Jump to content


US Army berets - blue, black, green, maroon, tan...

Started by BEAST , Jul 17 2007 05:39 PM

  • Please log in to reply
129 replies to this topic

#1 BEAST

BEAST
  • Members
    • Member ID: 203
  • 7,746 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:INDIANA

Posted 17 July 2007 - 05:39 PM

Earlier this month BAKER502 posted some photos of his headgear collection. Among them were couple of 1970's era blue berets. Here is his post:

http://www.usmilitar...?showtopic=7045

While looking through EBay, I ran across the following beret. I didn't have time to research it properly, so I rolled the dice and bought it. Fortunetly, I didn't pay too much for it, so if it turns out to be a fake, I'll just be annoyed.

I have not received the beret yet. These photos are from the sale. I believe that the flash is a Cavalry flash, but I am not sure which one.

Any info that you folks can provide would be appreciated. I read that these were only used for a few years, but that is about all I know.


36.jpg



#2 BEAST

BEAST
  • Members
    • Member ID: 203
  • 7,746 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:INDIANA

Posted 17 July 2007 - 05:41 PM

Another view:


38.jpg



#3 QED4

QED4
  • Members
    • Member ID: 55
  • 1,864 posts
  • Location:Orlando, Fla.

Posted 17 July 2007 - 06:27 PM

The flash is for the 2nd Sq 17th Cav. I have no idea why it would be on a blue beret though.

#4 DwightPruitt

DwightPruitt
  • Members
    • Member ID: 251
  • 439 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 17 July 2007 - 06:51 PM

I know back in the day - mid to late 70's- some Armor and Cav units wore black berets until they were outlawed by DA in 1978. I've never seen a blue beret worn by the Cav.

#5 Gil Sanow

Gil Sanow

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 528
  • 4,028 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northern Ohio

Posted 17 July 2007 - 08:32 PM

I know back in the day - mid to late 70's- some Armor and Cav units wore black berets until they were outlawed by DA in 1978. I've never seen a blue beret worn by the Cav.



I think you will find that 2/17th was assigned to the 101st Abn (Ambl) Div at the time, so this is correct. Baker505 has another, formerly mine.

#6 Lee Ragan

Lee Ragan
  • Members
    • Member ID: 97
  • 2,473 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Odessa, Texas

Posted 18 July 2007 - 05:40 AM

Blue berets were worn by USAF Security Policemen from the early 1970's up until the 1990's or possibly even later. That's the only blue beret I know of used by the American Armed Forces.( Not counting the female blue beret worn by USAF in the 70's & later.) I have no idea why an Army flash would be on a blue beret either.

Edited by Lee Ragan, 18 July 2007 - 05:41 AM.


#7 BEAST

BEAST
  • Members
    • Member ID: 203
  • 7,746 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:INDIANA

Posted 18 July 2007 - 06:15 AM

This is an excerpt from a website that examines the history of the wear of berets in the U.S. Army.

"In the 1970s, Army policy allowed local commanders to encourage morale-enhancing uniform distinctions, and the use of berets boomed. Armor personnel at Fort Knox, Ky., wore the traditional British black beret, while U.S. armored cavalry regiments in Germany wore the black beret with a red and white oval.

Troops of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., started wearing the maroon beret in 1973, while at Fort Campbell, Ky., the trend exploded, with post personnel wearing red, military police donning light green, and the 101st Airborne Division taking light blue as their color. In Alaska, the 172nd Infantry Brigade began using an olive green beret.

In 1975, the Airborne Rangers got approval from the Army Chief of Staff to use the black beret as their official headgear.

Over the next few years, the whole thing got out of hand, and in 1979 senior Army officials put on the brakes, Bradford said. The leadership allowed the Rangers to keep their black berets and in 1980, agreed to allow airborne troops to continue wearing the maroon version. But all others varieties were declared off-limits."


#8 Gil Sanow

Gil Sanow

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 528
  • 4,028 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northern Ohio

Posted 18 July 2007 - 06:34 AM

This is an excerpt from a website that examines the history of the wear of berets in the U.S. Army.

"In the 1970s, Army policy allowed local commanders to encourage morale-enhancing uniform distinctions, and the use of berets boomed. Armor personnel at Fort Knox, Ky., wore the traditional British black beret, while U.S. armored cavalry regiments in Germany wore the black beret with a red and white oval.

Troops of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., started wearing the maroon beret in 1973, while at Fort Campbell, Ky., the trend exploded, with post personnel wearing red, military police donning light green, and the 101st Airborne Division taking light blue as their color. In Alaska, the 172nd Infantry Brigade began using an olive green beret.

