- Military beret
Berets have been a component of the uniforms of many armed forces throughout the world since the mid-20th century. Military berets are usually pushed to the right to free the shoulder that bears the rifle on most soldiers, but the armies of some European countries (including France) have influenced the push to the left.
Berets are in some countries particularly associated with elite units, who often wear berets in more unusual colours. Examples include the maroon of Commonwealth parachute troops and the Danish Jægerkorpset, the green of the Royal Marines Commandos, Finnish Marine Commandos (Coastal Jaegers), French Commandos (Bérets verts), Irish Army Ranger Wing, Rhodesian Light Infantry and United States Army's Special Forces (Green Berets); the scarlet of the elite Soviet Internal Troops (Spetsnaz); the beige or tan of Commonwealth special forces units (SAS) and United States Army Rangers; the grey of the new Polish GROM; or the wide black of French Chasseurs alpins, the first military unit to have worn berets.
Given its practicality, the informal use of berets by the military of Europe dates back millennia, one example being the Blue Bonnet, that became a defacto symbol of Scottish forces in the 16th and 17th centuries. As an officially required military headdress, its use dates back to the Carlist Wars of Succession for the Spanish Crown in the 1830s by order of General Tomás de Zumalacárregui who wanted a local and non-costly way to make headgear that was resistant to the mountain weather and easy to care for and be used on formal occasions. Other countries followed suit after the creation of the French Chasseurs alpins in the early 1880s. These mountain troops were issued with a uniform which included several features which were innovative for the time, notably the large and floppy blue beret which they still retain. This was so unfamiliar a fashion outside France that it had to be described in the Encyclopedia Britannica of 1911 as "a soft cap or tam o'shanter."
Berets have features that make them very attractive to the military: they are cheap, easy to make in large numbers, can be manufactured in a wide range of colors, can be rolled up and stuffed into a pocket or beneath the shirt epaulette without damage, and can be worn with headphones (this is one of the reasons why tank crews adopted the beret). The beret is not so useful in field conditions for the modern infantryman, who requires protective helmets, and is usually not seen worn by infantry on operations.
The beret was found particularly useful as a uniform for armored-vehicle crews, and the British Tank Corps (later Royal Tank Corps) adopted the headdress as early as 1918, despite complaints that the beret was "too foreign and feminine".
German AFV crews in the late 1930s also adopted a beret with the addition of a padded crash helmet inside. The color black became popular as a tank-crew headdress, since it did not show oil stains picked up inside the interior of a vehicle. Black berets continue to be worn by armoured regiments throughout the Commonwealth.
Berets have become the default military headdress of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, just as the morion, tricorne, shako, kepi, and peaked cap were each common headgear in their own respective eras. The beret is now worn by many military personnel of the majority of nations across the world.
Military berets by country
Most berets are used by senior enlisted personnel and officers.
- Forest green — Afghan National Army
- Maroon — Commandos (Trained by JTF-2 and US Army Rangers)
- Cerulean — Afghan National Police
- Tan — Special Forces
In the Angola Armed Forces, the following berets are in use:
- Green — Paratroopers.
- Maroon — Commandos.
- Brown — General use
- Sky blue — Air Force.
- Black — Navy and Marines.
Berets are worn by some units in the Argentine Armed Forces, with distinctive colors for some units or functions. The beret colours are as follows:
- Dark green — 601 Commando Company, 602 Commando Company, Amphibious Commandos Group, Argentine National Gendarmerie
- Black — Armoured Troops, Mechanized Infantry, Argentine Marines in the southern regions, where strong winds forbide the use of other headgear.
- Red — Paratroopers
- Claret — 601 Air Assault Regiment
- Tan — Mountain Troops (Cazadores de Montaña)
- Camouflage — Jungle Troops (Cazadores del Monte)
- Dark blue — Argentine Army Aviation, Special Operations Group (GOE)
- Brown — Navy Tactical Divers Group, Army Tactical Divers.
- Olive Green and camouflage — All other Army units
- Orange — Instituto Antártico Argentino
- UN blue — Personnel serving with the United Nations Forces
Berets were worn by all corps in the Australian Army, with distinctive colors for some units:. From September 2010 all berets were banned for wear by the army for daily wear, except for Special Forces. However some units will be permitted to retain them for ceremonial occasions
- Black — Royal Australian Armoured Corps
- Fawn — Special Air Service Regiment
- Light blue — Australian Army Aviation
- Scarlet — Royal Australian Corps of Military Police
- Dull cherry — 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
- Rifle green — Royal Australian Regiment
- Sherwood green — 1st Commando Regiment and 2nd Commando Regiment
- Slate grey — Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps
- Dark blue — other personnel
- Sandy (officially biege) Beret - SAS - Special Air Servics - motto Who Dares Wins
Navy Blue Berets are issued head-dress in the Royal Australian Navy; however, they are most commonly worn by Clearance Divers and qualified Submariners - that said, they are still a regulation uniform item for any naval personnel. Blue berets in the Royal Australian Air Force, but only by qualified Airfield Defence Guards and Ground Defence Officers. Terracotta berets are worn by Multinational Force and Observers contingents. In all cases, the beret is pushed over to the right, and a badge (a.k.a. "flash" insignia) worn above the left eye.
Berets are common in most parts of the Army, and are usually worn for special occasions, but also regularly by certain forces.
- Grass green — Infantry, all troops that do not wear another color
- Olive green — Jagdkommandos
- Black — Mechanized troops, anti-tank troops, artillery, reconnaissance, combat engineers
- Wine red — Jägerbataillon 25 (paratroopers)
- Scarlet red — Guard of Honour
- Coral red — Military Police
- Yellow green — Sports Center of the Army
- Pike grey — NBC Defence School
- Rust brown — Signal School
- Navy blue — Logistics School, Mission Support Command (Kdo Einsatzunterstützung)
- Blue — UN
- Black - Royal Bahraini Army and Royal Bahraini Naval Force
- Blue - Royal Bahraini Air Force
- Maroon - Military Police
- Tan - Special Forces
- Green - Royal Guard
- Black — Armoured corps-Black
- Bangladesh Green — Infantry
- Dull Cherry — Army Medical corps
- Scarlet — Military police
- Maroon — Commandos
- Royal Blue — Engineers
- Royal Blue — Service corps
- Dark Blue — Education corps
- Dark Blue — Electrical and mechanical engineers
- Dark Blue — Ordnance
- Dark Blue — Artillery
- Dark Blue — Signals
- Dark Blue — Army Dental corps
Berets have been worn by Belgian military personnel since World War II. Berets vary in colour according to the regiment, and carry a crest pin (sometimes on a coloured background patch) which is of gold colour for officers, silver for noncommissioned officers and bronze for troops. Members of cavalry units all wear silver crest pins.
