THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH A STATEMENT FROM GEN. NELLER:
Marines will now wear the woodland green camouflage uniforms year-round, with sleeves down in the winter and rolled up in the summer.
Designated service uniforms will change with the seasons: Bravos in winter and charlies in the summer, according to ALMAR 038/16, which was released on Dec. 8. Military.com first reported on Sunday that Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller had ordered an end to alternating between the two uniforms while in garrison. The desert cammies will still be worn on deployment.
Since 2008, Marines have worn desert camouflage uniforms in the spring and summer and the woodland camouflage in the fall and winter. But Corps officials questioned why Marines at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, should change into desert camouflage uniforms during spring and summer foliage.
Commanders have leeway to set when sleeves get rolled up and down depending on weather conditions and deployed Marines will defer to regional and Marine Corps Forces commanders, the message says.
Marines view their uniforms as sacred, so any changes are bound to cause a stir. Former Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos banned Marines from rolling up the sleeves on their camouflage uniforms from 2011 to 2014. He ultimately relented due to feedback from his wife Bonnie.
"My wife has beat the crap out of me for the last two-and-a-half, three years over that decision," Amos said in February 2014. "All you sleeves-up aficionados, she has been on me."
Neller's decision to make woodland cammies the year-round uniform comes exactly 11 months after he allowed commanders to apply for waivers to the policy of changing uniforms each summer and winter based on based on mission needs and the climate. The change was announced in MARADMIN 011/16.
At the time, Neller also announced he had rejected a recommendation by the Marine Corps Uniform Board that Marines wear service uniforms when not deployed or in training. He rejected another recommendation to remove desert camouflage uniforms from Marines' sea bag.