What is Beret(Military Cap)?

The beret, transliterated from English Beret, may have originated from a round soft hat worn by shepherds in the Pyrenees region of southwestern France in the 15th century. Later, it developed into a non-brimmed soft standard military cap, which is usually used as a symbol for the rangers, special forces, and airborne troops of some countries' military. Countries mainly distinguish different arms by color.

In the 1980s, berets began to become a symbol of American street culture. In the 21st century, the beret developed into a single product with a retro taste.

Army Beret

Origin developmentedit

There are many opinions about the origin of berets. One is a kind of caps called caps from ancient Greece and Rome. Its cap shape is very similar to berets, but no berets appeared at this time. The title of cap. There is also a saying that was first created by the Italians during the Renaissance and popular during the Renaissance.

It is said that it originated in the Pyrenees region of southwestern France in the 15th century. The local shepherds liked to wear a round bonnet made of brown wool. This kind of hat can be worn on the head to protect it from wind and rain, and it can be taken off to wipe sweat, and placed on the ground as a cushion. Later, the Basques at the border between France and Spain also began to wear this kind of hat, and they were called "Basque berets" 

In 1889, the Alpine troops formed by the French Army abandoned the flat-topped kepi of the Napoleonic era and became the first troops in history to reform the beret into a standard military cap. The berets were adopted by them because of the actual combat needs of these elite mountain combat troops. The design of soft hats without brim is not easy to stumbling, not easy to trip with branches, and the design of fitting with the head will not fall off when running. 

In 1917, in a collective training between the British tank troops and the French mountain troops, Sir Hugh Elles, the major general commander of the British tank troops, discovered that this strange hat on the head of the French army was very suitable for the use of white tank soldiers. So he combined this beret with the design of the Scottish round flat hat that was popular at the time, and designed a beret belonging to the British tank soldiers, and contacted the combat reality of the tank soldiers, using wool material and adjusting the color to resist dirt and resistance. The oily black color and the design of a rope at the back of the head to adjust the tightness, which is convenient for soldiers of different physiques to wear, this is the real beginning of the modern beret in the army

During World War II, in order to infiltrate and destroy the European continent occupied by fascist groups, the British began to form special operations forces, and their clothing was marked by berets [2].

On the streets of Paris in the 1920s, artists, poets, singers and movie stars all wore felt berets. In the 1980s, berets began to become a symbol of street culture in the United States, and since then they have become more and more fashion items. In the 21st century, the beret has developed into a single product with a strong retro flavor.

Combat Beret

Production processedit

Style

Berets can be divided into military berets and civilian berets from the group of users:

The top of the military beret is round, the body is larger than the brim, and there is no brim.  It is one of the international standard clothing commonly used in combat and training for officers and soldiers from all over the world. But the berets of various arms of each country are slightly different.


United Kingdom

During World War II, berets quickly became popular in the army. At that time, various British troops wore berets of different colors, including the yellow-brown berets used by the British Special Air Service Regiment, and the maroon berets worn by the first British airborne troops.  The officers and soldiers of the Fifth Air Mobile Brigade of the Royal British Army wear red berets, so people call it the "Red Devil" unit.


United States

The first use of modern berets by the U.S. military was in 1943, when a battalion of the U.S. 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment wore the maroon berets used by British paratroopers in the war.

In 1951, the U.S. Marine Corps tried to wear green and blue berets, but after testing, they felt that they were not effective and were not adopted in large quantities.

After 1953, a newly formed army special force dedicated to anti-riot and anti-guerrilla warfare began to wear green berets in large numbers. So far, the US military began to use berets extensively, but the US military at that time has been Refused to be listed as a standard military cap.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy planned to inspect Fort Bragg. Before leaving, he specifically instructed Brigadier General William Aberle, commander of the Special Operations Center, to require the special forces to wear their berets during the parade. Therefore, on September 21, 1961, the US military called the Special Operations Center to officially approve the use of the green beret as the standard equipment for this special force. Later, President Kennedy told the Pentagon that he believed that the green beret was "one of the highest symbols of the courage and achievement of the U.S. military." The "green beret" has also become a symbol and synonym for the U.S. Army's special forces.

