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Readers Respond: Readers Respond to U.S. MILITARY BERET HISTORY

Responses: 2


From the article: U.S. Military Beret History
Military forces have worn distinctive uniform items for centuries to create a psychological advantage and boost their esprit de corps. Do you proudly wear a beret? Share your experience.

The big disappointment

When I went through training in special forces the beret (green) was not allowed until you graduated. Instructors would hold their in the air waving it in front of us to when times were tough and people wanted to quit as to say you had to earn it. Later, while being transferred to Ft. Lewis I was going through picking up my gear and was given 2 green berets. What was disappointing was that a truck driver behind me was also given a green beret. When I graduated from the "Q" course I wore that beret with so much pride even though It wasn't formed well and was stiff. But I stood tall knowing I passed the test put to me. Only one other person I started with was in that ceremony. So to see it handed to someone as it was a pair of boots, was a bit disappointing. Wish these officers could get their act together and leave well enough alone.
—Guest John Raymond

Added Beret History-Vietnam, 1965-

During the first joint offensive against North Vietnam (operation Pahrana) in 1965, the boat crews of the U.S.S. Diachenko, APD 123, began wearing the black beret in the boats. We copied what we saw the ARVN Rangers were wearing. We were told that there was a "bounty " of $200. for every one turned over to the Viet Cong, so we all wanted to wear one. We traded American cigarettes and food for the beret. Also anyone going on leave, we had them ship us cases of black and maroon berets. We later began to see boat crews (PBR's) start to wear them in 1966 and I believe they were finally authorized to wear the black beret in late 1966. History of the Viet Nam beret has been kinda fuzzy or not at all remembered correctly. I still have mine, badges and all and photos taken during this time. I am proud of my beret and wear it proudly at military gathering to this day. M. J. Pierson.
—Guest M.J. Pierson

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