Watched 'Platoon' for the first time

The Airborne school calls it a maroon beret.

I have never heard it called anything other than maroon. The 82nd Airborne wears the maroon beret, but any unit on jump status is authorized to wear it. There aren’t as many as there used to be but there are others such as the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Your friends dad may have been in any Airborne unit. He may very well have graduated from Ranger school at some point.

[continue hijack] I did remember that it has not always been an Army tradition. The wearing of the beret is a relatively recent event. People now think that the Airborne has “always” worn the maroon beret. That is not the case. I was going to give dates but I didn’t want to get it wrong. I went and looked it up and here is what I found.

The British Airborne started using the maroon beret and gave it to their American counterparts. Not all American Airborne wore it. See Band of Brothers, they were wearing the barracks cap with the Airborne insignia on the side. Special Forces started wearing the unauthorized green beret in the fifties. It was made official by Kennedy in 61. In the seventies units were allowed to wear berets of different colors. Tankers began wearing black berets like their British counterparts. The maroon beret became widespread for Airborne and many other colors were worn. In 1975 the Rangers were officially given the black beret. In 79 or 80 the wearing of berets was declared unauthorized except for green for SF, maroon for Airborne and black for Ranger. It stayed this way until 2001 when the whole Army switched to the black beret. Rangers protested but no one listened. They now wear the tan beret[/end hijack]

Thanks for the info, Loach. I’m now wondering if it was merely worn by his unit in order to set them apart, and was not officially sanctioned headgear at all. Alls I know is that he referred to it as “burgundy.”

And now we know why these folks are soldiers, and not web designers. :slight_smile:

Along these lines, I’ve heard very good things about the restored version of Sam Fuller’s The Big Red One, which was his labor of historical love (he was a WWII vet) until the studio took it away from him and cut an hour out of it. The newly rebuilt restoration puts most of this back, and (I’ve heard) underlines Fuller’s purpose in the film: He hated Hollywood war movies that were designed around driving toward a goal and a final artificial triumph. For him, just living day to day was an accomplishment in war, perhaps the accomplishment, and The Big Red One (in its reconstituted version) is supposed to be very much about this.

Oh, and it’s from 1980, which is quite a bit before Stone’s film, for what it’s worth.

I don’t know if it’s going straight to DVD or if it’s getting some sort of limited release, so keep your eyes open.

(Sam Fuller: one of the best moviemakers nobody remembers.)

Well they are called the Airborne Rangers.
I want to be an Airborne Ranger.
I want to live a life of danger.

I loved The Big Red 1. I felt that Saving Private Ryan totally stole the Mark Hamil character. I am looking forward to seeing the restored version.

Thanks I didn’t know that a new version was coming out. I remember seeing this in the theater and liking it. After seeing it several times I thought it was flawed but still good. After I saw an interview with Fuller I understood how butchered it was. It really was based on his recollections. The Robert Carradine character was Fuller as a young man. I am looking forward to seeing the restored version.

For the record, this was the first R-rated movie I was allowed to see in the theater.

Platoon was an excellent movie. The suspense before the last battle was palpable. That said, some of the plot and the characterization does seem to borrow from the Burt Lancaster movie “Go Tell The Spartans”.

Also, it doesn’t quite comport with Phil Caputo’s A rumour of War but different visions I guess.