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SquireRick

Are the Red Berets still valid?

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I cannot vouch for the absolute validity or authority, but I found the following at http://www.mninter.net/~blkeagle/hats.htm.

 

"The red beret was introduced originally as part of the Leadership Corps uniform in 1971. The Leadership Corps, as rolled out then, were the forerunner to today's Venture Crew -- three or more boys aged 14 or over, whose jobs it was to work with and advise the Troop's elected leadership, while training and coaching younger Scouts and continuing on their advancement. Leadership Corps members wore the kelly green Scout shirts with special "SCOUT BSA" strips (that's what we were calling ourselves back then...SCOUTS and SCOUTING/USA). In 1973, the red beret was extended for wear by ALL Scouts if the Troop's leadership (that is, the YOUTH leadership) elected to wear it.

 

The beret has NOT stopped being official, Henry. "As long as the hatgear is decided upon by the Troop's membership and leadership, it may be worn if you can obtain them. This not only goes for the red beret, but also for the "floppy ears" hat, the Campaign ("smokey the bear") hat, the flat Scout hat (in the military we called it "the overseas hat") and seven other hats that the BSA has rolled out for it's youth and adults to wear over the years. "

 

 

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Rooster7 you asked about troops w/ specific head gear. My son' troop includes a green beret in their class A definition. The berets are stamped in yellow lettering with the troop number, town, and BSA. (green/yellow are the local high school colors - I think that's why these were chosen - troop neckerchiefs are in these colors too). The troop buys the berets from a private company that makes them to order.

 

My son and his buddies seem to like the berets. The troop also has baseball-style caps that are optional for class B but I hardly ever see any of the boys wearing those, even when the opportunity arises. The berets roll up fairly well when not in use and apparently aren't as bulky as the ones someone else mentioned.

 

Lisa'bob

A good old bobwhite too!

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Red berets... ugh.

 

My troop had red berets when I was a kid (still have mine in my collection). While one might think they would look cool, the problem with them was:

* the design of the berets made it near impossible to wear them like the military does. Thus, everyone looked a little different, and more didn't look that good.

* they are hot. We're in Florida. A cap with a brim would have been better. A wide brimmed hat even better.

 

What killed any enthusiasm for the hat was seeing a female scouter wear a red beret perched on the back of her head like a french beret.

 

(Note, yes, if you can find the official BSA red berets you can still wear them. I still see kids wear the old 'overseas cap' as well. I wish the BSA would bring that hat back in the current colors, as there seems to be an interest in them.)

 

Personally, I now adays wear caps, usually a lodge cap or OA one.

 

 

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The only problem with berets is that kids do not have any idea of how to wear them. Most adults don't either and can't help them. They should be worn like the Army now does: more or less square on the head with the right side folded down against the side of the head.

 

A couple of training sessions and fairly constant enforcement will ensure they look sharp. No harder than socks pulled up and shirts tucked in. :)

 

Having said that, I wouldn't think every group of kids would want to wear them, but obviously some do.

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Unless they are worn with a "high and tight" haircut, they will look just as stupid as they did in 1971, when we tried to wear them with the shoulder length hairstyle of the time.

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a few troops locally wear them. The troop I might be joining soon as an ASM is the "reincarnation" of one of the troops that wore them, and everyone stills has them.

 

I'm trying to get one, and an "overseas cap" off of Ebay - just to be different.

 

As for "baseball caps" - my first troop had the logo on a troop neckerchief, and the same logo on the hat... looked really sharp.

 

 

Oh, as for the beret's being introduced to look "less military" - what is the trademark of US Special Forces troops? a Green Beret. Many, many, armed forces wear berets, and they do look VERY impresive.

 

Jon

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hey now, dont be dissin' the red beret. emb021, I saw a scout wearing a red beret back on his head and puffed out, talk about scary!

 

The red beret is not for everyone, much as not every one can wear the knee socks with panache

 

BTW, the first entry of this thread was posted 11.1.2001, is this a record or what?

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I had aged out before the red beret - and was I ever glad! A beret may look sharp on a steely eyed soldier, but they just looked fruity on Boy Scouts. I'm glad that part of the 1970s French fashion re-design of the uniform evaporated.

 

Plus, the beret provided no (or very minimal) shade. That's the whole point of a hat!! (especially here in Texas) Our unit wears khaki ball caps embroidered with our troop logo; personally, I'd vote for a wide brim crushable fedora (like Indiana Jones) but the boys like the ball caps.

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I've looked about buying a red beret, but decided to instead purchase an 'overseas cap' from ebay. I got it for 10 bucks total and it arrived in like 2, maybe 3 days. I'm thinking about picking up a red beret from the local military store because it is a more 'uniform' type of beret. I think the BSA ones look weird.

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My unit wore the Red Beret when it first came out (1972) - and in our district and council, we were one of the few for the first 4 years or so. Most units wore the field cap or no hats at all. The beret came out before the uniforms were redesigned in 1981 by Oscar de la Renta into the "French military uniform" and when worn correctly, looked sharp with the uniform of the 70's - especially with the forest green uniform shirt of the Leadership Corps (and Explorers) and the medium khaki pants of the time.

