Saturday, September 11, 2010

Green Berets

US Army Green Berets
Many readers ask me about green berets; not those in the Tolosa Tupida or Castilla range, but the small diameter, txortena-less, military berets. Returning visitors to this blog know about my rather cool feelings towards the military, but then again, I shouldn't ignore my audience and actually, there is  some interesting history associated with this clone of the Basque beret.
 French Foreign legion
Best known are the berets of the US Army Special Forces, generally known as The Green Berets, but the green beret is actually worn by all sorts of special forces across the world (and much longer than the US Army does); the British Royal Marine Commandos, the French Commandos Marine, the Irish Ranger Wing, the Bosnian Zelene Beretke, the Greek  Dynameis Katadromon and the Dutch Korps Commandotroepen, to name only a few. 

Over the next few weeks I'll post on each of the regiments wearing a green beret, but first a look at the origin of the green beret. Although best known for it's use by the Americans, especially after Vietnam, the Americans were only followers of European corps. 
Royal Marines Commando
The British Royal Marine Commandos introduced the green beret in 1942; a most interesting article on the birth of the green beret by Capt. Derek Oakley can be found here. Many allied troops training in the UK during WWII joined in the idea of a having a green beret specifically designated to their commandos.
The US Army joined this tradition over a decade after, in 1953, when Special Forces Major Herbert Brucker initiated the green beret designation.

To be continued.

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