- Maroon — Paracommando Immediate Reaction Cell (HQ)/1 Para/3 Para/Special Forces Group/Parachute Training Centre
- Green — 2 Commando/Paracommando Field Artillery/Commando Training Centre
- Olive Green (bigger size, basque type with folded-in brim, with boar's head pin) — Chasseurs Ardennais regiment (Ardennian Rifles)
- Brown — Infantry, Chasseurs a pieds (rifles)
- Black — Armoured troops, guides (Scouts), Chasseurs à Cheval (Recce), some engineers units
- Dark blue — Artillery and Royal Military Academy
- Cobalt blue — Logistics and administration troops
- Grey — Transmission troops and some engineer units
- Bright red — Military police
- Grey-blue — Air component
- Light blue — former Land component Light Aviation (now part of Air Component)
- Navy blue (no crest pin, but embroidered crest) — Navy component (Former Naval infantry with metal badge)
- Dark green — Medical component
- Khaki — general service beret with lion badge worn on training by all troops (Obsolete)
- Black — Armoured corps.
- Maroon — Paratroopers.
- Green — Infantry and other Army units.
- Dark Blue — Gendarmerie.
Berets in Bolivian Army:
- Black — Paratroopers
- Maroon — Armoured Corps
- Green — Special Operations Forces, Commandos
- Camouflage — Special Forces "Bolivian Condors"
- Blue — Engineer units
- Tan — Air Assault Units
- Dark Blue — Students of Military Formation Schools (Cadets, Officer Candidates, Sargeant Candidates)
- Black — Armoured troops, Mechanized Infantry, Military Police (Gendarmerie)
- Camouflage — Jungle Troops
- Dark brown — Special Operations Group
- Grey — Mountain Infantry
- Maroon — Paratroopers
- Royal blue — Army aviation
- Scarlet red — Students of Colégio Militar (middle and high school).
- Green — All other Army units
Berets have been worn by Bulgarian military personnel since 1991. Berets vary in colour according to the military branch, and carry a crest pin (sometimes on a coloured background patch) resembling the unit's insignia.
- Red — Army
- Light blue — Air Force (including Airborne Forces)
- Black or white — Navy (including Marines) (white berret is part of the so called "Parade Form 3", and is worn only during August)
- Black — Gendarmerie
- Dark navy blue — Naval Specialized Research and Analysis Division
- Main article Uniforms of the Canadian Forces#Berets
The colour of the beret is determined by the wearer's environment, branch, or mission. The beret colours listed below are the current standard:
Colour Wearer Air Force blue Royal Canadian Air Force black Armoured black Royal Canadian Navy CF green all other Army units UN blue personnel serving with the United Nations on peacekeeping missions scarlet Military Police maroon Airborne paratroopers blaze orange Search-and-rescue technicians terracotta personnel serving with the Multinational Force and Observers tan Special Forces
Berets in Chilean Army:
- Black — Special Operations Forces, Commandos and Paratroopers
- Red/Maroon — Armoured Corps
- Green — Mountain troops
Berets in Chilean Navy:
- Black — Missile Craft, Submarines and SSK's crew
- Green — Combat Diver (Navy) and commandos (Marines Corp)
Berets in Chilean Air Force:
- Dark blue — Ground troops
- Black — Commandos and Paratroopers
China, People's Republic of
- Olive green — Ground Force and Second artillery force
- Dark blue — Navy
- Black - Marine corps
- Blue-grey — Air Force (including Airborne troops)
Berets were not officially adopted by the CAPF, but some of the forces issued their own types NOT OFFICIAL:
- Red—CAPF Provincial Women Special Police Corps
- Dark blue—Public Security Police SWAT
During the 80s, camo berets were issued to some of the recon forces of PLA. It has no badge on it.
Type 07 uniform is being issued to both PLA and CAPF on August 1, 2007. Colours of 07 berets are changed to the same colours with the service uniform. And several changes in designs were made from type 99 beret. The berets were not being issued until summer of 2009 to most of the troops.
Other than colours of the berets, the most significant difference between type 99 and type 07 is the type 99 beret badge is cloth, while type 07 is plastic.
Berets are worn by all personnel of the Colombian Army (Ejército) and certain members of the Navy (Armada), with distinctive colors for some units or functions. The beret colors are:
- Black — Lancero Instructors; Airborne Navy Marines (Infantería de Marina)
- Green — Members of Counterguerrilla Units
- Maroon — Special Forces (Commandos)
- Sky Blue — Airborne School Instructors
- Pewter Blue — Members of the BRECNA (Brigada Especial Contra el Narcotráfico, Special Brigade Against Narcotrafficking)
In the Croatian Army berets are used in special forces and guard brigades.
During Croatian War of Independence, Croatian Army consisted of seven professional brigades—guard brigades, each having its beret colour. During the army reforms number of guard brigades was cut to two, but the battalions kept the names and insignia (colour of beret also) of ex brigades.
- Green with golden cap badge — Joint staff
- Red — presidential guard on their battledress uniforms
- Green (badge on the right) — Special Operations Battalion
- Black — Military police
- Armored Mechanized Guard Brigade
- Black — 1st Mechanized Battalion "Sokolovi"
- Brown — 2nd Mechanized Battalion "Pume"
- Black — Tank Battalion "Kune"
- Motorized Guard Brigade
- Black — 1st Mechanized Battalion "Tigrovi"
- Green — 2nd Mechanized Battalion "Gromovi"
- Black — 1st Motorized Battalion "Vukovi"
- Red — 2nd Motorized Battalion "Pauci"
Also dark blue beret is used in Croatian Navy.
The Armed Forces of the Czech Republic use berets for both battledress and display uniform. The colour of the beret is defined by the branch of the armed forces. The beret displays the small state coat of arms and the badge of rank of the individual.
- Orange — Civil defence troops
- Maroon — 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade (Airborne), 601st Special Forces Group
- Dark green — Reconnaissance troops
- Light green — Other ground forces (mechanised infantry, armour, artillery, NBC protection, Engineering Brigades, etc.)
- Dark blue — Air Force
- Grey — Logistics, Medical troops
- Black — Military Police
The Royal Danish Army uses berets for all its personnel. The Navy and Air Force also use berets.
- Green — Support troops; artillery; signal (EW); engineers; Army Home Guard; Infrastructure Home Guard
- Red — Military police
- Maroon — Jægerkorpset ("Hunter Corps", army special forces)
- Black — Combat troops (armour, recon and infantry)
- Dark blue — Royal Danish Navy; Naval Home Guard
- Light Blue Gray — Royal Danish Air Force; Air Force Home Guard
- Light blue (also called "mouse grey") — Army Aviation (now disbanded)
- Dark brown — Danish Women's Voluntarily Corp (Dansk Lottekorps) Disbanded
- Camouflage — Naval Infantry, Armoured forces of Bornholm (Bornholms Værn's Marineinfantery) Disbanded
- UN-blue - UN-units
Berets are worn by all personnel of the Ecuadorian Army (Ejército) and certain members of the Navy (Armada) and Air Force (Fuerza Aérea), with distinctive colours for some units or functions. The beret colours are:
- Black — Military Police; Navy Marines (Infantería de Marina)
- Red — Paratroopers and Special Operations Forces
- Dark blue — Army Aviation (Aviación del Ejército); Air Force Aerial Infantry (Infantería Aérea)
- Dark green — all other Army units
- Gray — for use with the dress uniform (4-B) for those forces using the dark green beret
- Camouflage — IWIA (indigenous tribal members unit) forces
- Maroon — Paratroopers
- Forest green — Armour
- Dark blue — Infantry
- Dark blue with red band — Presidential Guard
- Black — Artillery
- Red — Military Police
All personnel of the EDF or Eritrean Defense Forces wear Berets.
