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If you’ve served in the Army since 2005, the year the Battle Dress Uniform was replaced with the Army Combat Uniform, or ACU, you’ve probably, on more than one occasion, turned an envious eye toward your Marine Corps brethren and thought, “Why the hell do they get to roll up their sleeves and we don’t?”
It’s a legitimate question. For well over a decade, the Army has been engaged in two wars in two countries that are not known for their mild weather. To have served in Iraq or Afghanistan — especially southern Afghanistan — during the summer is to know what the inside of an oven feels like. In both conflicts, becoming a heat casualty was a real risk every soldier faced when they left the wire.
The Army’s official explanation for not allowing soldiers to roll up their sleeves — that it protects forearms from the sun and insects — has been widely perceived as a weak justification for a seemingly arbitrary rule. Sunscreen and bug repellent are usually supplied in abundance wherever soldiers are deployed. And sunstroke is a far worse fate than sunburn.
Now, the Army appears to be finally coming to its senses. On June 16, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley announced that soldiers stationed at Fort Hood in Texas will begin a 10-day pilot program to test whether or not sleeve-rolling will be a permanent option Army-wide.
“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,” Lt. Col. Jerry Pionk, an Army spokesman, told Army Times.
Changes to regulation that make life a little more tolerable for soldiers, such as this one, are often met with complaints that the Army is going “soft.” But before you start shaking your head in disappointment, remember: When soldiers wore BDUs, they were allowed to roll up their sleeves, although the rule was that they had to ensure the camouflage pattern faced out. That won’t be the case with the ACUs, or at least for now.
“For now, sleeves will be rolled with the inside facing out, similar to the Marines,” Pionk told Army Times. “Future updates to AR 670-1, if any, will further specify the exact manner of how the sleeves can be rolled.”
We’ll take it.
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.