 

The proper way to wear them is exactly as described in another post - square on the head with the right side "folded" over the head to the right ear. However, this was a hard thing for many scouts and leaders to accomplish because too much time was spent trying to keep the Beret looking clean and "pressed". Only a well-used beret was able to present the proper effect - until it was broken in, the beret was just too stiff.

 

Someone complained here that the beret was too bulky - compared to the field hat that may be true, but the beret could be rolled up and slung under the belt - try that with a baseball cap. French military personnel in the 1960's often rolled up their berets and stuffed them under the epaulets on their shoulders - coincidence? Personally speaking, I don't think the beret goes as well with the "new" uniform as it did with the older uniform.

 

The beret was a far more useful hat than the field cap or the "smokey bear" hat too. It could serve as a hot pot holder, a temporary water carrier, a baseball base, a frisbee, a nut & berry gatherer, and I'm sure it has many other uses.

 

Some hints on the care and feeding of the beret:

1) Sleep with it - put it in your sleeping bag with you and in your bed with you - to break it in. The beret is like todays fleece jackets - the more you wear it, the more comfortable and loose it gets, the better.

2) NEVER wash it - berets are never the same after they've been washed - they shrink and wrinkle in odd ways (this was a lesson learned the hard way by many mothers - mine included - after a particularly muddy campout - the berets went into the wash with the rest of the camping clothes, and were promptly replaced by the next meeting - fortunately for me, my beret was spared the indignity because I was at a function with my explorer post that weekend instead of camping in the mud). Wait until the mud dries then brush it off.

3) Never dry clean the beret - sure, it won't shrink and wrinkle, but it damages the fibers and makes the hat stiff, never to be comfortable again.

4) Never store it "crushed" like a crusher hat in a pocket or backpack - always roll the beret up into a cigar shape or fold it loosely (no creases!) into thirds.

5) If you must iron the beret (and only as a last resort) iron it on low setting - just low enough to get out any creases and wrinkles - best bet is to hang it in a steamy shower room (or use the steam setting on the iron - hang the hat and steam it to get out wrinkles and creases).

 

With proper break in and care, and when worn correctly, the Red Beret is second only to the classic "Smokey Bear" hat in class and style.

 

CalicoPenn

 

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The best way to form the Berets are to wet them down and wear them square on the head with the right side folded down against the side of the head. After that every few minutes run your hand down the side to fold it down again. I found my old Beret awhile back and put it on and was surprised to see that it formed right into place after years of non use.

 

Mark Maranto

 

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The Red Beret is still valid headgear. If it has its "Official BSA..." label in it you're good to go. I'm an ASM w/a Troop in SoCal. I hung on to my beret over the years. I wear it proudly now as my Class A headgear. In '73 my older brother, a 'Nam veteran, taught me how to train my beret.

1. Soak it in cold water. 2. Wring it out really well. 3. Put it on your head and center the insignia directly over the left eye. 4.Using the insignia flash as a hard point, fold the beret down in front to bring the back of the beret forward. Push the flash back up vertical. This creates a pocket behind the flash. Grab hold of the beret just over the left ear and hold on to it tight. Grab the right edge of the beret and PULL bringing it down over the right ear. Work your way around to the back of your head. While still holding the left side of the beret, use your right hand and smooth down the beret. 6. Leave your beret on your head for at least 1 hour, smoothing it down about every 5 to 10 minutes, so that the wool develops a memory of your skull. 7. Take it off and let it air dry. (**I also let my brother talk me into removing the liner, this allows easier training and shaping**)

I store my beret on an old tupperware container when its not on my head. It still fits great after 33 years. IMHO the beret is still the best looking class A headgear there ever was, but they have to be trained and worn properly. I know the above method works because beret collecting is one of my more bizarre hobbies and I like to be able to wear my berets when I want to.

In closing, the beret in deed only looks good on a head with a "high/tight" haircut. "Hippy" hair just doesn't work. I'm looking for another one on ebay so I can have a spare.

Cheers.

YIS,

JWMerica

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Back to haunt us?

 

These topics are scary sometimes, and some people are just dying to get in!!

 

Then again, Maybe we can dig up a few more!

 

 

Seriously...

JWMerica, Welcome to the forum, Thanks for reviving the Red Beret thread and bringing it back from the grave. lol

 

In my opinion and advise (offered if you want it), Every fellow Scouter has a lot to offer. There are years of Scouting and youth group experience on this scouter.com and other Scouting forum(s). (I cannot represent everyone, but your thoughts should be important and welcomed)

 

So, As you consider posting a response to a thread, take a look at the last time it was updated, and then determine if your comments are timely. They should be welcomed, but maybe a little late. (Like my mother-in-laws Christmas fruitcake, I received in January).

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

 

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I suppose any comment about a 35 year old uniform piece could be considered timely regardless of when the last comment was made.

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