- Red — Air Force Units
- Green — Army Units
- Blue — Naval Units
- Purple — Border Guard
All personnel in the Estonian Military used to wear Berets in the beginning on 90's. Nowadays there is no Berets in Estonian Defence Forces although, it is taken to consideration to reinstate Berets again.
- Green — Ground Forces
- Black — Armoured Corps, Naval Units
- Maroon — Special Trained Forces
- Light Blue — Air Force
The Finnish Defence Force uses berets with cap badges for the Army, Navy and the Air Force. The berets are worn in "clean" garrison duties such as roll calls and with the walking-out uniform, but not with the battle dress. Until the mid-1990s, the beret was reserved for troops with special status, such as the armoured troops, coastal jägers and the parachute jägers, but is nowadays used by all units. In the winter, berets are replaced by winter headgear.
Berets are also used by the Finnish Frontier Guard, which is a military organization under the aegis of Ministry of Interior during peacetime.
- Olive-green (Badge: silver lion's head) — Army
- Olive-green (Badge: golden lion's head with a crown) — Finnish Rapid Deployment Force and units abroad
- Blue (Badge: Air Force insignia) — Air Force
- Blue (Badge: silver griffin) — Army aviation
- Blue (Badge: Harp and sword) — Military bands
- Dark blue (Badge: Anchor and Lion) — Navy (including coastal troops, but with the exception of coastal jägers)
- Black (Badge: Armored head) — Armoured Brigade
- Green (Badge: Golden sea eagle's head) — Coastal jägers
- Maroon (Badge: Arrow and parachute) — Parachute jägers or special jägers (Utti Jäger Regiment)
- Olive-green (Badge: Golden bear's head, sword and fir tree twig) — Frontier jägers
- Brown (Badge: Golden bear's head, sword and fir tree twig) — Special Frontier jägers
The military beret originated in the French Army, in the form of the wide and floppy headdress worn by the Chasseurs alpins (mountain light infantry) from their foundation in the early 1880s. A tight-fitting version was subsequently adopted by French armoured troops towards the end of World War I. Between the wars, special fortress units raised to garrison the Maginot Line wore khaki berets as did the 13th DBLE of the French Foreign Legion when it was created in 1940. The Vichy Milice of the War period wore a blue beret.
The beret in red, blue or green was a distinction of the Metropolitan, Colonial and Foreign Legion paratroop regiments during the Indochina and Algerian wars. After 1962 the beret in either khaki or the colours specified above became the standard French Army headdress for ordinary use.
With the exception of the Naval Commandos whose beret emulates the British Commando beret and is worn pulled to the right with the badge worn over the left ear and the Naval Fusiliers commandos also part of the French Navy, all other French berets (Army, airforce and gendarmerie GIGN) are pulled to the left with the badge worn on the right side over the eye or the temple.
- Wide Navy blue — Chasseurs alpins and other mountain troops (the wide beret's nickname is the tarte (tart)) also worn with a white cover.
- Green (badge on the left) — Commandos Marine, Naval commandos "Special forces"
- Light Green (badge on the right) French Foreign Legion (infantry, airborne, engineers, armoured)
- Dark blue — Air Fusiliers Commandos; Troupes de Marine: all other army troops
- Dark blue — ( badge on the left) Fusiliers marins Commandos
- Red — Paratroopers "metropolitan" and "de marine" ex colonial" (except the Foreign Legion) (this colour is called amarante)
- Electric "royal" blue — Army Light Aviation ALAT aviation legere de l'armee de terre
- Black — Gendarmerie special forces GIGN (anti-terrorist units) and EPIGN (paras) now obsolete and "Tradition" RCC Regiment de Chars de Combat (Tank / Armoured)
- Brown — "Tradition" 2nd Reg hussards with embroidered badge.
Berets in Gabonese Army:
- Maroon — Paratroopers
- Light grey — Armoured troops
- Green — Republican Guard.to also symbolise boggers
- Green — Commandos Marine
- Dark red — Army Medical Corps
- Dark blue — other Army units
The German Heer uses berets with cap badges for every branch of service. The Luftwaffe and the Marine issue navy blue berets only to their ground or land combat units (called Luftwaffensicherungstruppe and Marineschutzkräfte). Berets are usually worn at special ceremonies and roll calls, although units with a special esprit de corps, especially armoured and mechanized infantry (Panzergrenadiere) battalions, wear their berets all the time. German berets are always pulled to the right, with the badge visible over the left temple.
- Black — armoured units, including armoured reconnaissance
- Maroon — special units, including airborne troops, army aviation, Airmobile Operations Division (DLO; Division Luftbewegliche Operationen), and Division Special Operations (DSO; Division Spezielle Operationen), including the KSK (Kommando Spezialkräfte)
- Red — support units, including artillery, engineers, intelligence, psychological operations (Operative Information), anti-aircraft, supply, NBC protection, signals, electronic warfare, transport, topography, and military police (Feldjäger), 'Instandssetzung' Vehicle Maintenance
- Moss green — infantry units, including Jägertruppe, Panzergrenadiere (armoured infantry), and ceremonial guards (Wachbataillon des Heeres) and the now disbanded Panzerjäger (anti-tank);
- Blue — medical units
- Navy blue — Luftwaffe (Air Force) and Deutsche Marine (Navy) infantry and ceremonial guards; Offizieranwärterbataillon (Officer Candidate Battalions of the Army) multinational units (e.g. Eurocorps)
- Light Blue — Troops in UN units
military bands wear the beret colour of their respective division (e.g. black in the 1. Panzerdivision)
Note: The Panzerjäger started off with black berets but were moved into the Panzergrenadier branch. The last Panzerjägers wore green berets.
The beret colours worn by the Ghana Army are as follows:
- Black — Armoured Corps
- Green — Paratroopers.
- Red — Military police.
- Dark Blue — All other Arms and Corps
The beret colours worn by the Hellenic Army are as follows:
- Light blue — Presidential Guard
- Black — Armoured Corps
- Green — Special Forces (including Commandos, Marines and Parachute despatchers/riggers)
- Dark red/maroon — Army Aviation
- Bright red/scarlet — Airborne troops
- Dark Blue — All other Arms and Corps when in number 8a 8b and 8c Service Dress.
When in fatigue tigerstripes the camouflaged cap is worn instead of the dark blue beret. The beret colours worn by the Hellenic Air Force are:
- Blue-grey (same colours as RAF) — Air Force Underwater Operations Squadron
- Dark red/Maroon — Air Force Special Operations Squadron
Berets currently in Hungarian military:
Icelandic armed services commonly use berets.
- Blue — Icelandic Crisis Response Unit
- Black — Icelandic Coast Guard
- Green — Infantry regiments and Military Intelligence
- Dark (rifle) green — rifle regiments and some light infantry regiments
- Maroon — The Parachute Regiment and Special Forces
- Black — Armoured Corps and the National Security Guards
- Grey — Army Aviation Corps and the Indian Air Force
- Scarlet — Corps of Military Police
- Navy blue — The Regt of Artillery, Arms and services, Indian Navy
- Sand — Marine Commandos
- Light Blue — All personnel serving with the United Nations forces irrespective of unit, arm or service
The beret is the headgear of ground forces and military police in the Indonesian Armed Forces. In Military Services (Army, Navy and Air Force), the berets are dragged to the right (the insignia are worn on the left side), while in National Police Service and Military Police units, the berets are dragged to the left (the insignia are worn on the right side).
