Camo Out: How to Properly Roll Your Sleeves in the US Army

On June 28th of 2016, Lieutenant General James C. McConville signed a memorandum, effective immediately, giving commanders the ability to authorize that soldiers may roll their sleeves up while on duty. Of course, this directive did not come without a catch: the sleeves must be rolled “camo out.” So, how do you roll your sleeves in this fashion? Follow these simple steps to achieve success and ensure that your rolled sleeves will be approved by your commander.

Step 1:

Lay FlatFirst, you will need to lay the uniform on a flat surface and unbutton the cuffs. It is essential that you unbutton the cuffs because you will be required to re-button the cuffs later in the process to achieve the proper camo-out look required for wear.

Step 2:

RollNext, turn the sleeve inside out upon itself by beginning at the cuff and pulling it up until it is just covering the base of the loop field on the shoulder portion of the sleeve. Flatten the sleeve by pulling out any bunched fabric and smoothing it with your hand.

Step 3:

FoldOnce again turn the sleeve inside out upon itself, beginning at the base of the sleeve and folding it up until the base rests just below the cuff from the prior fold. You will be reducing the sleeve length to half of its prior length during this fold. Repeat the sleeve flattening process by once again pulling out any bunches in the fabric and smoothing it with your hand.

Step 4:

Final FoldRepeat the fold mentioned in prior steps one more time – rolling the sleeve up upon itself from the base until it rests just below the cuff. This will reduce the sleeve to half of its original length again and will bring the sleeve up to a traditional short sleeve length. Remove any bunches in the fabric and smooth one more time.

Step 5:

Camo OutFinally, roll the original cuff down so that it covers the folds you just completed and then re-secure the button on the cuff. By buttoning the cuff, you are tightening the sleeve slightly and ensuring that the folds will stay securely in place and, more importantly, hidden away to ensure a professional appearance.

As with any change in Army policy, a single change can create a host of subsequent questions and concerns. The primary issue as it relates to the sleeve rolling change is how it will be implemented across the entire force while ensuring that everyone is correctly rolling their sleeves. To avoid improper rolling, the Army has stated that this issue will be handled at the local commander’s discretion. The commander will make a determination on what they feel is acceptable and then advise Soldiers so that they can appear uniform. NCOs are responsible for training their Soldiers.

This brings up another host of questions – primarily what level of command is responsible for making the call. The Army accounted for this and has stated that this will be handled at the battalion and company level – however “Installation/Senior Mission Commanders may dictate local policy across the entire installation.”

Finally, many are left wondering about the issue that tattoos may present. With sleeves being rolled up, forearm tattoos will now be visible. Is this an issue? According to the Army, it is not an issue – as long as the tattoos in question are in compliance with current military regulations.

Many of those in the Army – especially those serving in warmer climates – have been clamoring for sleeve rolling to be authorized for quite some time. Now that you can roll your sleeves, make sure that you are doing it the right way to stay in compliance and avoid any issues.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

US Patriot Tactical

US Patriot is a veteran owned and operated US-based retailer supplying boots, uniforms, apparel and gear to military and law enforcement personnel. By soldiers for soldiers. Visit them online at
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2 thoughts on “Camo Out: How to Properly Roll Your Sleeves in the US Army

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