In the 1970s, the U.S. Army’s policy encouraged garrison commanders everywhere to vigorously promote uniforms that enhance morale and reflect their own characteristics. The use of berets has become increasingly widespread. For example, although they are both armored forces, the armored soldiers stationed in Fort Knox, Kentucky, wear black berets, while the American armored cavalry regiments stationed in Germany wear red and white oval black berets.

In 1973, troops of the 82nd Airborne Division stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina began to wear maroon berets. The personnel in the Fort Campbell camp in Kentucky wore red berets and military police wore light green berets. The 101st Airborne Division wore a light blue beret that was the same color as its military uniform. In Alaska, the 172nd Infantry Brigade wore olive green berets.

In 1975, the Chief of Staff of the Army approved the black beret as the standard military cap for airborne rangers. In 1979, the U.S. military officially started to curb the spread of beret colors. Only special forces were allowed to use green berets. Rangers retained their black berets. In 1980, airborne troops were approved to continue to wear maroon berets. All types of berets are prohibited.

The US Air Force began wearing berets in the 1970s. In 1979, the US Air Force formally approved the use of black berets for soldiers in the Tactical Air Force Control Squad of Air Force Systems Command. In 1985, all pilots of the Tactical Air Force Control Squad were allowed to wear berets with badge crests designed by two pilots at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina. Air Force liaison officers were also allowed to wear black berets after completing their studies in the joint fire control course at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The difference was that the beret replaced the original crest with a military rank badge. Air mobile liaison officers are also allowed to wear black berets in the Air Force. In addition to the black berets worn by the tactical air force control team, air force liaison officers, and air mobility liaison officers, the parachute rescue units, combat controllers, security guard units, and combat weather units in the Air Force also wear berets of different colors.

In 2002, the U.S. Army officially designated khaki berets as Army Rangers; airborne troops (and paratroopers) use maroon berets; special forces continue to use green berets; other army units wear black berets.

In 2011, the U.S. Army announced that the beret will still be an integral part of the Army uniform, but it will not appear in daily combat exercises.

In addition to the above-mentioned various berets, the attire of the 117th brigade of the U.S. Army wears black berets. The red stars of the former Soviet Union and the badges of the early British MK1 tanks are worn on the berets. They are dressed in new styles. The tricolor desert tiger pattern camouflage uniform with a red star hung on the epaulettes. It is an imaginary enemy unit of the US military

The berets of the various arms of the U.S. military have the same style except for the different colors. They are all uniform products of the military standard.


Russia

In order to ensure the safety of the Moscow Olympics, the Soviet government ordered the formation of a special training company in the Dzerzhinsky Division of the internal guards in 1978. Since then, the "Warrior" special forces have been selected and formed. The idea of setting up the "sorrel beret" exam, if you want to get the iconic "sorrel beret", you must go through very cruel training. On May 31, 1993, Anatoly Kulikov, then commander of the Russian internal security forces, signed an order, approving the "Regulations on the Professional Examination of Internal Security Officers and Soldiers for the Title of "Maroon Berets"." The "sorrel beret" has officially become a symbol representing the highest professional level of Russian special forces.

The Soviet army officially adopted the blue beret as the standard military cap of the Soviet airborne troops in 1981, but its cap shape was completely different from that of the West. The cap is generally very large, but only suitable for tall Soviet soldiers, not for Asian and African races.

Commando Beret

China

On May 1, 2000, the beret was equipped with the entire army for the first time after being tried by troops stationed in Hong Kong and Macau.

On May 1, 2017, when armed police officers and soldiers wore summer uniforms, they usually wore the "16 Armed Police Berets". This was the first time that the Armed Police Forces installed berets.

The "16 Armed Police Berets" have high fitness, achieving "one size, one size"; the large cap liner design ensures uniform cap shape when worn collectively; the ironing process is added, the shape is firm, and the wearing is easy to ensure that officers and soldiers wear Beautiful; compared with the general beret, the position of the air eye is moved back, which increases the air permeability. This beret can better meet the needs of officers and soldiers in various environments such as high temperature and high humidity.