- Red - Special Forces.
- Dark Green - Infantry Corps (including Airborne and Raider units).
- Black - Cavalry Corps.
- Light Brown - Artillery Corps (Field Artillery and Air Defense Artillery).
- Steel Gray - Combat Engineers Corps (currently changed to green).
- Maroon - Army Aviation Corps.
- Khaki - Signal Corps.
- Dark Blue - Supply and Transportation Corps.
- Light Blue - Military Police
- Light Green - Army Headquarters.
- Navy Blue - Standard berets for the Navy, worn by all personnel in duty such as ships' company, or on the Naval Stations.
- Reddish Purple (Magenta) - Marine Corps.
- Burning Red - Special Forces.
- Air Force
- Blue - Standard berets for the Air Force, with Air Force insignia.
- Orange - Air Force Special Operation Corps (Korps Pasukan Khas).
- Dark Blue - Air Force Military Police.
- Light Blue - All personnel attached in United Nations' Peace Keeping Force, and the Presidential Security Force.
- Dark Brown - Military Cadets.
National Police Corps
- Red - Detective Corps (Reserse).
- Dark Blue - Mobile Brigade Corps (Brigade Mobil).
- Dark Brown - Police Samapta Bhayangkara Corps.
The beret colours worn by Óglaigh na hÉireann (The Irish Defence Forces) are as follows:
- Black with red patch behind capbadge — Permanent Defence Forces
- Black - Naval Service / Naval Service Reserve
- Light green with bottle green patch — Army Reserve
- Bottle green — Army Ranger Wing (Sciathán Fianóglach an Airm)
- Red — An Cor Póilíní Airm (Military Police)
All personnel (except navy) wear a common capbadge, a sunburst insignia with the letters "FF" inscribed above the left eye of the beret; this is the ancient symbol of the Fianna, the Irish special forces.
Israeli Defense Forces soldiers wear berets only on formal occasions, such as ceremonies and roll calls, and in disciplinary situations such as courts martial and imprisonments. The beret is placed beneath the left epaulette. The beret colors are as follows:
- Olive green — General Corps, recruits, units with no other unique beret
- Black — Armored Corps
- Turquoise — Artillery Corps
- Red — Paratroopers Brigade, General Staff units (Sayeret Matkal and others)
- Light green (lime) — Nahal Brigade, Caracal Battalion, various educational positions
- Purple — Givati Brigade
- Brown — Golani Brigade
- Camouflage — Kfir Brigade
- Deep green — Intelligence Directorate, Field Intelligence Corps, Border Police
- Orange — Home Front Command
- Silver — Combat Engineering Corps
- Blue — Military Police
- Deep blue — Navy
- Gray — Air Force
Italian Army personnel used to wear a garrison cap alongside the combination cap, until the early 1970s when the garrison cap was replaced by the beret. Until the early 1980s the general Army colour for the beret was khaki, the black being reserved to armoured units. The colours presently used are:
- Maroon — Paratroopers, including Army Incursori, Carabinieri Tuscania Regiment and Police Parachute units (Display Team and NOCS)
- Light Blue — Army Aviation, Airmobile Infantry and Prison Police
- Black — all Army units, except the above-mentioned ones, and including Navy San Marco Regiment
- Green — Navy (COMSUBIN GOI Incursori), Guardia di Finanza (GICO and ATPI) and "Reggimento Lagunari Serenissima", amphibious troops of Italian Army
- Medium Blue - Navy (COMSUBIN GOS Divers)
- Teal blue — Air Force guards
- Tan — Air Force Incursori (RIAM)
- Red — Carabinieri Hunters
- Grey — Guardia di Finanza and Corpo Forestale dello Stato
- Blue — Polizia di Stato
- Dark Blue (Turchino) - Carabinieri
All members in the Ground Self-Defense Force are authorized to wear wool rifle green berets - referred to as the "ベレー帽" (ベレーボウ or bereebou) - as an optional head covering for dress, working and camouflage uniforms since 1992. However, it is normally considered a special dress item, worn for public relations events or parades. An embroidered goldwork cap badge representing the JGSDF logo identical to the one used on the service dress peaked cap is required by regulation to be affixed to the beret.
The beret colours worn by the Jordanian Army are as follows:
- Chocolate brown - Infantry
- Maroon — Special Forces
- Black — Armoured Corps
- Green — Royal Guards
- Dark Blue - Artillery
- Mid-blue - Engineers
- Red — Military police
- Grey Blue - Air Force
The beret colours worn by the Kenya Army are as follows;
- Black — Armoured Corps
- Green — Paratroopers.
- Red — Military police.
- Dark Blue - All other Arms and Corps
The beret colours worn by the Latvian Army are as follows:
- Olive-green — Parliament and President's Security Service Unit
- Red — Military police
- Black - All other Arms and Corps
All units, in the Lebanese Armed Forces wear berets when not in combat mode (Helmet), training camp (cap) or formal uniform (formal hat).
The Lebanese Army, unlike most militaries, wears the beret slanted (pulled down) on the left side as the Army embelm is positioned to the right alligned with the right eye brow.
- Pigment Green - The Fast Intervention Bettalions (SF)(5)
- Brown Airborn Bettalion (SF)(1).
- Red - Military Police.
- Black - Republican Gaurd Bregade (Presidential Gaurd).
- Bordeaux red/Maroon - Rangers Bettalion (SF), Navy Rangers Bettalion (SF)(Seals).
- Black - Anti-terrorism Unit (SF)(Military Intellegence pronounced in Arabic 'MOKAFAHA' and Strike Force).
- Dark Blue — The 11 Bregades, Cadets and the rest of the Army.
- Maroon — National Defence Volunteer Forces
- Scarlet — Military Police
- Green — Military Land Force
- Green — Iron Wolf Mechanised Infantry Brigade
Berets are worn by some units of the Malaysian Armed Forces. The colours presently used are:
- Maroon — Malaysian Army 10 Paratrooper Brigade
- Sherwood Green — Army Special Forces (Grup Gerak Khas)
- Dark green — Infantry and Intelligent
- Blue - All Corps except Infantry and Intelligent
- Light blue - Army Aviation
- Sky blue — Air Force elite PASKAU (English: Special Air Service) and regular aviation
- Dark blue — Royal Malaysian Navy
- Purple — Naval elite PASKAL troops
- Black - Royal Armor Corps
The beret colours worn by the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) are as follows:
- Maroon — Special Forces.
- Red — Military Police.
- Green — Marines and other support units.
- Black — Parade Beret.
The beret colours worn by the Malian Armed Forces are as follows:
- Maroon — Paratroopers.
- Brown — Republican Guard.
- Green — Infantry and other army units.
