Maroon beret

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Soldier from 21 (Gibraltar 1779–83) Air Assault Battery RA(serving with 16th Air Assault Brigade)
A soldier of the Italian Folgore Brigade.

The maroon beret is a military beret and has been an international symbol of elite airborne forces since it was chosen for British airborne forces in World War II. This distinctive head dress was officially introduced in 1942, at the direction of General Frederick Browning, commander of the British 1st Airborne Division.[1] The colour of the beret was reportedly chosen by his wife, the novelist Daphne du Maurier.[1] It was first[citation needed] worn by the men of the Parachute Regiment in action in North Africa during November 1942. Although they are coloured maroon, the beret of the British Parachute Regiment is often incorrectly called the "red beret."

Australian Army[edit]

Maroon (also referred to as Dull Cherry) berets were worn by parachute qualified members of the 3 RAR Parachute Battalion Group from 1985 - 2012, when the parachute role was performed by 3 RAR. In addition to the battalion, the Group included A Field Battery, Parachute Surgical Team, and Engineer and Signals elements. The beret was worn with the Royal Australian Regiment Badge by Infantrymen at the battalion, and individual Corps badges for other Corps members as appropriate. 2nd Commando Regiment now effectively perform the parachuting function formerly held by 3 RAR; they wear a Green Beret with a Commando Badge.

Qualified parachutists posted to Parachute Training School (PTS) wore the beret (or their Special Air Service or Commando Regt beret as appropriate) with individual Corps / Regimental Badges until a few years ago.

The beret is worn by any Parachute Rigger of RAAOC in a Parachute Rigger posting.

The beret was previously also worn by the Airborne Platoon Royal Australian Regiment 1951–1974, then the Australian Special Air Service Company (with the Royal Australian Infantry Corps Badge). When the Special Air Service Regiment was formed this was replaced by the tan beret (sometimes referred to as the sandy beret) with SASR Badge.

Azerbaijan Army[edit]

Established in 1999, the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the headquarters of the Special Forces operating within 6 months of the courses to serve the demands of endurance and courage. Considered as one of the most powerful military accepts the qruma olumaq not easy either, According to some sources, only 30 men after kusr 500 people who come here, "Maroon beret" earning the certificate . These survival courses in extreme circumstances, teach cadets how to survive for days without food or water, by eating the meat of various animals such as(frogs and snakes). The use of a variety of weapons, bombs, preparation, etc., bear any pain. As taught. According to this organization officials operate under the rank of ensign. these military measures by the special services of the entire operation and kept in secret. Azerbaijan Internal Troops of the battalion "Falcon" spetsnaz soldier.

Bangladesh Army[edit]

All members of the Bangladesh Army special forces para commando battalions wear Maroon Berets with para commando cap badge. Besides all members of the Army Medical Corps, Army Dental Corps and Armed Forces Nursing Services of Bangladesh Army wear Maroon Berets with respective cap badges.

Belgian Army[edit]

The Paracommando Brigade (Belgium) wear the maroon beret with various types of cap badges.

Brazilian Army[edit]

In the Brazilian Army, the use of maroon berets and brown boots is restricted to the members of the Airborne Infantry Brigade (Brigada de Infantaria Paraquedista) one of the elite brigades of the Brazilian Armed Forces.

British Army[edit]

British Army Regiments wear distinctive headdress and cap badges which often reflect regimental history.

Members of the Parachute Regiment and other arms in 16th Air Assault Brigade are permitted to wear the maroon beret irrespective of qualification, having qualified as military parachutists. The beret is often called the "red beret" and the Parachute Regiment is known as the "red berets" or (within the Army) the "maroon machine".[2][3]

Canadian Army[edit]

Jump-qualified personnel in parachute units of the Canadian Forces wear the maroon, provided they are in a designated parachute position. These are as follows:

Chilean Army[edit]

Since the creation of the Armored Cavalry in the Army, all personnel who serve in the Armored Cavalry unit wear maroon berets, using the same badges regardless of each member's speciality. Specialists in Armored Cavalry are trained in the Escuela de Caballería Blindada del Ejército (Armored Cavalry School of Army), and currently it is only branch of service whose members all wear berets; the other berets used in the Chilean Army distinguished only specialists (mountain troops, paratroopers, or special forces) and, in the last years, the combined branch of service regiment, called Regimientos Reforzados.

Czech Army[edit]

A maroon beret is worn by 601st Special Forces Group and by all members of 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade.

Danish Army Special Forces[edit]

Danish Army Special Forces, Jægerkorpset wears the Maroon Beret with a brass emblem depicting a hunter's bugle on a black felt liner. The beret is issued after completion of 16 weeks of SF training. However, not before 1 year of additional satisfactory service in JGK is the wearer issued the shoulder patch "JÆGER" and may call himself by this name.

French Army[edit]

Béret rouge.jpg

Since the 1957, almost all French Army paratroopers wear an amarante (dark red) beret. Exceptions include the Légionnaires and Naval Commandos who retain their green berets; and the Air Parachute Commandos who wear a dark blue beret.

