The big General of the Army just announced that he wants everyone in the Army to wear the Black Beret, except for those who already wear one of another color. Personaly, I feel that this is a bad idea, being a Leg (sniper on the ground) I prefer the BDU cap over the beret. If I wanted to wear a beret I would have gone through the training required to be able to wear one. The berets (of whatever color) was brought into the Army to denot “special” units such as the Airborne, SF and Ranger units. I feel that this will also not go over big with the Rangers, who already wear the black beret.
I agree that it is a misguided idea. Will the future of our military readiness be compromised? No. But it seems to me a feel-good rah-rah type of thing. Instead of letting those who achieved a higher or more challenging standard of training and excellence wear their special berets, they are just going to give them out to everyone.
I can see it now. “Hey, why do some soldiers get to wear an ‘Expert’ markmanship badge? This is the US Army! We’re all expert marksmen! From now on, everyone wears the ‘Expert’ medal.”
Or, to use a civilian example, “It harms the self-esteem of those kids who can’t manage an ‘A’ in the class. From now on, everyone gets an ‘A’!”
The standard of excellence becomes lost.
I say, let the Rangers and Special Forces continue to distinguish themselves via their headgear. As an Army vet myself (of the BDU/boonie cap variety), I would feel ashamed to be forced to wear a Ranger-type Beret. Well, maybe not ashamed if it was the result of a direct order, but definately uncomfortable. Like I was putting on airs or something.
I think it’s a bad idea for the same reasons divemaster gave. You should earn the priveledge to wear the beret.
At least he’s not doing a complete unform change like the Genral of the Air Force did while I was in. The AF uniform wasn’t that much to begin with, and then he trimmed it down even more. Now it’s little more than a bad-lookoing ark blue suit with your insignia and ribbons on it - no nametags anymore even! I almost never wore my blues after the change, unless it was for an Honor Guard function.
If they also provide them all with black or red wool scarves, some clove cigarettes, and dog-eared copies of L’Etranger and Man and Superman, the Army will be able to throw a legion of existentialist art snobs at any enemy around and bore them to death.
to get the maroon beret, you have to go to airborne school and be in an airborne unit
to get the green beret you have to go to SF training and be in a SF unit
to get the black beret right now you have to go to Ranger training and be in a Ranger unit
the SF and Rangers do not wear the berets in the field or in combat, they would wear from no hat to the kevelar helmet depending on the situation.
But like I said, let them keep the berets. I find the BDU cap better then the beret. The cap has the brim that helps to keep the sun, rain and snow out of your eyes and the winter caps have the earflaps that can cover one’s ears when it is cold (yes, we can wear the cap with the ear flaps down, at least at FT Drum, NY) Whereas the beret offers none of that.
Another case of making something look good and hope that it will also work well.
A technique, of course, perfected by the French and used to establish a global empire before World War II; unfortunately, such elite forces were no match for the Germans, with their special training in Keirkagaard.
Was this in response to the many fine men and women in our military actually wanting to wear a beret?
I think a better incentive might be that the people who achieve a higher or more challenging level of training be allowed to ditch the beret. Being allowed to get rid of this awful piece of headwear should be a reward for performance excellence.
Black? I assumed they’d match the outfits and be olive.
That would make more sense. The whole US army seems to be based on monotone colors, to suppress individuality.
Then a single stripe or star or braid makes people look important. The US has the dullest duds in the world.
Hey guys - stop dissing berets. I walked 60 kilometers in full battle gear for mine, and I’m quite fond of it.
Hey, why not do like we did and give different color berets to different branches of the Army?
Black - Armor (Tanks).
Deep Blue - Artillery.
Grey - Engineering.
Dark Green - Intelligence.
And so on.
The IDF had four more colors (Red, Brown, Purple and Bright Green) for each of th four infantry brigades; I suppose the U.S. Army is too large for that, but you can improvise. Oh, and REMFs get plain olive green berets. It’s good for morale - the morale of the field units.
*Originally posted by Alessan *
**Hey guys - stop dissing berets. I walked 60 kilometers in full battle gear for mine, and I’m quite fond of it.
With all sincerity, I have nothing but the highest respect for what your beret symbolizes, and the greatest admiration for what you did to earn it.
That being said, the beret itself … as a object … is still dreadful. Once Monica Lewinsky wears something in public, it should be considered an automatic anti-fashion.
Sure, if you wear it that way. The proper way to wear a beret is pulled to the right, with the insignia in the front, left of center. That way, it looks completely different from the one worn by the Presidental Mouthpiece. Besides, a proper beret has been shaved, ironed and molded into shape.
I think it’s a bad idea, too. The beret in the Army denotes an achievement, and makes its wearer instantly recognizable as someone who has advanced training and may be officially referred to as “that badass over there.”
The reason given was to reflect the Army’s change to a “smaller, more elite force”, but putting everyone in a Ranger beret is not the answer. Bringing back the “Ike Jackets” from the end of WWII would have been a better decision.
Hopefully this will have about the same effect as the Navy granting all officers and chiefs permission to wear brown shoes with khakis. It’s still only aviators that wear them. And speaking of the Navy, we’ve got some damn nice uniforms. The Air Force and Army look so dull in comparison.