The US Army is abandoning the beret, after a failed 10-year experiment.
The black beret, which proved deeply unpopular with American soldiers, will be replaced by a patrol cap for everyday wear, US Army spokesman Colonel Tom Collins said Monday.
The move came after outgoing Army chief of staff, General Martin Dempsey, asked the army’s sergeant major “to go out and talk to soldiers across the force and see what was on their minds,” Collins told AFP.
“One of the things that soldiers consistently brought up was the desire to wear the patrol cap as part of their duty uniform,” he said.
Giving every soldier a beret was one of the dumbest military uniform decisions ever made. It completely undermined the purpose of what is otherwise a completely worthless form of headgear.
As a paratrooper, I wore the maroon beret during my entire tour in the 82nd Airborne. It was cool because it set paratroopers apart from the rest of soldiers and we wore it with pride.
It is also the worst, most worthless headgear I ever wore. It was difficult to form. The flash was difficult to keep clean. It was hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Basically, the only purpose it served was ornamental. It did, however, differentiate us from the less elite rabble so we tolerated it.
Then ten years ago they decided that if paratroopers, Rangers and Special Forces soldiers are proud of their berets, every soldiers should wear one. This was the same logic that results every player in a kids’ soccer team getting a trophy. Every trophy is worthless and so was every beret.
No longer did a beret set elite soldiers apart. Now it was just meaningless. When every pogue got one, it differentiated nothing. It was just a pain in the ass.
That is all over. Soldiers will now get to, once again, wear the tried, true and functional patrol cap. Finally.