Finnish Army[edit]

The Finnish parachute jaeger corps (Finnish: Laskuvarjojääkärikomppania) trains personnel in the Utti Jaeger Regiment, Utti, Finland. Jump-qualified personnel are allowed to wear the maroon beret.

German Army[edit]

A maroon beret is worn by the German Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK, Special Forces) and by all members of the Division Schnelle Kräfte (DSK, containing airborne troops).

Greek Army[edit]

Maroon berets are worn by members of the 1st Army Aviation Brigade.

Guatemalan Army[edit]

Maroon berets are worn by Kaibiles, Guatemala's special forces.

India[edit]

Army[edit]

The Indian Army's 50th (Independent) Parachute Brigade, including the minor/support units of the formation, the President's BodyGuard, a ceremonial guard unit with their operational role as the pathfinder company of the parachute brigade, and the special forces units wear the maroon beret.

Air Force[edit]

Indian Air Force's special operations force, Garud Commando Force, also wears the maroon beret and are parachute trained, with some personnel even freefall qualified, though their operational role is still questionable, limited to guarding the air force top brass and show of strength at various public events like the Aero India, the annual air show held at Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

Para-Military Forces[edit]

The Special Frontier Force of the Home Ministry are parachute trained and wear the maroon beret.

The specially trained part of the Central Industrial Security Force for the protection of airports and other vital installations take the cue from the Army's Special Forces and have adopted the Maroon Beret as their headgear, though they are not parachute trained, thus diluting the airborne ethos.

Indonesian Army[edit]

Maroon beret is the official headgear of Army Aviation Center. This beret is worn by all its personnels. Established on March 23, 2007, the beret replaced all the berets previously used by the personnels.

Israeli Army[edit]

In the Israel Defense Forces, maroon beret is worn by the Tzanhanim Airborne Brigade and elite special forces units (Sayeret Matkal, Oketz, Maglan, Duvdevan and others).

Italian Army[edit]

In the Italian Armed Forces, maroon berets are worn only by paratroopers: the army units Folgore Parachute Brigade, Carabinieri Regiment "Tuscania" and Gruppo di intervento speciale, and the police elite unit Nucleo operativo centrale di sicurezza.

Malaysian Army and Police[edit]

The 10 Paratrooper Brigade personnels wearing the maroon beret
Personnels from Senoi Praaq of Royal Malaysia Police wearing the maroon beret.

Army[edit]

The Malaysian Army's elite 10 Paratrooper Brigade has worn the maroon beret since its establishment in 1994.

Police[edit]

The Royal Malaysia Police has a two units wearing the maroon berets. The unit is:

Both of maroon berets for the two units is bestowed by the British SAS.

Mexican Army[edit]

The maroon berets are worn by Mexico's Parachute Rifle Brigade called the Brigada de Fusileros Paracaidistas created in 1969 as a rapid response team.

Netherlands Army[edit]

The Dutch Army's Air Mobile Force/Light infantry, 11 Luchtmobiele Brigade, which translates to 11Air Mobile Brigade, wear "The Maroon Berets" (aka the Red Beret) as a sign of their status upon completion of their training.

Norwegian Army[edit]

The Norwegian Army special forces has worn the maroon beret since its establishment in 1981.

Pakistan Army[edit]

The Special Service Group (SSG) wears a maroon beret with a silver SSG badge on a sky blue flash. Line infantry regiments which were parachute trained wore their own regiments' berets till airborne role was taken away from infantry and assigned to SSG which became the army's only airborne outfit from 1964 onwards. In addition to SSG, Army Aviation and Air Defence, Army medical corps wear maroon berets

Pakistan Navy[edit]

Navy's Special Service Group, SSG(N) wear maroon berets

Pakistan Airforce[edit]

PAF's elite Special Service Wing (SSW) wears maroons berets

Polish Army[edit]

Maroon beret is worn by paratroops, for its colour called in Polish Czerwone Berety, and also: air cavalry and special forces. The beret is always decorated with embroidered White Eagle (Polish coat of arms) and rank insignia. It is used as well with ceremonial uniform and field uniform.

Portuguese Armed Forces[edit]

In the Portuguese Armed Forces, the maroon beret was worn by the members of the GEP Battalion , from 1971 to 1974.

The GEP was an elite paramilitary paratrooper unit, consisting of native volunteers, that was employed in counter-insurgency operations, during the Mozambican War of Independence.

Russian Armed Forces[edit]

The maroon beret is worn by members of elite Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) Spetsnaz units, although it is referred to as krapoviy meaning crimson. In a contrast to the Western style, Russian troops wear the badge on the beret over the right eye. In the Soviet era, paratroopers wore a maroon beret until the late 1960s when General Vasily Filipovich Margelov decided that a maroon beret for paratroopers was a Western idea and introduced a cornflower blue beret. This may have been influenced by the cornflower blue of the Soviet Air Force and the cornflower blue helmets worn by Soviet paratroopers during the Great Patriotic War.

