this was Army.

          • Isnala says:

            Now this may fall into the realm of urban legend but I was always told the reason for the cuffs out was that if rolled properly you could be sleeves down and into full mops quicker.

            • David says:

              That was the reason they gave us – as Pygmy Puncher said, one yank and your sleeves were down so you could get in MOPP faster. ‘Course to roll them up you had to remove the shirt portion, and you had rolls the size of giant doughnuts around your biceps.

      • Green Thumb says:

        COL Decker’s men in the A-Team had rolled sleeves.

      • FatCircles0311 says:

        Marines that claim rolling sleeves were a pain in the ass were shitbags. End of story.

    • Richard says:

      Shades of 1975 — make the Army smaller, get rid of those non-conformist elite units, loose the stay-at-home regimental E8s and E9s, they will tighten up on uniforms, tats, covers, drinking, quals, and other bad behavior. Stop politically incorrect stuff like realistic and joint training and sniper schools – Ft. Irwin will be a ghost town. Cut back on Robin Sage and similar. If this time is anything like 1975, it is going to suck to be E6 or less for several years. And them something will happen – might be sooner or later – and the country will scream for action. And some of those E8s will know where the ammo is kept.

  2. ArmyATC says:

    So they had to go to a basic trainee to get a complaint? I never found that wearing the long sleeves was any different than short sleeves in Iraq. But I guess it’s not as hot over there than it is in basic training. Way to focus on a non-issue Army. Glad to see you’re taking the troops best interests to heart. Now about that beret….

  3. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    What I want to know is how can there be so many squirrels in the Pentagon when no one there has any nuts. I don’t get it. But, hey, here’s my theory on the sleeves. The military wants not to offend our Moooooooslim hosts, wherever they may be. So, to more fully cover the skin of our female service members, both males and females must wear their sleeves down. No discrimination. No problem.

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    Oh, my God!!! This issue is SO much more important than pay and benefits!! Holy buttonholes, Batman!!!

    Just out of pure curiosity, what the hell happened to common sense and making short sleeved shirts the Uniform of the Day in appropriate weather?

    You’ve seen enough pictuires from Vietnam. You know the Army guys didn’t just roll their sleeves up; sometimes, they cut them off.

    I’m offended that some other population demographic is offended by a bit of freaking common sense about clothing.

    What’s next? I’m just waiting for the Next Stupid Thing.

  5. Roh-Dog says:

    If it was easy and fun everyone would do it. Suck it up, Buttercup. (Mumble under breath: farken ninteen year old private douche)

    Down range has relaxed standards, shhhhh, no one tell the Pent-ah-gon.

  6. MrBill says:

    I was never a big fan of rolled sleeves – a big reason being I was never very good at it. I eventually got to the point that I could get an acceptable-looking roll (sometimes requiring a second try to get it), but never could get a nice, tight roll like a lot of guys. Two reasons I’ve always preferred the ACU to the BDU: don’t have to polish the boots, and don’t have to roll the sleeves.

  7. SaraSnipe says:

    It has been my understanding combat arms troops do not roll their sleeves. At least not TXARNG. We have been known to remove the entire blouse. Blouse. Sounds gay.

  8. Roger in Republic says:

    I served in Arizona and New Mexico in the mid to late 1960’s and we never rolled our sleeves up. The old green fatigues just did not roll up. There were times it might have helped but it was just not done. Of course the heat, even at 115 degrees was a “Dry heat”. Suck it up little hyphenated snowflake, soldiering is an uncomfortable activity at times. Carry On.

    • RunPatRun says:

      We rolled our cotton OD green fatigues in the 70’s and early 80’s, and then our BDUs with the funky reverse roll.

      Of course that was VOLAR, and the recruiters used sleeves up as a selling point, instead of healthcare and other bennies. /sarcasm

  9. Blaster says:

    I could never tell much of a difference. If it’s hot, it’s hot either way.

    How are we going to roll sleeves in ACUs with the additional pockets without it looking very odd?

  10. NHSparky says:

    80 to 90 degrees? Oh, the poor little snowflake!

    In NM and AZ between April and October we had a word for 90 degrees.

    We called it “nighttime.”

  11. jake says:

    Most units rolledd sleeves in BDUs in garrison in the summer. Sleeves ddown in the field, on aircraft, and in combat (usually). I always thought it was more trouble than it was worth- partly due to my massive arms, and partly due to the patented ‘camo out’ Army method of sleeve rolling.

    That said, the ACU was not designed for sleeve rolling- the pen holders, velcro, etc will make it difficult for even semi buff AG Soldiers.

    little known fact: when both ground services were considering BDU replaacements they looked at zippered removeable sleeves….

  12. FatCircles0311 says:


    That image is the most fucked up nonsense I’ve seen posted on a supposed military related domain in some time.

    The sleeves down period for the Corps were dark days. I don’t wish it upon anyone.

  13. CCO says:

    My FORSCOM (Army, not training) unit rolled our BDU sleeves up at Ft. McClellan (AL) in the summer; it was the early ’90s.

  14. PFM says:

    That combat zone down doesn’t even fully apply to the Marines – the detachment at the embassy in Baghdad were wearing temperate MARPAT with sleeves rolled up. The PSD teams from Victory traveling to the embassy wore desert MARPAT with sleeves down, of course. Kinda funny to see them standing together…

  15. NHSparky says:

    I will say this–working where I do, ain’t no way I will ever roll up the sleeves on my FR gear. Not after seeing what it can do to save your ass, or what an arc or burn can do if you’re not wearing or protected by it.

    Work with a guy who has been caught in an arc flash or blast and you’ll know what I mean.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Gee, during ‘Nam our Army considered soldiers adult enough to put suncreen on their arms… not now.

  17. CCO says:

    And yeah, squirrel and squirrelly.

  18. jerry920 says:

    Bitching about sleeves?

    Heck Jonn, you and I covered some of the same turf at the NTC, and for us it was MOPP level 1 for almost the whole rotation. To get ready for that we “hiked” around Ft. Hood for the day. BN almost lost their S3 NCO that day (another story). Oh well, privates will bitch.