In 1975, the Airborne Rangers got approval from the Army Chief of Staff to use the black beret as their official headgear.

Over the next few years, the whole thing got out of hand, and in 1979 senior Army officials put on the brakes, Bradford said. The leadership allowed the Rangers to keep their black berets and in 1980, agreed to allow airborne troops to continue wearing the maroon version. But all others varieties were declared off-limits."


BINGO! Admittedly these are obscure, but they did exist. If I recall correctly, when the 101st's berets were banned, they supposedly were cerepomiously burried somewhere at Ft Campbell. Interestingly, when I was there at the Don Pratt Museum a few years back, they did not have one on display!

#9 BEAST

BEAST
  • Members
    • Member ID: 203
  • 7,746 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:INDIANA

Posted 18 July 2007 - 06:43 AM

BINGO! Admittedly these are obscure, but they did exist. If I recall correctly, when the 101st's berets were banned, they supposedly were cerepomiously burried somewhere at Ft Campbell. Interestingly, when I was there at the Don Pratt Museum a few years back, they did not have one on display!



Being obscure and unusual is one of the reasons that I wanted one! I was really intrigued by the ones on display in BAKER502's display, having never seen one before. I am glad that the one that I am getting seems to be legit. By the way, are there manufacturer markings in the beret? Were these requested through formal channels or were they local purchases?

#10 Gil Sanow

Gil Sanow

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 528
  • 4,028 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northern Ohio

Posted 18 July 2007 - 06:59 AM

Being obscure and unusual is one of the reasons that I wanted one! I was really intrigued by the ones on display in BAKER502's display, having never seen one before. I am glad that the one that I am getting seems to be legit. By the way, are there manufacturer markings in the beret? Were these requested through formal channels or were they local purchases?


None of the ones I had (and Baker505 now has) had anything but commercial labels in them -- and many had no liners whatsoever. So far as I know, they were unit-authorized and privately purchased.

#11 US CANTEEN GURU

US CANTEEN GURU

    BANNED

  • Banned
    • Member ID: 85
  • 266 posts

Posted 18 July 2007 - 07:49 AM

When I attended the Armor Officer Basic Course in 1975 the cadre AIs of the armor and cavalry units that supported training at Ft. Knox all wore black berets. As far as I can recall none of the students at that time were wearing berets and it was the first I had heard of the Armor and Cavalry branches wearing the beret. My understanding is that black was selected because many of the soldiers in foreign army armor units wore black berets.

I bought two black berets and set one up with cavalry flash and rank. I had some formal photographs taken by the on-post photographer and wore the beret in a couple of the images. When I saw how goofy the beret looked in the print I never wore a beret again. After I got back to my unit I overheard the CSM going on about how impractical and silly the beret looked, especially on him, so I was not alone. I am grateful the beret was not officially adopted Army wide until after I retired.

Our unit authorized the wear of the red bandanna which was practical at Ft. Irwin and aided in identification of Squadron soldiers when we were involved in manuvers. When the directive came down the bandannas were put away and only brought out of the pocket at social affairs where if you didn't have one you got to buy the other officer a drink. The Squadron also "awarded" spurs to soldiers that were selected by a group of NCOs and we did wear our spurs on occasion.

The only person I ever saw wearing a beret in the Squadron was a captain that had been in ACAV in Viet Nam. By the time I retured from Ft. Knox he was gone. I have to say that the beret was practical when working around armored vehicles. The bill on the fatigue cap reduced visibility and hitting the head on hard things inside the track was more frequent. At least with the beret you had better vision for those nasty things that jump out at you inside the track. Of course when actually operating the vehicles we wore the CVC helmet.

Edited by US CANTEEN GURU, 18 July 2007 - 07:58 AM.


#12 craig_pickrall

craig_pickrall

    Deceased Forum Co-Founder

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 5
  • 11,253 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Virginia, USA

Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:11 AM

Beast, I thought it was going to be easy to find a pic of a blue beret in use. Was I ever wrong. I went through about (40) early 70's period unit histories, general histories, etc without finding any.

I do have one in my collection that retains the liner and it is a different unit. Pics follow. I also copied info from two excellent standard refererences that give more detail.

