- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ask any soldier which Army regulations he can’t stand and he’ll have a laundry list at his disposal. These days, one in particular rule is likely to come up: the ban on rolling sleeves.

Since the adoption of the Army Combat Uniform in 2005, soldiers have not been allowed to roll up their sleeves, Army Times reported July 6.

“Soldiers can request changes to the Department of the Army Pamphlet 670-1 Guide to the Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, by submitting a Department of the Army (DA) Form 2028 to the Army G1 though their chain of command,” Command Sgt. Maj. Doug Maddi, senior enlisted adviser to PEO Soldier, the office which procures and provides soldier equipment, told Army Times in an email statement.

The official reason for the ban, the paper reported, is  that the ACU was specifically made to protect soldiers from the sun, insects and other elements. That line of reasoning isn’t sitting well with many soldiers.

“I sweat every day when I walk to work,” Spc. Milt Perkins, a 26-year-old operating room specialist for a combat support hospital at Fort Polk, La., told Army Times. “You get sticky.”

Another soldier with the Army Reserve from Tustin, California, added to Spc. Perkins’ sentiment, saying “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.”

Some soldiers just simply think the rolled sleeves look professional.

“In BDUs they looked more like soldiers, someone to look up to,” Spc. Ian Humphrey, a 26-year-old construction surveyor at Fort Bragg, N.C., told Army Times of the uniforms troops wore prior to the ACU. 

For soldiers looking for a silver lining to sleeve regulations, the paper asked Army historian Luther Hanson, of the Army Quartermaster Museum on Fort Lee, Virginia to see what he could find. In 1969, local regulations in Vietnam authorized commanders to order sleeves rolled up if they feared soldiers would suffer from heat injuries.

“What that means to me is that the local commander could designate, ‘It’s really hot, roll your sleeves up,’ ” Mr. Hanson told Army Times.

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