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Army will trade in berets

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COLUMBIA --- It's hot, it doesn't keep the sun out of your eyes, and you need two hands and a mirror to make sure it's on straight.

After 10 years of complaints, the Army is all but ditching the black wool beret and allowing soldiers to go back to the old brimmed patrol cap for everyday duties.

"It's the military equivalent of being able to wear a baseball cap to work," said Col. Pete Brooks, of the South Carolina Army National Guard. "Wearing the beret in 100-degree South Carolina heat was like wearing a wet piece of black wool on your head."

Army Secretary John McHugh ordered the change to take effect Tuesday, the service's 236th birthday.

Elite units in the 1.1-million-member Army will continue to wear their colored berets as a mark of honor -- green for Special Forces, tan for Rangers, maroon for airborne troops. But other soldiers will have to pull out the black beret only for special events, such as change-of-command ceremonies.

"This just makes things a little bit easier for us," said Staff Sgt. Mylinda DuRousseau, who works with the 3rd Army at nearby Shaw Air Force Base.

Putting the thing on right was a three-step process, DuRousseau said: First, adjust the blue patch over the left eye; next, use two hands to straighten it; then, pull it on far enough so it stayed put.

In fact, the Army had to install mirrors at entries and exits so soldiers could be sure they had it on properly.

As for the patrol cap -- a soft, 50-50 cotton-nylon blend that looks like a flat-top baseball hat in camouflage green -- "you could reach in your pocket and flip it on, and just keep moving," Brooks said.

The change is one of several new uniform adjustments. Another switch will be a return to dressier uniforms for Army men and women inside the Pentagon, a step ordered to spiff up the Army's image.

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TrulyWorried
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TrulyWorried 06/14/11 - 12:04 pm
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Well - thank goodness for

Well - thank goodness for small favors - it was high time - matter of fact it should have never been done. Somebody finally got smart but of course it costs extra money! Why not - it's going out of style anyhow!

AutumnLeaves
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AutumnLeaves 06/14/11 - 01:26 pm
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Glad to see them go. Only the

Glad to see them go. Only the Green Berets should have been wearing Berets.

jack
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jack 06/14/11 - 02:29 pm
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As a proud former green beret

As a proud former green beret wearer, nothing
hing made me angrier when Shinseki (a leg) made the Ranger's black beret the standard head gear. Hated to see the over sized berets down over their ears.

jack

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 06/14/11 - 02:48 pm
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Jack, Good to see your name

Jack,

Good to see your name on here. The beret has long been a symbol of elite troops.

Green..Special Forces
Black..Rangers
Maroon..Airborne

I was Airborne and also assigned to support SF. I am most proud of that and earned the right to wear mine.

The Rangers adopted the tan/sand color after the black was chosen for the entire army (same as SAS), I wonder if they will go back to black now?

Good change, glad to see it.

Brad

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 06/14/11 - 04:47 pm
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Go Army!
Unpublished

Go Army!

Dixieman
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Dixieman 06/14/11 - 04:52 pm
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Good change. Bet you guys

Good change.
Bet you guys remember the nickname of the "overseas cap"....

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