Military of Serbia[edit]

Special Brigade

Singapore Armed Forces Commandos[edit]

The Maroon Beret or Red Beret is worn by the elite commandos of the Singapore Armed Forces depicting their status as an elite airborne and special forces unit.

South African Special Forces and Paratroops[edit]

The maroon beret is worn by both the Special Forces Brigade, the former 44 Parachute Brigade 1978 to 1999 and currently 44 Parachute Regiment 2000 to present.

Spanish Army[edit]

The 1st King's Immemorial Infantry Regiment of AHQ, the oldest military unit in the world, wears the maroon beret.

The Regimiento de Inteligencia 1 (Intelligence Regiment 1) based in Valencia wears the maroon beret, as do all units belonging to the Cuartel General Terrestre de Alta disponibilidad (GTAD). Spanish airborne forces have traditionally worn a black beret.

Sri Lanka Army[edit]

The Commando Regiment of the Sri Lanka Army wears the maroon beret, and is the only Sri Lankan military unit to use it.

Swedish Army[edit]

A maroon beret is worn by Fallskärmsjägarna (or Fallskärmsjägarkåren: Parachute Ranger Corps), a jump qualified Swedish Army special operations unit. This is an airborne commando unit focused on intelligence gathering and squad level combat deep behind enemy lines.

Royal Thai Army[edit]

The Royal Thai Army Special Operations Force and paratroopers in the 31st Infantry Regiment (Royal Guard) wear the maroon beret.

Turkey[edit]

The Turkish Armed Forces Special Operations Force, Special Forces Command aka Bordo Bereliler, which translates as "The Maroon Berets", is named for their distinctive headgear.

Ukraine[edit]

Berkut (Ukraine), a militarized police. Also used by the National Guard of Ukraine.

United States[edit]

United States Air Force[edit]

USAF Pararescue Beret
Maroon beret with Pararescue Flash
USAF Combat Controller Beret
Air Force Combat Controller scarlet beret with flash
Brigadier General Joseph Votel, U.S. Army, Deputy Commanding General of the 82nd Airborne Division wearing the maroon beret.

Combat Controller personnel wear a bright scarlet beret while United States Air Force Pararescue wear a maroon beret.

Pararescuemen (PJs) are among the most highly trained emergency trauma specialists in the U.S. military and the only ones in the Department of Defense specifically trained and equipped to conduct conventional and unconventional rescue processes, making them the ideal force to handle personnel recovery and combat search and rescue operations. In early 1966, General John P. McConnell, then Air Force Chief of Staff, approved the wearing of the maroon beret. The beret symbolizes the blood sacrificed by Pararescuemen and the blood willing to be sacrificed should the need come as well as their devotion to duty by aiding others in distress. To Pararescuemen, living up to their motto, "That Others May Live," is a daily reality.[4]

Combat Controllers (CCTs) are ground combat forces specialized in a traditional pathfinder role while having a heavy emphasis on simultaneous air traffic control, fire support and command, control, and communications in covert or austere environments.

United States Army[edit]

In 1943 General Sir 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-style maroon berets. US Army advisers to Vietnamese airborne forces wore the Vietnamese French-style red beret during the Vietnam War.[1]

Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA) policy from 1973 through 1979 permitted local commanders to encourage morale-enhancing distinctions. Airborne forces chose to wear the maroon international parachute beret as a mark of distinction. However due to the variety to headgear utilized at unit level, such as the Stetson being used in cavalry units, this permission was rescinded in 1979 when the army introduced a policy of standardized headgear. Exceptions were allowed for the continued wearing of the black beret (changed to tan in 2001) for the 75th Ranger Regiment & Ranger Training Brigade,[5] and the green beret for Special Forces. On 28 November 1980 permission was given for airborne organizations to resume wearing the maroon beret. Most U.S. paratroopers refer to it as a red beret, which history and tradition mandates, out of respect for their WWII British allies.[1]

Venezuelan National Guard[edit]

The Venezuelan National Guard is the fourth component of Venezuelan Army Force (Army, Navy, Air Force and National Guard), responsible for all military operations (Land, Air, Sea) that secure the public order including antidrug operation, administrative police (customs police and cooperation with SENIAT), external security of jail, public security, citizen security, environment police, and the cooperation with the army, navy and air force for military operations in the defense of the nation. They account to one Unit of Special Forces (Grupo Acciones de Comando) involving many military special operations such as Assault, Recon.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Army Black Beret: A Short History of the Use of Berets in the U.S. Army
  2. ^ "The Salisbury review". 21-22. The Salisbury Group. 2002. p. 55. 
  3. ^ "The Paras: The Maroon Machine". BBC. 26 Jul 1984. 
  4. ^ "USAF PARARESCUE: Overview". Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  5. ^ DA Approves Ranger’s New Headgear

See also[edit]

Other military berets by colour:

References[edit]