Bye bye, beret!



(photos by J. Lee / Army Times)

This is a Drill Sergeant School formation this morning in Fort Jackson, S.C. As roughly three-quarters of the Army entered in the past 10 years, these are images that few active-duty soldiers have seen in their career — a mass of patrol caps with a few berets sprinkled in.

Of roughly 100 soldiers we’ve talked to here, none were upset with the change this week that made the patrol cap the ACU’s official head wear. On the contrary, if the top spots at the Pentagon were determined by election, Gen. Dempsey and SMA Chandler would have a lock on their re-election after making this call.

One problem of note: The rush to have rank insignia sewn on has overwhelmed base and local shops here, and likely elsewhere. As such, you may have to wait for the dust to settle to really be rockin’ the PC old-school style.



About Author

A Navy brat who spent eight years in the Marines (two years aboard the carrier Independence). Worked in journalism in Eastern North Carolina through the latter part of the 90s, then became editor of Air Force Times in 2000. Stayed there five years, then took a break to finish some school. Now back in the game with Navy Times.


  1. Bc the insignia has to be sewn or pinned. It is very uncomfortable to wear a pin and therefore most soldiers rather have it sewn on 🙂

  2. Elite? Airborne is not elite! They just cried the loudest to Congress in the late 1970’s to get theirs back after Chief of Staff of the Army made all Army units (Light Infantry Olive Drabe, Armor Cav Black, Air Assault grey) get rid of theirs! Why do the Airborne Grunts and POG’s still get to wear it in their fatigues? Listen if you can have women in your unit then you are not elite! Hell you don’t even have to go to Airborne school to get the Maroon beret since it is unit headgear. The berets are to Un-American any way! Those poor Airborne, Ranger and SF folks won’t have anything to block the sun from their eyes, not mention they only keep one ear warm in the winter. Hell leave em to the UN and the French!!! All they do is divide the US Army.

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