You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Amos: My wife was all over me about sleeves down

Mar. 9, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Commandant Gen. Jim Amos wears his sleeves rolled at a 2011 reception. His wife, Bonnie, gave him a hard time when he banned the uniform tradition later that same year.
Commandant Gen. Jim Amos wears his sleeves rolled at a 2011 reception. His wife, Bonnie, gave him a hard time when he banned the uniform tradition later that same year. (Sgt. Ben J. Flores / Marine Corps)
  • Filed Under

Marine noncommissioned officers weren’t the only ones complaining after the Marine Corps banned rolled sleeves on camouflage utilities in 2011. Gen. Jim Amos’ wife, Bonnie, also opposed the change.

The commandant himself made the startling admission during a Feb. 27 awards dinner for Marine logisticians in Arlington, Va., just two days after announcing the Corps would return to rolled sleeves in warm months.

“My wife has beat the crap out of me for the last two-and-a-half, three years over that decision,” Amos said, “and she has ... all you sleeves-up aficionados, she has been on me.”

Reached for comment, Bonnie Amos declined to discuss what she had told the commandant that might have helped to change his mind.

The disclosure about Bonnie Amos’ opinion was one of several interesting revelations the general made during his first public conversation about the reversal of the uniform policy.

Knowing the “sun’s out, guns out” order would spread like wildfire through the Corps, Amos said he devised a news release strategy that involved the compilation of an email list of every active-duty corporal and sergeant in the Marine Corps — 64,000 names.

During his “reawakening” tour of Marine Corps installations, intended to reinforce discipline and military standards in garrison, Amos has focused on the critical importance of NCOs, and he acknowledged that many have pleaded with him to return to the distinctive rolled-sleeve look. It was appropriate, he said, that they got the news first.

“So at one time, traveling at the speed of light, it populated their email accounts,” Amos said. “... And I went to bed with a smile on my face, thinking, ‘This is good.’ ”

Amos admitted he had been adamantly opposed to changing the sleeves-down policy.

Marines in combat zones wear their sleeves down, he reasoned, and troops at home ought to train as they fight. He expected the angst over the sleeves-down policy to subside, but was surprised as years passed and the complaints continued.

“What really surprised me ... it kind of became the heart. It was a visceral thing for Marines,” Amos said. “And there was only one person who could change it. And it was me.”

The Corps returned to sleeves up March 9, the beginning of Daylight Saving Time.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

From Our Blogs


The latest from PT365

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook