The red beret is a military beret worn by many military police, paramilitary, commando, and police forces. The term is also used to refer to the British Parachute Regiment, although members wear the maroon beret.
The red beret was worn as a distinguishing device by Carlist Guías de Navarra (Navarre Guides) soldiers in the First Carlist War, encouraged by their commander Tomás de Zumalacárregui. Regular Carlists wore a black beret. The red beret became widespread amongst the Carlists in the Second Carlist War, it later became an emblem of Carlists in general, often with a yellow pom pom or tassel. See also the Requetés, (Spanish:Hunting callers) a type of volunteer unit during the Spanish Civil War.
The red beret was also worn by the Chapelgorris (Spanish:Red caps) who fought against the Carlists in the First Carlist War.
- The 82nd Airborne Division (United States Army)
- The 173rd Airborne Brigade (United States Army)
- Elements of the United States Army Special Operations Command
- The Brigada de Fusileros Paracaidistas (Mexican Army)
- The Parachute Infantry Brigade (Brazilian Army)
- The 4th Parachute Brigade (Argentina)
- The Parachute Regiment (United Kingdom)
- The Italian Folgore Parachute Brigade
- The French Paratroopers from the 11e Brigade parachutiste (11th Parachute Brigade) and the Brigade des forces spéciales terre (French Army Special Forces Brigade). Only legionnaires paratroopers of the 2eREP wear green berets.
- 35th Paratroopers Brigade of the Israeli Defense Forces
- The Dutch Army's air maneuver brigade, 11 Luchtmobiele Brigade
- 71st Airmobile Brigade and 5th Airmobile Brigade (Hellenic Army)
- 42nd Airborne Brigade (42 Brigada de Infantería Paracaidista) of the Venezuelan Army
- Parachute Jaeger Battalion of Utti Jaeger Regiment, Finnish defence forces
- The 6th Airborne Brigade of Task Force White Eagle, Polish Armed Forces
- Austrian Jägerbattalion 25
- Royal Military Police – Provost branch of the British Army
- Royal Australian Corps of Military Police
- Corps of Military Police – India
- Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police
- Canadian Forces Military Police
- MH Katonai Rendészeti Központ (MH KRK) - Hungarian Defence Forces Military Police Center
- Feldjäger – Military Police of the German Bundeswehr
- Royal Military Police – Malaysian Military Police
- Póilíní Airm – Irish Defence Forces Military Police (Ireland)
- Danish Military Police
- Military Police – Kuwaiti Army
- Namibian Defence Force Military Police
- Royal Military Police – Jordan Armed Forces
- Sõjaväepolitsei - Estonian Defence Forces
- Special units of the Internal Troops of the Russian MVD
- JSO (Special Operations Unit) of Serbia
- Rhodesian Ministry of Internal Affairs (Intaf) in the Rhodesian Bush War
- General Service Unit of Kenya
- Ulster Resistance of Northern Ireland
- 911 Special Forces Regiment – The Royal Cambodian Special Commando Force
- Angolan Armed Forces Commandos – guerrilla and counter-guerrilla special operations force
- Kopassus – Indonesian Army Special Forces Commandos
- KOPASKA - Indonesian Special Naval Frogmen Command
- Mozambique Special Forces (Commandos) – guerrilla and counter-guerrilla special operations force
- Portuguese Army Commandos – guerrilla and counter-guerrilla special operations force
- Singapore Army Commandos
- Special Brigade – Serbian Special Forces
- Lebanese Commando Regiment - Lebanese special forces regiment tasked with multiple roles
- Special Task And Rescue – Malaysian coast guard counter-terrorist special operations force
- Commando Parachute Group – French Commando Parachute Regiment
- Sri Lanka Army Commando Regiment – One of two Special Operations Forces of the Sri Lanka Army.
Other military units
The following military units wear red berets:
- The Saudi Arabian National Guard
- The Special Services Group of the Pakistan Army.
- Support troops in the German Bundeswehr (light red – called coral red, maroon only for airborne troops)
- The Austrian Army Guard battalion
- Turkish Army's special forces
- United States Air Force Combat Control Team
- Syrian Republican Guard
- The 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade and 601st Special Forces Group of the Army of the Czech Republic
- The U.S. Navy Flying Rifle Drill Team – Senior Drill Master Only (United States Navy)
- The Swedish 32nd Intelligence Battalion
- The Artillery Group of the Swiss Armed Forces
- Military Police, Artillery and Anti Aircraft Artillery of the Hungarian Defence Forces
The following military units formerly wore red berets:
- The 1st and 2nd Canadian Infantry Battalions of the 27th Canadian Infantry Brigade in West Germany
- The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment of Canada,
- The Vietnamese Airborne Division (Mũ Đỏ Nhảy Dù) of the Republic of Vietnam
- The Serbian Special Operations Unit (called "Red Berets", 'Crvene beretke')
- 40. Fallschirmjägerbataillon Willi Sänger of the former German Democratic Republic's Nationale Volksarmee.
- Cold War Era Spetsnaz
- The 4th Guards Brigade (Croatia) (called "The Spiders", 'Pauci')
- Ertzaina – the Police force of the Basque Country
- Policía Foral – the Police force of Navarre
- Federal Reserve Unit of the Royal Malaysia Police
- Cacciatori of the Carabinieri – in English "Hunters", the Italian Gendarmerie special unit operating in Calabria
- Special Operations Command of the Singapore Police Force
- Dog unit of the Public Security Police, Portugal
- Guardian Angels USA
- Cadets in the California Cadet Corps who have completed survival training are authorized to wear a red beret with a flash representing their brigade.
- Boy Scouts of America
- ORB, a group within Doctor Steel's Army of Toy Soldiers fan club
- Soldier of Fortune magazine uses a red beret as their logo.
- The Economic Freedom Fighters, a South African political party, have adopted the red beret as one of their symbols.
Native American Veteran Organizations
- The American Indian Movement, Native American Indians whom were former U.S. military veterans, have adopted the use of the red beret as one of their Native warrior society symbols back in 1970. The Red Beret is also in use by Native American warrior societies and tribal government police, Law Enforcement and by members and veterans of Native American organizations such as the TIMB Taino Indian Movement of Boriken (Puerto Rico).
In popular culture
- The Red Beret (1953)
- The Devil's Brigade (1968)
- The Red Berets (1968)
- The Wild Geese (1978)
- Taps (film) (1981) – worn by B Company, Valley Forge Military Academy and College treated as B Company of Bunker Hill Military Academy, led by Tom Cruise as Cadet Captain David Shawn in the film.
- p.32 MacClancy, Jeremy The Decline of Carlism University of Nevada Press, 2000
- Military Police requests rights to process traffic violators (in Estonian)