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It's not an order! US Marines get to wear 'sleeves up'

Rank-and-file US Marines will be able to show off their forearms once more after the commandant backed down from a deeply unpopular rule that banned troops from rolling up the sleeves of their combat fatigues. The two-year-old regulation has been the subject of endless complaining from Marines, who for years bared their arms in their camouflage uniform, mainly as a way of distinguishing themselves as a "breed apart" from other branches of the military.

The US military's camouflage fashion show

Camouflage may be designed to blend in, but for the US military, a plethora of combat uniforms offers a way for each branch of the armed forces to distinguish itself. In Congress, the costly proliferation of camouflage has angered lawmakers, who see it as an illustration of Pentagon extravagance. Before 2001, American troops all wore the same camouflage uniform, a green version for temperate climates and a beige model for the desert.

American football: Anger over 'blood on flag' uniforms

Special uniforms for the Northwestern University American football team meant to support a charity aiding wounded US military personnel have critics seeing red over what appears to be a "blood on the US flag" design. A basic gray uniform features white stars on a blue background on the right side and red and white stripes on the left side of gloves, footwear and player helmets -- but red splatters across the white stripes appear at first glance to be blood.

Dissident Mali army unit to be dispersed by March: official

An elite army unit loyal to Mali's ousted president that has clashed repeatedly with rival units since his ouster will be dispersed by March, the crisis-torn country's government said Friday. Most "Red Beret" paratroopers have refused to obey an order absorbing them into other units to fight Islamist rebels who seized northern Mali in the wake of a coup in March last year. A week ago gunfire broke out as tensions boiled over between rival "Green Beret" units and paratroopers who had refused to budge from their base in the capital.

Gunfight between Mali troops wounds several in capital

A gunfight erupted Friday in the Malian capital as soldiers attacked a camp of elite paratroopers loyal to ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure, military sources and witnesses told AFP. "From 6:00 am (local and GMT) heavily armed soldiers, from all units, attacked the camp," said Yaya Bouare, one of the "Red Beret" soldiers inside the camp that was attacked. "There are many injured inside the camp."
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