Speaking for soldiers everywhere: Thank God!

They are finally giving up on the stupid black beret.

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.

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8 Responses to Speaking for soldiers everywhere: Thank God!

  1. Uke says:

    I echo the title’s sentiments. And everything you said in the body, for that matter. When I was in and they changed it, I saw it for the baldfaced truism that it was… trophies for everyone. Fake self-esteem won the day.

    Glad that shit’s finally over.

    That said, I wonder if Rangers will go back to black again. I kinda hope they do.

  2. Greg says:

    Our unit went to a OD green beret in 74, while the Rangers were wearing their Black and Jump guys Maroon, of course… SF Green. Then, Tankers, were wearing black. We never liked it. Later on I saw the whole Army go black beret. Loved the regular patrol cap… glad to hear they gave up.

  3. MadBrad says:

    I have much to add to this but at the time this nonsense became part of military regulation my opinion was that the U.S. Army just gave the Chinese PLA something nice and soft to wipe their asses with.

    I will be back later.

  4. Dave J says:

    My 82nd ABDiv and SF soldering dad just stopped rolling in his grave.

  5. Roy Ryder says:

    Kenneth is right – beret’s are pretty useless, and just don’t look right on most guys. Of course, there is something to be said for being such a badass (Airborne, SF, etc.) that you can wear something so ridiculous and nobody will dare say anything about it.

  6. sortahwitte says:

    It’s about time.

    How can our military leadership be so smart and so stupid at the same time? And not smart enough when it counts?

  7. paul dare says:

    What unit were you with in the 82nd? I was with the Signal Bn for 4 years from 96 to 2000. Jumped in radios in support of the Division commanders for a few years. good times.
    we went to the black beret when I was off active duty and in a Guard unit back up here in Michigan. It was hilarious to watch everyone try to figure out how to wear that thing.

    Personally, I’d be embarrassed if I was the guy who rammed the BB reg down soldier’s throats ten years ago.