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Yak_Herder

Those red berets

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Impractical field wear? The red beret? Not in my experience - the beret is one of the two best hats for field wear (the other being the overseas cap) because of its versatility. The beret could be used as a hot pot holder (can't do that with a baseball cap), emergency pressure bandage (can't do that with a baseball cap), short-term water carrier-bucket (can't do that with a mesh baseball cap), impromptu frisbee (the only other use for the smoky bear hat, by the way, cause you wouldn't want to use it to carry water), baseball/softball base (baseball caps are to tall to use as a base), carrier of nuts and/or berries (about the only other field use for a baseball cap), mini-pillow for leaning one's head back against a tree (rolled or folded up), emergency eye patch (can't do this with a baseball cap), face mask in smokey situations (can't do that with a baseball cap) and other uses limited only by ones imagination.

 

Sure, the beret doesn't have a bill to keep the sun out of one's eyes but that's what sunglasses are for.

 

Sure, some kids look like mushroom heads when wearing the beret, but thats because they haven't done two very important things - break them in (sleep with them, best way to break them in)and learn to wear them. Our troop had the berets in the 70's - we looked sharp in them even on a day to day basis (not formal) because the older scouts taught the new scouts how to break them in, wear them (kids with shoulder length hair or longer gathered the hair in "pony" tails), wash them (never, never, never, never - dry clean only - IF you had to clean them). Admittedly, they don't look as good with the Oscar uniforms as they did with the previous uniforms (and they looked extremely sharp with the deep forest green of the explorer/leadership corp shirt).

 

Berets? I consider them the best piece field gear worn as a piece of clothing.

 

CalicoPenn

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I was with my troop from 1994 until I turned 18 in 2001, and for as long as I can recall, the beret was the official headgear of the troop. Naturally, it had been discontinued before any of us were even born, but that was what Sunny's Surplus was for. If you didn't have an original, then you'd just go down, buy a red surplus beret, then get one of the red BSA universal patches and sew it to the front and you're set to go.

 

Even if you didn't wear it on your head the whole time, they looked just as sharp rolled up and situated under the left epaulet. Certainly didn't look out of place or just shoved aside somewhere, which is more than can be said for any other piece of BSA headgear. Made for a good out for those who plain couldn't wear one and make it look good on their head, as well.

 

Always hated the baseball cap, myself. It lends an air of informality that I don't feel goes well with the image projected by the Class A uniform. Troop T-shirt, or a shirt from a scouting event, go for it, but not with the khaki.

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I always disliked my stupid beret (I still have it for sentimental reasons), although at the time it was better than the narrow cap. Thank God they came out with the ball cap! lol

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fschebor,

That is one fine looking troop. Everyone with a neckerchief worn over the collar and a beret. That is the best public relations picture for Boy Scouts that I have seen in a long time. Keep up the tradition.

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Guys, stop talking about them or they might bring them back. I went through it, I would hate to see my son

go througt it too.

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Eh, to each their own. Personally, I'd welcome its return. I enjoyed it in my day, as did everyone else in my unit. As I said before, I'm kind of the opinion that a baseball cap has no place on a uniform, as a general rule.

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Mr CalicoPenn,

 

Every function (save water carrier) you mentioned can be done by a BOONIE HAT ... and guess what: A BOONIE HAT also keeps your ears from a crisping sunburn... which a beret doesn't

 

Here's a boonie hat from a commercial site:

http://www.copquest.com/45-2900.jpg

 

and here's one from BSA Supply Corporation:

Tiny url first: http://tinyurl.com/krpqe

long url second:

https://scoutnet.scouting.org/BSASupply/ItemDetail.aspx?ctlg=05NDC&ctgy=PRODUCTS&c2=APPAREL&C3=AHATS&C4=&LV=3&item=500FBH

 

 

DING DONG THE BERET IS DEAD...THE BERET IS DEAD...THE BERET IS DEAD

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How about Caubeens for the lads, then we could have the kilts, thumbstaffs, and all the rest.

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It's a bit late getting back on this but I have to ask about the "BSA" Boonie Hats - people actually wear those things? In public???? I never thought I would see an article of BSA clothing uglier than the collarless Boy Scout Shirt of the 1970's, but now I've been proven wrong.

 

Now, the commercial boonie hat looks much better - wider brim, not as tall (or maybe it's just the photo of the BSA boonie hat that doesn't do it justice - but I'm doubtful) but even the commercial boonie hat looks rather sloppy - which leads me to the comment that the boonie hat can't hold a candle to the beret for presenting a sharply dressed and sharp looking troop of boy scouts in a local 4th of July parade.

 

However, I suppose the stiffer brimmed, Aussie Slouch Hat, which can be worn with a side snapped up, might do the trick.

 

http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-uniforms/slouch_hat6.htm

 

Or perhaps the Tilly T3 Hat http://www.nevisport.com/zoom.asp?ProductID=241190

 

Calico

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At our upcoming Wood Badge course SM and ASM's will wear Smokey the Bear's and all other staff will be issued red berets. Should Look pretty cool.

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Inspection Worksheets? Check.

 

BSA Uniform Guide? Check.

 

Pen for issuing that WB Course staff demerits for being out of the Official Field Uniform? Check.

 

Yep, I can be as pedantic a member of the BSA Uniform Police as ever anybody was.

 

Question: Is the beret an element of the "de la Renta" uniform as it was deployed to BSA? If so, then the staff is within their rights to wear it.

 

The Campaign Hat, OTOH, continues to be available as an element of the Scouting uniform and is permissible for both Field and Activity Uniforms.

 

I'd better not hear of that WB staff conducting a uniform inspection as part of the course (the way my WB Commish and the SE did at my course). Unless that beret is documented as part of the de la Renta package, it's THE SAME SIN WE'VE all talked about in regard to mixing and matching uniforms.

 

Folks got on me for saying Columbia Philmont Shorts are not part of the Field Uniform, well, turnabout is fair play.

 

DING DONG THE BERET IS DEAD...THE BERET IS DEAD...THE BERET IS DEAD

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Calico sez, "...the boonie hat can't hold a candle to the beret for presenting a sharply dressed and sharp looking troop of boy scouts in a local 4th of July parade."

 

OK, but that's not the point of a hat, now is it? Unless you're in the Coldstream Guards.

 

John sez, "A BOONIE HAT also keeps your ears from a crisping sunburn ..."

 

Ahh, John gets right to the heart of the matter. I'll wear a full-brimmed hat in the Texas sun. If it squooshes up in my backpack or pocket, so much the better. My daughter says I look goofy in a boonie hat, but I'm not wearing it to impress high school girls (or to look sharp in a parade!).

 

Besides, as I've said before, the beret is just fruity. IMHO.

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Has anybody found a Boonie that's larger than the regular old XL (7-3/4, I believe). I've got one of those and it won't fit on my big old bus head. Also, a wider brim all around would be nice.

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Problem with the beret is that it looked dorky with the shoulder-length hair (and huge afros) of the 70's...and it looks like that hair style is back in vogue again. Everyone looked like French motorcycle gangs.

 

Convince your troop to get "high and tight" haircuts, then they'll look sharp under a properly worn beret.

 

I need at least a size 8 hat, so I can't wear BSA headgear of ANY style. "One size fits all" is a lie.

 

I'd love to find a vintage campaign hat, but most that I've seen on eBay are in the 7 - 7 1/4 range.(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

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