Eagles Of War Presents...Airborne Beret Flashes, Background Trimmings
and Helmet Patches!!!

Career coaching along your own path.

The Beret

Blue Beret, United Nations
Orange Beret, Multinational Force and Observers (MFO)
Tan Beret, RangersĀ 

The Beret
Green Beret
(Earn the Green Beret and Special Forces Tab)
"A Symbol of Excellence, 

A Badge of Courage, 

A Mark of Distinction 

In the Fight for Freedom."
President John F. Kennedy

Beret worn by 5th SFG in
South Vietnam (defunct)
Beret of Vietnam
Red — Paratroopers
US Army advisers to Vietnamese airborne forces
wore the Vietnamese maroon beret during the Vietnam War. 

Green — Marines

Brown — Rangers

Black or Green — Special Forces

Black — Palace Guards

Tan — Political Officers

Black Beret
Rangers Black Beret
A 'birth' that began with the Korean Conflict was the Ranger "Black Beret." Conceived of in 1951 by then Captain Charles "Pete" Spragins, commander of the 10th Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne, while training with the 11th Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) at Camp Carson, Colorado, the beret's color was symbolic of much of the Ranger training and combat which took place in the hours of darkness. The Ranger Training Command at Fort Benning, Georgia, evaluated and endorsed the black beret for Ranger use but its official authorization in accordance with regulations by the Department of the Army would not be forthcoming for more than another two decades
"Airborne Rangers"
Airborne Rangers Black Beret
The 1951 "Airborne Black Ranger Beret"
had a Flash made from the Ranger Tab,
(Gold and Black Ranger Tab) sewn above a
Black Background Trimmings (Oval) with gold
edging surmounted by a parachute badge.
The blending of Airborne and Ranger are thus clearly displayed.
The Ranger Tab
was approved by the Chief of Staff,
Army, on 30 October 1950.
The Rangers Black Beret
was not authorized for 25 yaers!!
But worn by Rangers with pride!!
Rangers Black Beret
was still unauthorized but clearly a
Ranger tradition was established.
Note: U.S. Army Ranger also wore the Vietnamese Black Beret during the Vietnam War. 
Army Regulations 670-5
Dated January 30, 1975
"Rangers Black Beret"
Became an authorized headgear for the Rangers.
In 2001 the United States Army
adopted the Black Beret,
previously reserved for the Rangers,
as standard headgear for all army units.
The Rangers are now Distinguished by Tan Berets.

Maroon Beret

In 1943 Frederick Browning, commander of the

British First Airborne Corps, granted a battalion of the

US Army's 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment honorary

membership in the British Parachute Regiment and

authorized them to wear British maroon berets.

US Army advisers to Vietnamese airborne forces wore the

Vietnamese maroon beret during the Vietnam War.

Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA)

policy from 1973 through 1979 permitted local

commanders to encourage morale-enhancing

distinctions and airborne forces chose to wear

the maroon international parachute beret as a

mark of distinction. This permission was rescinded

when in 1979 the army introduced a policy of

standardized headgear, but on 28 November 1980

permission was given for airborne organizations

to wear the maroon beret.

Brown Beret
Blue Beret
White Beret

Berets were originally worn by elite forces in the United States Army.


Hence, there was controversy when in 2001 the United States Army adopted the black beret, previously reserved for the Rangers, as standard headgear for all army units. The Rangers are now distinguished by tan berets.


The United States Army Special Forces are generally known as "green berets" for the color of their headgear. Soldiers in special operations units wear distinctive organizational flashes while conventional forces soldiers wear a pale blue flash with thirteen white stars.


United States Army units can be distinguished by the color of their berets, as follows:


Jungle green — Special Forces and JFK Special Warfare School (Only Special Forces Tab Soldiers Under the branch of US Army Special Operations)


Tan — 75th Ranger Regiment and Ranger Training Brigade


Maroon — paratroopers and all other Airborne units except 101st Airborne as well as other special operators (Civil Affairs, PSYOP) on jump status or under an airborne unit. Soldiers do not have to be jump qualified to wear the maroon beret


Black — all other Army units


The wearing of berets in the United States Air Force is less common, but several career fields are authorized to wear berets of specific colors, as specified in the following list:


Scarlet Red — Combat Controllers


Maroon— Pararescue


Black — Security Forces


Royal Blue — United States Air Force Academy first class cadets (seniors) and cadet cadre


Black berets are authorized as an optional-wear item for women E1-E9 in the United States Navy.



The Army must change to maintain its relevance for the evolving strategic environment. To provide our Nation strategic options for mastering the complexity of that environment, The Army committed, in its Vision a year ago, that "as technology allows, we will begin to erase the distinctions between heavy and light forces." In the United States Army, the beret has become a symbol of excellence of our specialty units. Soldiers of the Special Forces, our airborne units, and the Ranger Regiment have long demonstrated such excellence through their legendary accomplishments and unmatched capabilities. Their deployability, versatility, and agility are due, in part, to their organizational structure and equipment. But more significant is their adaptiveness, which keeps them ready to take on any mission, anytime, anyplace.

Today, the distinctive emblem of these units is the wear of the beret. But, over the past 50 years, berets have been worn by a variety of Army formations--airborne, armor, cavalry, infantry, ranger, special forces, and others. The black beret was being worn by formations Army-wide, when it was approved by the Army for wear by the Ranger Regiment in 1975. Today, it remains one of our symbols of excellence in The Army as reflected by its wear in the Ranger Regiment.

We are transforming today's most powerful Army in the world from a Cold War Legacy Force to an Objective Force with early entry capabilities that can operate jointly, without access to fixed forward bases, and still have the power to slug it out and win campaigns decisively (Intent, June 1999). This Transformation will correct the condition in today's Legacy Force where our heavy forces are too heavy, and our light forces lack staying power. To master this strategic transition and to establish the parameters for decisiveness in the 21st century, The Army must become adaptive to be strategically responsive and dominant across the entire spectrum of military operations.

To symbolize The Army's commitment to transforming itself into the Objective Force, The Army will adopt the black beret for wear Army-wide. It is not about increasing recruiting; we achieved our recruiting target of 180,000 recruits last year--without a beret. It is not about retention; for the second year in a row, we exceeded our reenlistment goal by a wide margin--without a beret. It is not about morale; Soldiers are ready today to go into harm's way. It is about our excellence as Soldiers, our unity as a force, and our values as an institution.

Effective 14 June 2001, the first Army birthday in the new millennium, the black beret will become standard wear in The Army--Active and Reserve Components. Sergeant Major of the Army Tilley will lead the effort to craft implementing guidelines, including indoctrination standards that all Soldiers will meet before they are authorized to wear the beret. Special operations and airborne units will retain their distinctive berets.

Soldiers remain the centerpiece of our formation. We will march into the next millennium as The Army--the strategic joint force of choice for the 21st century.


Information & Plaques

Courtesy of  The Institute of Heraldry


United States Army!!

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