Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Marines are on a Roll Again

There were grumbles in 2009 when the U.S. Marine Corps ordered troops to keep their hands out of their pockets except to quickly "retrieve something." But when the Corps' commandant later decreed that Marines had to stop rolling up their sleeves, a longtime fashion statement, the leathernecks went into action. 
"That's what separated us from every other branch, our sleeves," said First Sgt. Shawn Wright, a career Marine who was a drill instructor. Troops launched petition drives and peppered superiors with questions. Some complained it hid their tattoos. 
The top brass did an about-face this week and returned the right to bare arms, starting March 9. 
Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos
"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?'" said Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, in a Facebook FB +0.07% post on the Marines account late Tuesday. "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. WE HEAR YOU MARINES!" 
The general's Facebook post garnered more than 30,000 likes and nearly 3,000 comments in less than a day. "The roar of approval from across the Corps has been deafening," said Lt. Col. David Nevers, a Marines spokesman. "In the four years since we began using social media we haven't seen any post generate such an overwhelmingly positive reaction." 
Not every reaction has been gung-ho. One Facebook comment pooh-poohed the hoopla: "This is why nobody takes the USMC seriously." 
Rolled sleeves had long been a point of pride. Even the highest-ranking Marines could toil at folding, ironing and even starching sleeves into a crisp flattened roll on their woodland-green camouflage and their desert-brown uniforms. Rolls could once be found even in combat zones, but the practice was slowly curtailed until the 2011 order eliminated it entirely.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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