BLUE_BERET_1.jpg
BLUE_BERET_2.jpg
BLUE_BERET_5.jpg

#13 craig_pickrall

craig_pickrall

    Deceased Forum Co-Founder

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 5
  • 11,253 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Virginia, USA

Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:13 AM

BLUE_BERET_3.jpg
BLUE_BERET_4.jpg

#14 craig_pickrall

craig_pickrall

    Deceased Forum Co-Founder

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 5
  • 11,253 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Virginia, USA

Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:14 AM

BLUE_BERET_6.jpg
BLUE_BERET_7.jpg
BLUE_BERET_8.jpg

#15 craig_pickrall

craig_pickrall

    Deceased Forum Co-Founder

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 5
  • 11,253 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Virginia, USA

Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:15 AM

BLUE_BERET_9.jpg
BLUE_BERET_10.jpg

#16 craig_pickrall

craig_pickrall

    Deceased Forum Co-Founder

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 5
  • 11,253 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Virginia, USA

Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:15 AM

BLUE_BERET_11.jpg
BLUE_BERET_12.jpg

#17 craig_pickrall

craig_pickrall

    Deceased Forum Co-Founder

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 5
  • 11,253 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Virginia, USA

Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:16 AM

BLUE_BERET_13.jpg

#18 craig_pickrall

craig_pickrall

    Deceased Forum Co-Founder

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 5
  • 11,253 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Virginia, USA

Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:17 AM

BLUE_BERET_14.jpg BLUE_BERET_15.jpg

#19 craig_pickrall

craig_pickrall

    Deceased Forum Co-Founder

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 5
  • 11,253 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Virginia, USA

Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:18 AM

BLUE_BERET_16.jpg

#20 craig_pickrall

craig_pickrall

    Deceased Forum Co-Founder

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 5
  • 11,253 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Virginia, USA

Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:18 AM

BLUE_BERET_17.jpg

#21 Gil Sanow

Gil Sanow

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 528
  • 4,028 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northern Ohio

Posted 18 July 2007 - 12:44 PM

BLUE_BERET_17.jpg


AHA! BTW -- scroll back up to the pic about three screens up -- that's Bill Emerson himself on the right! The black beret I posted a few weeks back is identical to the one he is wearing in the pic -- I got it from him!

#22 baker502

baker502
  • Members
    • Member ID: 512
  • 1,753 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nunya

Posted 18 July 2007 - 01:20 PM

I just found this posting as I have quite busy at work. I had been searching for a blue beret for sometime, when I noticed that Gil had a wanted ad on the forum, looking for page. I emailed him as he had a extra for trade and was looking to find one more beret to complete the collection. We had worked out that he was going to sell me the single beret, but one day I was made a offer I couldn't refuse and it included all the 70's era blue " Air Assault" berets. I am very pleased with them, and I would like to thank Gil for giving me the hook up on them. There are 24 total, but only 2 are displayed right now due to space. I will make a attempt to shoot some photo's of them this week, and post them. The 2 I picked to display are the 502nd Strike, and 1/506th. Both are well worn and look good in my 101st headgear display. I hope to have them all displayed at some point, once I am able to expand the war room size. Great posting , good find on the beret on ebay. Paul

#23 atb

atb
  • Members
    • Member ID: 943
  • 3,046 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:East Coast

Posted 19 July 2007 - 04:25 PM

I have manged to find two of the 101st ABN DIV blue berets, one worn by an officer and one worn by an enlisted man. I also have a color photograph (somewhere) of 101st soldiers wearing blue berets. I will look for it and try to post next week. When I attended a Primary Leadership Course (PLC) at Ft. Knox in the 1970's, I purchased at the Armor Association book store one of those badges for the black berets then being worn at Ft. Knox. I remember seeing beret flashes of different shapes cut from different color plastic coffee can lids. Also in the 1970's, I was given by a soldier in my unit one of the tan-brown berets worn by the 172d INF BDE in Alaska. He told me that the berets were referred to by the soldiers as "buffalo chips."

Edited by atb, 19 July 2007 - 04:26 PM.


#24 atb

atb
  • Members
    • Member ID: 943
  • 3,046 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:East Coast

Posted 25 July 2007 - 04:00 AM

Another try at posting this image of the 101 ABN DIV blue beret being worn.

Attached Images

  • 101_Abn_Dic_beret_reduced.JPG


#25 QED4

QED4
  • Members
    • Member ID: 55
  • 1,864 posts
  • Location:Orlando, Fla.

Posted 25 July 2007 - 12:43 PM

What colour berets dose the 101st wear now, red or black?


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


In Memory of Co-Founder GREG MILLS ROBINSON, a.k.a. "Marine-KaBar"
(February 17, 1949 - March 5, 2011)