- Dark blue — Air Force
In the Mexican Army, the beret is worn by:
- Green - High Command GAFE (Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales del Alto Mando)
- Maroon — Paratroopers
- Black — Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales (GAFE)
In the Mexican Navy:
- Black — Paratroopers
In 2002, new army uniforms were introduced to the Mongolian armed forces and along with new uniform design, dark green berets were issued to all personnel. According to the rules, all military berets are pushed to the right and displays "Soyombo" symbol in middle of golden oak leafs in the right side. Berets are worn by Mongolian Police since 1994. Police berets are deferent from the army beret in color and in shape, while it is pushed to the left while army berets are pushed to the right.
- Dark green - All branches of Armed forces
- Red - Internal troops.
- Dark blue - National emergency troops (rescuers)
- Black - Police unit (pushed to the left)
- Deep Green: Royal Gurkha Rifles
When the Royal Netherlands Armed Forces acquired new modernised uniforms (designed by the Dutch couturier Frans Molenaar) in 2000, the berets changed as well. Since 2004, soldiers of the Royal Netherlands Army have worn a petrol (blue-green) beret, whereas previously they wore brown.
The following colours are also used (before and after the modernisation): Navy:
- Dark blue (near black) with a gold color/ subdued metal anchor on a red flash — Royal Netherlands Marine Corps
- Dark blue (near black) with a gold color metal anchor on a black flash — Royal Netherlands Navy
- Dark blue (near black) with a silver color metal anchor on a Blue flash — (Security Royal Netherlands Marine)
- Green (The Green Beret) — Commandos of the Korps Commandotroepen
- Maroon (The Red Beret) — Airmobile troops of the 11 Air Manoeuvre Brigade"11 Luchtmobiele Brigade(Air Assault)"
- Black — Armour and Cavalry
- Petrol (blue-green)— Royal Netherlands Army
Note: The only Dutch military unit that do not wear a beret are the Gele Rijders (Horse Artillery), who wear a blue garrison cap with yellow trimming.
- Grey-blue — Royal Netherlands Air Force
- Bright blue — with emblemKoninklijke Marechaussee (Royal Gendarmerie)
- UN blue — All military members of the United Nations
- Brickred — All military members of the Multinational Force and Observers
- Dark blue — 1(GE/NL)Corps (Eerste Duits-Nederlandse Legerkorps)
All regiments and services have their own distinctive colours. There are quite a lot, but the number of colours in the logistic services was reduced in 2001. This colour is shown in a patch of cloth behind the beret flash. The intendance (maroon), transport troops (blue), — ' military administration (pink; hence the nickname 'Pink Mafia'), technical service (black), and medical troops and service (green) lost their colours and all now wear yellow patches. (In 2010, the components recovered their color. except the administration they got the crimson color)
- Infantry — Red, except:
- Grenadier Guards — Red with blue border
- Rifle Guards — Green with yellow border
- Fusilier Guards — Orange with blue border
- Regiment van Heutsz — Black with orange border
- Limburg Rifles Regiment — Green with maroon border
- Korps Commandotroepen — Black with dark green border
- Cavalry (Armour) — Blue with white, red or orange border
- Cavalry (Reconnaissance) — Blue with black border
- Artillery — Black with red border
- Engineers — Brown
- Signals — Blue with white border
- Logistics — Yellow
- Legal Affairs — Black with white border
- Psychological and Sociological Service — Red
- Protestant Chaplains — Black
- Catholic Chaplains — Blue
- Jewish Chaplains — Black
- Humanist Society Chaplains — Bright green
- Hindu Chaplains — Bright blue
- Troops in Initial Training — Red
- Royal Military Academy Cadets — Red with yellow border
- Physical Training Instructors — Blue
- Technical Staff — Maroon
All Battalions in the New Zealand Army wear rifle green berets, except for the Special Air Service, who wear a sand colour. Personnel of the Royal New Zealand Navy wear black. Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel do not wear berets.
The Norwegian armed forces use the beret as a garrison cap, but some units (mostly armored vehicle personnel) also use it in the field. The Norwegian beret and all other headwear except those of the Navy and His Majesty The King's Guard always have the current king's cipher as a badge in gold (most of the army) or silver (the air force); currently this is a numeral 5 inside an H, for "Harald V". The navy has a crowned gold anchor for their enlisted personnel, a crowned gold anchor surrounded by a circle of rope for their petty officers, and a crowned golden anchor surrounded by leaved branches for officers. The colours used are:
- Royal blue — Brigade Nord (except cavalry troops, intelligence troops and military police)
- Umbra green — Intelligence Battalion and Border Guards
- Black — Cavalry
- Khaki — Norwegian Army 2nd Battalion
- Emerald green — Telemark Battalion
- Maroon — Army Ranger Command
- Red — Military police
- Olive green — other army units & Home Guard
- Olive green with silver badge — recruits in His Majesty's The Kings Guards; Krigsskolen
- Dark blue — Royal Norwegian Navy
- Air force blue — Royal Norwegian Air Force Base Defence Units
- Air force light blue — Royal Norwegian Air Force Air Defence Artillery Units
The special operations units of the Navy wear the same berets as the rest of the navy. However they have a coloured patch behind the cap badge, the colour of which determines the unit:
- Green — Marinejegerkommandoen
- Blue — Minedykkerkommandoen
- Maroon — Kystjegerkommandoen
- Red - Military Police
- Rifle green — Frontier Force Regiment, Defence Services Guards
- Rifle green with cherry color patch behind the badge - Baloch Regiment
- Green with Green Plume — Punjab Regiment
- Cherry Pink with a red feather hackle — Sindh Regiment
- Green with red patch behind badge — Azad Kashmir Regiment
- Chitrali Style with White Feather — Northern Light Infantry
- Black — Regiments of Armored Corps
- Dark Blue — Regiment of Artillery, Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Corps of Signals
- Maroon — Army Air Defence, Army Aviation Corps
- Light Blue — Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers, Army Services Corps
- Red — Pakistan Army Medical Corps, Military Police
- Dark Maroon - Special Service Group (SSG)
- Green with Red Plume - Pakistan Military Academy Cadets
- Dark Blue - Worn by the General Staff officers (rank of Colonel and above) irrespective of their Regimental association.
- Army green with PA flash - Philippine Army Units
- Army green with SOCOM flash - Philippine Army Special Operations Command
- Olive drab with FSFR flash - Philippine Army Special Forces
- Olive green with LRB flash - Philippine Army Light Reaction Battalion
- Black with FSRR flash - First Scout Ranger Regiment
- Black with LAD flash - Philippine Army Light Armor Division
- Black with PSG flash - Philippine Army units assigned to the Presidential Security Group
Philippine Air Force
- Dark blue with PAF seal - Philippine Air Force base security personnel
- Camouflage with PAF seal- Philippine Air Force pararescue
- Black with SPOW flash - Philippine Air Force 710th Special Operations Wing
- Black with PSG flash - Philippine Air Force units assigned to the Presidential Security Group
- UN blue - AFP personnel assigned to UN Peacekeeping
Black berets were introduced before World War II for tank and armoured car crews. During World War II, berets were widely adopted in the Polish Army on the Western Front, armored troops - black, airborne - grey, commando - green. After the war in the communist era, berets were worn only by armoured units (black), navy for field and work uniform (black), paratroopers (maroon), and marines (light blue). After 1990, the beret became the standard headgear in the Armed Forces of Republic of Poland. Around the year 2000 the design of the Polish Army Beret changed, the beret sewn together from three pieces of material with four air holes, two at each side was changed to a smaller beret molded from one piece of material with no air holes. The following colours are in use:
- Light Blue — Marines
- Black — Armored and artillery troops, Navy (for field and work uniform), Special Forces Command
- Brown — Territorial Defense
- Green — Army general use
- Dark Green - 1st Special Commando Regiment (1PSK)
- Maroon — Airborne troops
- Scarlet — Military Police (Gendarmerie)
- Steel grey — Air force
- Grey — Operational Mobile Reaction Group (GROM)
Berets in other units
- Light Green — Border Guards
- Navy Blue — Police anti terrorist units
- Green — Strzelec paramilitary units
- Sapphire Blue — Government Protection Bureau and disbanded Vistula Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
The black beret is also the distinctive headgear of World War II veterans, particularly Armia Krajowa veterans.
