UNITED STATES

US Marine Corps ends ban on the rank and file baring arms

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 February, 2014, 9:29pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 February, 2014, 9:29pm
AFP

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Rank-and-file US marines will be able to show off their forearms once more after their commandant scrapped a deeply unpopular ban on troops rolling up the sleeves of their combat fatigues.

The two-year-old regulation has been the subject of endless complaining from marines, who for years bared their arms in their camouflage uniform, mainly as a way of distinguishing themselves as a "breed apart" from other branches of the military.

"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?' General James Amos, the commandant, and the Marine Corps sergeant major, Michael Barrett, said on Facebook.

"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." He added: "WE HEAR YOU MARINES!"

Amos said he was issuing orders to return to "sleeves-up status" when marines wear desert camouflage uniforms outside combat zones.

The order takes effect on March 9, when the tradition-bound corps switches to a desert camouflage for the season.

Marines who deploy have to wear their sleeves down to help protect from the sun and insects.