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Green Beret - The Hat

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The soldiers of the U.S. Army Special Forces wear the green beret - a distinctive headgear. The beret made its first appearance in the early 1950s and was approved for wear in the early 1960s.

The Green Beret was authorized for wear at Bad Tolz, Germany by the 10th Special Forces Group commander (Col William Ekman) on November 17, 1955. The Department of the Army did not recognize the headgear as official - which caused all sorts of cultural clashes between the Special Forces Soldiers and conventional commanders and SGMs.

In October 1961 President John F. Kennedy visited Fort Bragg where he met with Special Forces leaders. Kennedy was a champion of unconventional warfare and the Special Forces. He issued a Presidential Directive recognizing the Green Beret as the "Symbol of Excellence" and the Green Beret was then made the official headgear of Special Forces.

 In earlier days enlisted men who were Special Forces qualified wore the group 'flash' and SF crest on the beret. Those men non-SF qualified wore a 'candy stripe' with the crest. Officers wore the flash with their rank on the flash.


October 10, 2023, "How the green beret became the symbol of US Army Special Forces", by Sara Sicard, Military Times.







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