The dress code of the Polish armed forces states than when not worn on the head or kept in a locker the beret should be placed under the left shoulder loop.
In the Portuguese Armed Forces, the following berets are in use:
- Emerald green — Paratroopers
- Brown — Army general use
- Black — Cavalry (except Cavalry Paratroopers), including Military Police
- Red — Commandos
- Grass green — Special Operations Forces
- Blue — Navy general use
- Navy blue — Marines
- Sky blue — Air Force Police
- Navy blue with a green strip on the lower half — Republican National Guard (GNR) Infantry Regiment Operational Battalion (public order and special operations units)
Until 1975, the following berets were also in use:
- Yellow — Special Groups
- Maroon — Paratrooper Special Groups
- Camouflage — "Flechas" and Guinea 3rd Commando Company
- White — Volunteer Aerial Formations
Until majority rule ended its existence in 1980, the Rhodesian Security Forces wore the beret as the primary working dress and service dress headgear. Berets were colored according to unit or service branch, with a distinctive regimental cap badge pinned above the left eye.
- Dark Green — Rhodesia Rgt, Rhodesian African Rifles
- Tartan Green — Rhodesian Light Infantry (Commando)
- Sand — Rhodesian SAS (Special Air Services)
- Brown — Selous Scouts
- Gray — Grey's Scouts
- Black — Rhodesian Armored Car Rgt
- Dark Blue — those units without a distinctive beret
- Blue-gray — Rhodesian Air Force
- Brown — Rhodesian Guard Force
- Cherry Red — Rhodesian Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Bright Blue — Psychological Operations
- Maroon — Medical Corps
- Red — Infantry
- Black — Anti-air Artillery and Missiles, Artillery, Military Automobile Troops (automobilişti militari), Tanks, Communication and Informatics structures, Engineers, Nuclear Biological and Chemical (NBC) Defense and Naval Forces
- Green — Mountain Troops (or Mountain Hunters, Vânători de Munte)
- Maroon — Paratroopers
- Light blue — Air Force and Radar Troops (radiolocaţie)
- Gray — Military Police
- Violet — Military Logistics, or administration (intendenţă)
- Dark red (bordeaux red) — Military Medicine
- Red — Military Music
- Dark blue — Military Justice
The Serbian Armed Forces wear berets in the following colours:
- Green — Army
- Black — Military Police
- Maroon — Special Forces
- Steel blue — Air Force
- Navy blue — Navy
The Singapore Armed and Police Forces adopts the beret as their standard headgear. The different color divisions are as follows:
- Green — Infantry
- Black — Armour
- Khaki — Guards, Gurkha Contingent
- Red — Commandos, PTU
- Dark Blue — Combat Support (such as Signals, Artillery, Combat Engineers, Medical Corps, Transport and Logistics), Navy & Police
- Air Force Blue — Republic of Singapore Air Force (contrary to its name, the beret is closer to green in color)
- Light Grey — TransCom
The berets are all adorned with the Singapore Armed Forces coat of arms, with the exception of the Air Force beret, Military Police beret, navy beret and police beret which are adorned with their respective cap-badge. Officers in the navy have a different cap-badge from the enlisted men. Officers of the rank of colonel and above have a different cap-badge.
- National Cadet Corps (Land)- Green
- National Cadet Corps (Air)- Blue
- National Cadet Corps (Sea)- Black
- National Police Cadet Corps- Dark Blue
- Black - tank forces, army air defense
- Dark green - units of high readiness, immediately reaction battalion
- Maroon - paratrooper units,5.regiment of special assignment(airborne)
- Dark blue - military police
- Light blue - united nation peace keeping forces, training unit for peace keeping mission
- Black — armour
- Rifle Green - Special forces
- Green — Military Police
- Black - Armour units
- Maroon - motorised infantry/Paratroopers
- Dark blue — Navy units
- Light blue — Air force
- Grey - Mountain units
- Sand - NBC units
- Red - Guard unit
The South African Army wears the beret as its standard headgear. The different color divisions are as follows:
- Dark Green — infantry
- Black — Armour, Intelligence, Technical Services Corps
- Orange — Military Police
- Dark Maroon (Plum) — 44 Parachute Regiment, Special Forces Regiment
- Dark blue — Artillery, Engineers
- Light blue — Logistical Corps
- Light Orange — Personnel, Legal Service
- Beige - SA Corps of Signals
The berets are all adorned with the unit's insignia. Some of the traditional units wear other headgear - for example, the Cape Town Highlanders Regiment and the band of the South African Military Health Service.
Outside of Army, the South African Military Health Service wear red berets. The South African Special Forces Brigade which is a separate entity, not part of the army, also wear the Maroon beret which is traditional for elite units in the western world.
Berets are mostly limited to the elite units of the South Korean Military, including:
- Black — Army Special Warfare Command (adorned with the Airborne badge), Reserve Officer Training Corps, KATUSA (Korean Augmentation to the United States Army)
- Red — Air Force Combat Control Team (CCT)
- Maroon — Air Force Special Air Rescue Team (SART)
- Green — Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance
- Camouflage — Navy UDT/SEAL Team and Army and Marine Corps armoured units
Other than these units, several secret commando units (mostly disbanded in the mid-1990s, among them the "Unit 684" which became infamous for its mutiny) formed to infiltrate North Korea during the Cold War days wore black berets and adorned them with the badges of individual units. Korean liaison soldiers serving in the U.S. Eighth Army (KATUSA) have also been wearing black berets along with American uniforms since that beret became a standard headgear of the U.S. Army in 2001.
As of 2006, there have been several proposals within the Korean Ministry of Defense to replace the current field cap with a dark-coloured beret as the standard army headgear.
South Vietnam (defunct)
American advisers assigned to these units wore the berets.
- Red — paratroopers,
- Green — marines, LLDB
- Maroon — rangers
- Black — Navy Junk Force
- Black — palace guards
- Tan — political officers
- Maroon - 1st King's Immemorial Infantry Regiment of AHQ
- Black - Airborne Brigade (BRIPAC), Mechanized Division "Brunete", Air Force Police
- Green - special operations units (MOE, UOE, EZAPAC)
- Mustard - Military Emergencies Unit (UME)
- Dark Green - Mountain Brigade
- Royal Blue - royal Guard, Army Helicopters (FAMET)
- Grey - BRILAT
- Red - General Military Academy
- White - Mountain brigade and NCO's Academy
- Khaki - Infantry
- Maroon — Army Commando Regiment
- Black — Sri Lanka Armoured Corps, Army Special Forces Regiment, Navy Special Boat Squadron, Air Force Regiment Special Force
- Green and Purple - By other regiments in the Sri Lanka Army.
