Berets are used by military forces around the world as well as being stylish fashion statements in civilian life!
Berets have been used in civilian life for hundreds of years in many parts of Europe, with beret style headwear being worn as far back as the bronze age. There is no right or wrong way to wear a beret, they can be shaped how you like and can be worn by males or females.
The Berets association with the military started in the 1880’s with the French Chasseurs alpins, an elite alpine regiment. The First British regiment to adopt the beret was the Royal Tank Regiment, which needed headwear that would protect the mens hair from oil inside the tank as well as stay on when entering and exiting the vehicle. he Royal Tank Regiment adopted a black beret as it hid stains well and it was formally approved by King George V in 1924. The British Parachute Regiment adopted maroon coloured berets in 1942, which prompted the association of berets with elite military units. The British Commando Forces adopted a green beret later in the same year.
In Australia (and around the world!) different units are associated with different colour berets.
- Black: Royal Australian Armoured Corps
- Rifle Green: Royal Australian Regiment
- Light Blue: Australian Army Aviation
- Scarlet: Royal Australian Corps of Military Police
- Dull Cherry: Parachute qualified personnel posted to No. 176 Air Dispatch Squadron, Air Movements Training and Development Unit, Australian Defence Force Parachuting School and other parachute riggers.
- Sherwood Green: 1st and 2nd commando regiments
- Fawn: Special Air Service Regiment
- Slate grey: Royal Australian Army Nursing Regiment
- UN Blue: Personnel serving with the United Nations
- Terracotta: Appointments to the Multinational Force and Observers
- Dark Blue: All members of the army who are not eligible to wear a specific colour
Royal Australian Air Force:
- Dark Blue: No. 1 Security Forces Squadron RAAF, No. 2 Security Forces Squadron RAAF and No. 3 Security Forces Squadron RAAF personnel, with the exception of explosive ordnance disposal technicians
- Aircraft Grey: B Flight, No. 4 Squadron
- Royal Australian Navy:
- Navy blue: Optional for all navy personnel