United Nations

On October 25, 1945, the soldiers of the United Nations peacekeeping force wore blue helmets and blue berets during battle, so people called them "blue helmets."

Military Beret

Other countries

Turkey, Greece, and Luxembourg only allow the use of berets in three colors for their military services, but most countries have reached 4-5 colors. The Belgian army used 7 colors of berets.

Compared with the berets in military uniforms, the styles of civilian berets can be described as ever-changing. The design can be roughly divided into three categories: Design according to the shape of the beret itself. The beret is a beanie, so its shape is all embodied in the body of the hat. The body of the hat can be lengthened and widened, and can be designed to be as wide as the top and bottom. The brim is also part of the design of the beret. The width of the brim can be adjusted according to It depends on the design needs. The different hat pieces will also change the shape of the beret. The two-piece beret is more rounded and simple, while the six-piece beret is more angular and more lively. The berets designed according to the shape of the beret include helmet-type beret, knitted integrated beret, upper and lower two-piece beret, hexagonal beret, etc. It is a slight change on the basis of the former hat. If you add a visor, you can change into a hunting hat, a big hat, and a new fourth army hat. In the variation of adding the visor, the visor of the big cap and other hats is only an external addition, which does not affect the original strength of the hat. The hunting hat is quite special. The front body of the hat is connected to the visor. From the front, it looks more like a peaked hat. Exterior decoration design. This design method can be used in combination with the previous two methods. The decoration on the hat is very broad. Commonly used decorations include ribbons, decorative flowers, fur balls, feathers, lace, beads, buttons, etc.

Police Beret

Material

The beret is usually made of cotton, nickle, velvet and other materials, so it is softer and has better randomness


Cultural characteristics

Pros and cons

The advantages of the beret as a military uniform are: cheap and easy to mass produce; you can use a variety of colors to distinguish different troops; the front brim training hat and the big brim hat are inconvenient to carry after taking off the hat, while the beret can be folded and clipped On the epaulettes, it can also be tucked into a trouser pocket or belt. Soldiers wearing berets can easily use various observation and aiming instruments without worrying about the brim of the hat obstructing the instruments. The most praised by soldiers on the battlefield is that they can wear a helmet directly when wearing a beret.

The beret as a military uniform also has shortcomings: it has no brim and cannot cover the sun, wind and rain.


How to wear?

The way to wear a beret is the most exquisite among all military caps, and the tilt direction of the hat is not the same. The army of France and its former colonial countries tilted to the right when wearing berets, and the tilt angle should not be too large. The cap badge should be exactly on the seven sides of the eye socket. The cockade must be exposed, and the soft cap badge cannot be folded. However, most countries in the world wear the beret to the left. When wearing, hold the cap with both hands, hold the cap body flat, then lift the top of the head and gently cut it on the head, use the left hand to align the seam of the cap with the back of the head, and then press it firmly. Then, gently press the top of the hat with your right hand, and then swipe it to the right so that the rim of the hat naturally hangs to one side. If it is French-style wearing method, the above process can be reversed.


Buy

When purchasing a felt beret, make sure it does not irritate the skin

maintenance

White berets are the most difficult to clean. A household steam iron and a hard hat brush help remove dust and dirt. You can use a short-bristled brush to clean it. The wet cap should be dried with a clean, absorbent cloth or sponge, and then allowed to dry naturally.


Historical Value

The beret in the uniform is the embodiment of discipline and system. Fashion designers believe that the charm of the beret lies in its concise and inclined shape, which covers the face and makes the image of the model appear mysterious. It is also believed that the greatest charm of the beret lies in its asymmetry, which brings a new feeling to people's vision. The design of civilian berets has given people a cross-age influence. The perseverance of the military spirit gives everyone wearing a beret an awe-inspiring breath, leading people to the eternally memorable one. era. The different interpretations of different designers year after year, to maximize the creative design of the beret, are like quietly telling a story, waiting for people of knowledge to come and watch. The story of the beret is still changing with the development of the times, and its spirit is the eternal in people's hearts.