Marines are up in arms over — well — the right to bare arms. And we aren’t talking about the rifles they carry into combat. We’re talking about the pair of standard issue guns permanently attached at the shoulders.
As of today Marines will wear their sleeves down all year, according to a recent order, approved last week by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Leaders say the change promotes uniformity of appearance. Marines deploy with sleeves down so they should wear them that way at home too. Also, sleeves protect Marines from the sun and insects even in a garrison environment, spokesmen at the Pentagon say.
But many Marines in the fleet are calling foul. Not only does it look sharp, they contend, but it is something they have been doing for about a century. Above all, rolled sleeves sets Marines apart from soldiers, sailors and airmen.
For all the details and to hear your brothers in arms sound off on why they hate the change, pick up this week’s issue of Marine Corps Times on newsstands now. Or subscribe here to read it instantly.