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How to Ranger Roll T-Shirts (Military vs Army Step-By-Step Guide)

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

how to ranger roll T shirts

One of the many things you will learn in the military is how to ranger roll T-shirts. This sounds a bit fancy and complicated, but really, it is not. We will walk you through all the steps in today’s article. So, stick with us to master your shirt rolls and impress your barrack mates!

7 Steps to Ranger Roll T-Shirts


Ranger rolling is the chosen military procedure for folding shirts or hoodies because ranger rolls are quick to do and space-saving. Follow the steps below to see it for yourself:

Method 1

Step 1: Lay your shirt out on a flat, smooth surface like a table. It should be spread out and facing up.

Step 2: Locate the bottom of your shirt. Then, hold it by the hem and fold it like you would for a beanie — roughly 3 inches up and inside out. This becomes your “cuff.” Be sure the corners are straight and flat. The front and back of the shirt should be folded equally, as well.

Step 3: Identify the sleeves. Next, lift and fold them over to align with the outside seam or edge of the shirt.

Step 4: Fold one whole side of the shirt over and across. Now, you should have the edge aligned with the opposite side of the shirt’s collar.

Step 5: Repeat the same for the other side of the shirt; have it laying on top of the side you have already folded in step 4. Then, use your hands to make sure everything is flat and crease-free.

Step 6: Roll the shirt down, starting from the collar. Continue until you reach the end, and all the while, make sure that you are rolling as tightly as you can. Also, check that there are no creases.

Step 7: Wrap the cuff you have made in the first step and stretch it over the entire rolled shirt. This will hold it in place and form a burrito-like shape.

Done! Now you have your ranger-rolled T-shirt.

Method 2

Step 1: First, do the same steps 1 and 2 as the method above.

Step 2: Next, locate the left sleeve. Lift and fold it over and across about 1/3 of the way.

Step 3: Now, fold the left sleeve backward and over itself.

Step 4: Repeat step 3 and step 4 for the right sleeve.

Step 5: At this point, rotate the whole shirt 180 degrees.

Step 6: After rotating, start to roll it tightly until you pass the cuff you have made in step 1. Remember, the key is to roll as tightly as possible.

Step 7: Once you pass the cuff, fold it inside out. Then, wrap it over the whole shirt to get a burrito roll.

Here is a video if you want visual guidance:

Both methods are called ranger rolls. Originally, they were called “Army ranger rolls” because the Army Rangers used this procedure. However, this is now used across branches referred to as the “military ranger roll.”

Note: Hence, the steps for how to Army roll shirts and how to military roll shirts are the same.

But ranger rolls are not military exclusive. You can also opt to ranger roll your shirts as a civilian. Outside of the military, rolling shirts is a great technique for:

  • when you are in a hurry
  • when you are seeking simple storage
  • when you need to store for display
  • when you are packing for traveling

You can also use a similar procedure to military shirt rolling for other pieces of clothing. Here is a section for dress shirts, trousers, socks, and boxers.

Steps to Fold Dress Shirts


Method 1

  • Start by spreading your dress shirt out on a flat, smooth surface.
  • Fasten all the buttons on your dress shirt and make sure that there are no creases.
  • Lift the left sleeve and fold it about an inch to two into your shirt.
  • Flip the sleeve back and fold it to align with the edge.
  • Do the same for the right sleeve.
  • Take the right sleep up to the top of the collar and fold it down. At the same time, line it up with the buttons going down the middle.
  • Repeat for the left sleeve.
  • Fold the whole shirt into thirds, go up starting from the bottom.

Ultimately, you should get a rectangular fold, ready to be thrown on at any time.

Method 2

  • Repeat the first 2 bullet points from the previous method.
  • Position the cuffs into the center of the shirt and parallel to the hem of the dress shirt.
  • Fold the collar and hem towards each other. But space them about a palm’s length.
  • Crease the center space lightly to fold the bottom of the shirt over and on top.

You should again have a rectangular military shirt fold.

Steps for Military Roll Clothes

Roll or Fold Trousers

Method 1

  • Lay your trousers out on a flat, smooth surface.
  • Turn the top part inside out, straightening any folded pockets within the process.
  • Flip your trousers over so the flyers and drawstrings cannot be seen.
  • Take the left leg and fold it over the center.
  • Fold the right leg over the left leg.
  • Roll the trousers from the bottom to the top tightly.
  • Hold the trousers in one hand and use the other to pull the top over to wrap it wholly.
  • You might have to wrap it over on one side first, before going to the other.
  • Tighten the roll by pulling the drawstrings. Knot it to secure. Tuck away any loose ends.

Method 2

This alternative method will give you a rectangular fold.

  • Lay your trousers out and smoothen them with your hands.
  • Fold one leg over the other so the trousers, as a whole, is in half.
  • Tuck away the crotch portion. Make sure you have a single leg line at this point.
  • Fold the cuff and waist portion of the trousers into the center.
  • Take the bottom and fold it in half to finish.

Roll Socks

  • Pair your socks and flatten them to remove any creases.
  • Lay one sock on top of the other.
  • Fold the heels in.
  • Roll the toes all the way up to the top.
  • Pull the opening of the sock below apart slightly and push the end of the rolled part in. Do it like you stuff things in a net or bag.

You should have a final balled, inside-out pair of socks.

Fold Boxers

  • Like the other clothing articles, lay your boxers on a flat, smooth surface. Make sure the waistband is facing upward.
  • Fold one leg over the other. The whole boxers should now be folded in half.
  • Fold the crotch portion up and in.
  • Fold the entire boxer in half, from the hem to the waistband.


We have looked at how to ranger roll T-shirts and other pieces of clothing, including dress shirts, trousers, socks, and boxers. If you follow our steps closely, ranger rolling should be easy peasy.

Once you have nailed the folding process, share your experience with us in the comments, and if you have any other questions, please leave them in the comments as well!

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