- Black — armoured/mechanised units, Life Guard regiment infantry.
- Maroon — Parachute Ranger School (FJS)
- Scarlet — Army - and Navy musicians
- Rifle green — Cavalry, which includes the Army Ranger Battalion, the ISTAR Battalion, Airmobile Battalion, military police and the ceremonial guard. Also worn by the Airforce Ranger School.
- Commando green - Amphibious Corps
- Dark blue — All army units, apart from armoured, cavalry, FJS, musicians and Homeguard. Also worn by all Airforce personnel, except the airforce rangers and aviators.
- Bright blue — Helicopter Flotillia (helicopters)
- Khaki — Home Guard
- Olive green - Special Operations Group (SOG. Special Forces)
The beret is worn by all police and military personal.
- Red - Elite Forces
Since 1995, when it replaced the grey side cap, the beret is worn with the dress uniform and with the personally issued battle dress uniform by all Swiss soldiers. In training, a camouflage-colored field cap is worn instead.
The colours used are:
- Black — armoured and mechanised units; signals and headquarters troops; NBC specialists; intelligence, military justice and general staff personnel
- Green — infantry, musicians
- Red — artillery
- Deep blue — Air Force (including paratroopers)
- Blue — medical personnel
- Dark red — logistics troops
- Grey — military police
- Light blue — troops on UN missions
The beret is used in the various armed forces of Thailand. The colours used are:
- Maroon — Paratroops, Special Forces
- Khaki green — Army Reserve Force Students
- Black — all other Army units, Air Force, Thahan Phran, Paratroop Police, Border Patrol Police
- Camouflage — Royal Thai Marine Corps
The black beret is also worn by ordinary police in certain situations.
The beret colours worn by the Togolese Army are as follows:
- Black — Armoured Corps.
- Maroon — Para-Commando Regiment.
- Green — Presidential Guard Commando Regiment.
- Dark Blue - All other Arms and Corps
- Black — Armoured vehicle personnel
- Light blue — Commandos
- Green — Gendarmerie
- Maroon — Maroon Berets
The British Army beret dates back to 1918 when the French 70th Chasseurs alpins were training with the British Tank Corps. The Chasseurs alpins wore a distinctive large beret (see above) and Major-General Sir Hugh Elles, the TC's Colonel, realised this style of headdress would be a practical option for his tank crews, forced to work in a reduced space. He thought, however, that the Chasseur beret was "too sloppy" and the Basque-style beret of the French tank crews was "too skimpy", so a compromise based on the Scottish tam o'shanter was designed and submitted for the approval of George V in November 1923. It was adopted in March 1924.
During the Second World War the beret was also adopted by the Commandos and Parachute Regiment. Later in the war, a rather baggier beret-like hat, called a General Service Cap, was issued to all ranks of the British Army (with RAC, parachute, commando, Scottish and Irish units excepted), to replace the earlier Field Service Cap. The GS Cap was not popular, and after the war was replaced with a true beret.
Today, every British military unit wears a beret, with the exception of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and Royal Irish Regiment, who wear the tam o'shanter and the caubeen respectively (the Scots Guards and Irish Guards, however, wear berets, as frequently do the Royal Irish Regiment on operations). Many of these berets are in distinctive colours and all are worn with the cap badge of the service, regiment or corps. The cap badge for all services in the UK is usually worn directly over the left eye however no regulation about the shape or wearing of the head dress exists.
The colours are as follows:
- Khaki — Foot Guards, Honourable Artillery Company, Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, Royal Anglian Regiment, Royal Gibraltar Regiment, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, Royal Welsh, Yorkshire Regiment, Mercian Regiment, 4/73 (Sphinx) Special OP Battery Royal Artillery
- Light grey — Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
- Dark grey — Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps
- Brown — King's Royal Hussars, Royal Wessex Yeomanry
- Black — Royal Tank Regiment, W (Westminster Dragoons) Squadron, Royal Yeomanry
- Rifle green — The Rifles, Royal Gurkha Rifles, Small Arms School Corps, Essex Yeomanry
- Maroon — Parachute Regiment, All ranks serving with 16 Air Assault Brigade other than the non Parachute Regiment Infantry Battalion (note that the beret is not restricted to Parachute qualified personnel).
- Beige — Special Air Service including attached troops who are not SAS-qualified
- Emerald grey - Special Reconnaissance Regiment
- Cambridge blue — Army Air Corps
- Cypress green — Intelligence Corps
- Scarlet — Royal Military Police
- Green — Adjutant General's Corps (except Royal Military Police, who wear scarlet; Army Legal Services Branch, who wear black; and Military Provost Staff, who wear navy blue), Military Provost Guard Service
- Dark blue — Generic: worn by all other Army units (except Scottish and Irish line infantry regiments), Royal Navy, Royal Marines who are not commando-qualified (and who wear the Royal Marines capbadge with red backing)
- Commando green — commando-qualified Royal Marines, Commando qualified personnel of all services serving in Commando units, Special Boat Service
- RAF blue grey — Royal Air Force (including RAF Regiment) and Air Cadets (Combined Cadet Force and Air Training Corps )
- UN Blue - personnel serving with the United Nations on peacekeeping missions (with UN Cap Badge)
- White - When the Special Air Service was initially created white berets where authorised but were soon replaced by beige ones. In 2004 the Royal Air Force Police were denied permission to wear a white beret.
Some Regiments and Corps wear a coloured backing behind the capbadge. These include:
- Foot Guards - Blue Red Blue patch (less the officers of the Scots Guards, who wear a patch of Royal Stewart tartan)
- Honourable Artillery Company - Black Circle
- Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment - Primrose and Blue Patch
- Royal Anglian Regiment - Small Black 'Tombstone'
- Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps — Red Patch
- Royal Army Medical Corps - Dull Cherry Oval Patch
- Army Air Corps - Black Patch
- Army Physical Training Corps - Patch in Corps Colours
- Royal Marines 'Red Tombstone' (only on dark blue beret worn by those who are not commando-qualified)
- Royal Welsh Regiment and Mercian Regiment - Green badge outline and square respectively
- Queen's Royal Lancers - red Patch
- Blues and Royals - Blue and Red striped flash
- Yorkshire Regiment - Brunswick (British Racing) Green.
- Royal Scots Dragoon Guards - Black patch (Worn in mourning for Tsar Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia, who was their Colonel-in-Chief at the time of his murder)
Members of the Royal Tank Regiment, 4/73 (Sphinx) Special OP Battery Royal Artillery, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, Army Air Corps, Parachute Regiment, SAS and Intelligence Corps wear berets in Nos 1, 2, 3 and 6, Dress. Other English and Welsh Regiments and Corps wear peaked caps in these orders of dress. Troops from other services, regiments or corps on attachment to units with distinctive coloured berets often wear those berets (with their own cap badge). Colonels, brigadiers and generals usually continue to wear the beret of the regiment or corps to which they used to belong with the cap badge distinctive to their rank.
