(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann)
On June 16, U.S. soldiers sweating underneath thick, long sleeved uniforms got a ray of hope. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley announced that soldiers stationed at Fort Hood would spend the next ten days testing whether or not they should roll up their sleeves in the summertime.
The U.S. Army banned the simple action of rolling up sleeves when it adopted the Army Combat Uniform in 2005. Believing the gesture to risk sun burn, bug bites and arm injury, the Army made it an official policy that soldiers could not roll up the sleeves of their uniforms.
In the ten years since enacting that policy, combat has taken place almost exclusively in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the summer, the climates in those countries can reach temperatures as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit. It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to conclude that soldiers might be eager to roll up their sleeves every once in a while.
According to the Army Times, Milley agrees.
“Feedback from soldiers resulted in us wanting to do a trial over the next 10 days to see the feasibility of updating [Army Regulation] 670-1 and incorporating these changes in the future to give commanders flexibility in wear based upon their unit’s mission,” said Lt. Col. Jerry Pionk, an Army spokesman.
The main challenge to adjusting this uniform policy is that the Army Combat Uniform isn’t designed to support cuffed sleeves. The pockets on sleeves make them hard to roll, and cuffs stick out against the rest of the uniform’s camouflage pattern.
But that isn’t stopped these Fort Hood soldiers from trying it anyway.
— 1st Cavalry Division (@1stCavalryDiv) June 16, 2016