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U.S. SF Beret Flash Rank - Vietnam


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I have a green beret with black Captains bars.Have owned it for twenty years.Dont recal where or who I got it from.Was when I was an AMMUC member so came out of the east coast area as I did a lot of buying and trading with guys in North and South Carolina.

 

Anyway..I have always been suspect of the flash (theatre made and no border)and it had a patch in the liner of the beret.The beret had been lined with a black rayon type material.To the material was sewn a patch.A vulture in a beret sitting on a tree limb with the motto"Patience My rump..Im gonna kill someone".

 

Then a couple months ago Im looking at pictures on a SOG post and low and behold there is the vulture.Some place I have the beret packed away and will try to post it.

 

RON

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OK. I also have a SF Green beret with captains bar, subdued. It came from Ebay a number of years ago, from an estate sale, but the seller didn't get a name. I was certain it was a wartime (pre-'72) beret/flash/rank but had seen no photographic evidence to date. IF Spike has a photograph, that's good enough to confirm my hunch on the beret. It wasn't the norm, but certainly possible!

 

Thanks,

Steve

 

 

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Anything is possible, but the beret was not intended for field wear so only full-color insignia was (and is) authorized. Of course, the lines between what is considered "field" and not are often blurred, add in the "Hollywood" factor, and again, it's possible.

 

However, subdued officer rank on the Green Beret should be considered a rare exception, at best. Without ironclad provanance, anyone can pin subdued rank onto a beret. Keep in mind that there has never been an official subdued color flash or DUI, so adding subdued officer rank to a full-color flash while your enlisted team mates have those bright, shiny SF crests on their berets would be taking things a bit far.

 

The "Hollywood" factor, though, is a pretty strong theme in RVN SF items. I would think a theater-made subdued flash with embroidered rank more likely than some young LT or CPT pinning subdued rank onto his beret. (Not that I've ever seen such a thing as an all embroidered subdued flash with rank. I have seen all embroidered full-color, though!) I would think it so very unlikely as to be almost impossible to find a field grade (MAJ or above) officer doing that.

 

Look to the provanance of the specific item. Without that, it's just a beret with the wrong insiginia on it.

"Hope is not a course of action." Sean P. Kelly, SSG, 1st US Ranger Battalion

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post-532-1252345307.jpg

 

This beret came from a SOG B Co. Exploitation Force grouping that was broken up in the mid-80, it is a fairly well known groupng that I had a few pieces of that I have since gotten rid of. I had a chance to buy the whole grouping which consisted of a Sog 1-0 vest, the guy's fully patched S.F shirt including a shell burst patch, 1-0 jacket, I had it for awhile but when I got it it had been stripped of some of the patches, a lighter, got rid of that too, and this beret and some misc. items, I couldn't afford it at the time. I remember this beret and had it in my hands, the subdued Lt. bar had been on there for along time. It is what it is.

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.....so adding subdued officer rank to a full-color flash while your enlisted team mates have those bright, shiny SF crests on their berets would be taking things a bit far.

 

Correct, but its "in-line" with those that like to bend the rules or give off that 'Hollywood' look that some SF officers sought to achieve.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
post-532-1252345307.jpg

 

This beret came from a SOG B Co. Exploitation Force grouping that was broken up in the mid-80, it is a fairly well known groupng that I had a few pieces of that I have since gotten rid of. I had a chance to buy the whole grouping which consisted of a Sog 1-0 vest, the guy's fully patched S.F shirt including a shell burst patch, 1-0 jacket, I had it for awhile but when I got it it had been stripped of some of the patches, a lighter, got rid of that too, and this beret and some misc. items, I couldn't afford it at the time. I remember this beret and had it in my hands, the subdued Lt. bar had been on there for along time. It is what it is.

 

I know that there are exceptions to everything especially in aviation and special forces units. However having spent most of my 25 years in SF and Aviation units I personally never saw a subdued rank insignia on a beret. I felt I was somewhat out of line in that I wore WW1 false embroidered metal captains bars on my green beret and I got no less than a few comments from superior officers, but I continued to wear it, later moving it over to my maroon beret when I went back to the 82nd. The beret was not worn in the field rather we wore floppy type hats or just a bandana tied around our heads mostly to protect against sun and sweat. As for the liners, the first thing we did when we got a new beret was to cut the liner out. It made the beret fit better and was easier to fold it up to stick under the shoulder strap on the fatique jacket or up under our belt when we entered a building.

 

Maj (Ret) T. R. Morris

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When subdued insignia came in, Stateside, in 1968, at first all officers put subdued rank on their headgear. But within months, orders came out saying that OFFICER headgear rank MUST be non-subdued, to make officers more recognizable at a distance. This came up again in 1983-1985 as the BDUs seeped into general issue -- subdueds went on, then they were ordered off. When I was in RVN, 1970-1971, practice varied, about 50-50, depending on unit SOP and individual preference (and no officer rank at all was used on boonie hats BTW).

 

While I have info on 5th SFGA or USARV policy, perhaps the subdueds were put on in the "transitional period", between availability of the emblems and formulation of policy prohibiting them.

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Something additional- We all cut the liners out of our berets, some guys replaced or had embroidered SOG, CCN etc. I know of several guys who actually had their wives panties sewn in as replacement liners. No kidding! Hadn't thought of that in years. SKIP

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OK guys, you're right, that beret, SOG vest, 1-0 jacket, zippo and everything that came with that Exploitaion Force grouping must be bogus because the beret had an metal subdued rank on it that nobody saw, I'm sure even his name is fake. The pictures must be fake too. Oh well, can't please everybody.

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I know of several guys who actually had their wives panties sewn in as replacement liners. No kidding! Hadn't thought of that in years. SKIP

 

Do you mean like that ? 76 dated beret. I got it with 2 other berets, but the family didn't want to sell his jacket

post-1523-1253736676.jpg

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By the way what color rank did you wear on your beret? Just curious!

 

That was a little uncalled for.

Written contributor to French Militaria Magazine, UK World War II Re-enactors Magazine &The Karkee Web Research Team.

Remembering the service of:
9095 Pte Alfred Fredrick NEWLAND, 7th Field Ambulance, 2 Division, AIF. WIA 16/11/16 France.
436 Private Albert McCANN, B Company 8th Battalion AIF. Enlisted 26/8/14. Killed in Action 17/6/15 Gallipoli.
VX24056 Gunner George Edward McCANN, 2/3 Composite Anti Aircraft Regiment. Enlisted 7/6/40. Discharged 3/8/44. Served in Australia and New Guinea.



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