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Modern Airborne US Army berets


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16th Psych Ops

 

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The 16th POB has never been on jump status. Between the nylon band and the clearly visible wear on the flash, it is highly likely to be an authentic beret, but that DUI is out of place.

 

If you ignore the DUI for a second, that beret and USACAPOC flash would be correct for:

-The 6 PSYOP companies on jump status (301st, 310th, 325th, 344th, 345th, 346th), prior to those companies being authorized their own distinctive wing trimming and beret flashes (for most, in the mid-2000s).

-Unofficially, by the 10 soldiers each in the Headquarters (HSC) Companies at the 14th/15th/17th Battalions and 2nd/7th Group who are in paid parachutist positions as key leaders, or for airborne oversight.

-Headquarters, USACAPOC

-The Civil Affairs community.

 

However, when you add the 16th POB flash to that beret, there is no official reason that this beret should exist. The 16th POB and their downtrace units wear the black beret, with USACAPOC flash or standard blue/white Army flash (both flashes have been worn interchangeably, and probably incorrectly, by reservists in non-airborne units that fall under USACAPOC).

 

The most likely explanation is one of the airborne companies, or their Detachments, were attached to the 16th POB for a deployment, and personnel swapped DUIs but retained their berets. This happened occasionally, and because of the ad-hoc arrangement of attachments/detachments/support it could explain this beret. It was probably done unofficially, but uniformly across the Detachment to maintain morale and a distinctive 'appearance' separate from the 16 POB hosts.

 

 

So to be clear; i'm not calling this a 'fake', but outside of the explanation I can't see any plausible reasons why this should exist.

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