Former regiments and corps, now amalgamated, that did not wear navy blue berets included:
- Khaki — Green Howards, King's Own Royal Border Regiment, Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire, Duke of Wellington's Regiment, Reconnaissance Corps, infantry motor battalions in World War II
- Dark (Rifle) green — Light Infantry, Royal Green Jackets, Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry, Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry, Rifle Brigade, King's Royal Rifle Corps, 2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles), 6th Queen Elizabeth's Own Gurkha Rifles, 7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles, 10th Princess Mary's Own Gurkha Rifles
- Black — all Royal Armoured Corps regiments in World War II, Westminster Dragoons, Berkshire and Westminster Dragoons
- Maroon — Glider Pilot Regiment and glider-borne units
- Green — Women's Royal Army Corps, women in Officers Training Corps (now wear dark blue)
- Brown with a broad crimson headband and NO hat badge - 11th Hussars (PAO)
The Pontifical Swiss Guard wears large black berets.
Berets were originally worn by select forces in the United States Army. The first were worn during World War II, when a battalion of the 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment were presented maroon berets by their British counterparts. Though unofficial at first, the green beret of the US Army Special Forces was formally adopted in 1961. Maroon airborne and black US Army Ranger berets were formally authorized in the 1970s.
In 1975 all female soldiers of the Women's Army Corps were authorized to wear a black beret variant as standard headgear for the service uniform.
In 2001, Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki ordered the black beret worn as standard headgear army-wide, a controversial decision because it was previously reserved for the Rangers. In June 2011, Army Secretary John McHugh, acting on the recommendations made by Chief of Staff Martin Dempsey and Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler from feedback they received from soldiers, restored the patrol cap as the official headgear for the Army Combat Uniform, but also gave local commanders the option of ordering its wear with the ACU when they see fit (e.g. ceremonial events. The beret remains standard with the Army Service Uniform.
United States Army berets now use the following distinctive colors:
- Rifle green — Special Forces Groups, John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School
- Tan — 75th Ranger Regiment, Ranger Training Brigade
- Maroon — Airborne-designated units (the maroon beret is an organizational item, so it is worn by all assigned soldiers whether airborne-qualified or not)
- Black — All other Army units
Special Forces, Ranger, and Airborne unit berets sport distinctive organizational flashes. All other units use a standard pale blue flash bordered with 13 white stars. Officers wear their rank insignia within the flash, while enlisted ranks wear their distinctive unit insignia.
During the Vietnam War, the US Navy created special boat teams, unofficially dubbed the brown-water navy, to patrol coastlines and rivers. Naval personnel assigned to these teams wore distinctive black berets as part of their uniform, which was memorialized in the movie "Apocalypse Now".
US Air Force
- Black - Tactical Air Control Party (TACP), Air Liaison Officers (ALO), and Air Mobility Liaison Officers (AMLO)
- Maroon - Pararescue
- Red (scarlet) - Combat Controllers
- Midnight blue - Security Forces
- Grey - Combat Weathermen
- Sage (green) - SERE Specialists
- Black — Venezuelan Army general issue berets, Venezuelan Marine Corps(since 2009).
- Blue - Venezuelan Air Force.
- Green — Jungle troops, Counter-insurgency troops (caribes), Special Forces units (Army).
- Maroon — Venezuelan National Guard general use.
- Navy Blue — Armed Force Headquarters (Minister Of Defence troops, armed force joint unit), Army Headquarters.
- Red — Presidential Guard Regiment (armed force joint unit), 420th Airborne Brigade (Army).
Berets used by Vietnam Marine Police, Blue Berets are the troops used in military uniform field. Black Berets was the commanding officer to use the military uniform.
- Green — Infantry
- Black — Armoured Regiment
- Maroon — Parachute Regiment
- Yellow — Presidential Guard
- Cherry Red — Military Police
- Blue-gray — Zimbabwe Air Force
- Dark Blue — All other units
- United Nations
- Light Blue – All United Nations Peacekeeping forces wear a light blue beret or helmet in lieu of their normal headgear.
- Multinational Force and Observers
- Terracotta - All military members of the Multinational Force and Observers wear a terracotta-colored beret or bush hat in lieu of their normal headgear.
- African Union
- Lime or Light Green – African Union (AU) peacekeeping forces wear a lime or light green beret. AU troops were recently seen wearing the green berets in Sudan but only for a short while. The AU peacekeeping forces were later turned over to UN administration and swapped out their green berets for UN light blue ones.
- Uniform beret, for the use of berets as uniform headgear outside the military
- Military berets by color: Black beret, green beret, maroon beret, tan beret
- ^ "Uniforms", page 587, Volume XXVII Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911 Edition
- ^ Australian Army Standing Orders for Dress
- ^ "Soldiers rebel against loss of cherished beret". The Sydney Morning Herald. August 20, 2010. http://www.smh.com.au/national/soldiers-rebel-against-loss-of-cherished-beret-20100819-12s4b.html.
- ^ PLA Caps and decorations
- ^ Edict about military uniforms (in Czech)
- ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1817&dat=19670212&id=NyUeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=JZsEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5384,1639494
- ^ Kommunikation Verteidigung (2009). Schweizer Armee. p. 356. ISBN 978-3-7193-1515-3.
- ^ Gordon, David. Uniforms of the World War II Tommy (Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, Missoula, MT, 2005). ISBN 1-57510-122-X
- ^ "Yorkshire Gunners honoured for Service in Iraq and Afghanistan". Ministry of Defence. http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/HistoryAndHonour/YorkshireGunnersHonouredForServiceInIraqAndAfghanistan.htm. "Earlier in the day, in what marks a historic change in the history of one of the Batteries from the Regiment - 4/73 (Sphinx) Battery, the traditional dark blue beret of the Royal Artillery was replaced with a khaki-coloured beret. The change came about as a result of the Battery working closely, in times of war, with the Honourable Artillery Company"
- ^ BBC website on British headdress
- ^ http://rafpolicehistory.blogspot.com/
- ^ "Yorkshire Gunners honoured for Service in Iraq and Afghanistan". Ministry of Defence. http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/Templates/LargeImageTemplate.aspx?img=/NR/rdonlyres/06FEC709-D17A-4376-B6D6-562D5580C330/0/yorksgunners.jpg&alt=Soldiers%20from%205th%20Regiment%20Royal%20Artillery%20'The%20Yorkshire%20Gunners'.
- ^ http://www.ams.mod.uk/content/docs/jsp336/3rd_ed/vol12/pt3/pam15/s5aa.doc
- ^ http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/generalinfo/a/berethistory.htm
- ^ http://www.vhpamuseum.org/17thcav/3rdsquad/3rdsquaddtroop.shtml
- ^ p.223 Stanton, Shelby US Army Uniforms of the Cold War 194-1973 1994 Stackpole Books
- ^ The Army Black Beret
- ^ Bacon, Lance M. "Army dumps beret as official ACU headgear". Military Times. Gannett Government Media Corporation. http://www.militarytimes.com/news/2011/06/army-combat-uniform-patrol-cap-replaces-beret-061311w/. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
- ^ http://www.specwarnet.net/americas/sbu.htm
- ^ http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=25181&Cr=sudan&Cr1
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