Uniform beret

This article describes the use of the beret as part of the uniform of various organizations. The use of the beret as military headgear is covered in a dedicated article, Military beret.

Police and paramilitary organizations

Germany

During the Cold War, West German police and the BGS were required to wear green beret with the emblem of either their state or the BGS insignia. Today, it is no longer being used.

Hong Kong

The navy blue beret is the standard headgear of officers of the Police Tactical Unit of the Hong Kong Police Force. Officers are nicknamed the "Blue Berets" or the "Blue Caps". These berets are also being worn by the officers of the Emergency Unit, Airport Security Unit and Counter Terrorism Response Unit of the Hong Kong Police Force.

Hong Kong Correctional Services also adopts berets as one of their main headgears.

Hong Kong Customs and Excuse's Dog and Small Boats units also wear a dark blue beret with embroidery cap badge.

Iceland

The members of the Special Operations Unit of the National Commissioner of Icelandic Police (Víkingasveitin) wear black berets. High-ranking members of the Reykjavík Air Rescue Unit are entitled to wear red berets after 5 T-10 army parachutes jumps (3 Hollywood jumps and 2 with full gear).

Indonesia

The Indonesian National Police wear and use Berets as their field and service uniform headgear. In Indonesia, the police wear berets dragged to the left and the military wear berets dragged to the right.

Italy

Dark blue berets are worn by the Polizia di Stato and blue berets by the Polizia Penitenziaria.

Malaysia

Royal Malaysia Police
ColourWearer
      Dark blueGeneral Task Police Force, General Operations Force (with Yellow badge lining and Khaki Hackle), Auxiliary Police, Police Volunteer Reserve Corps, Police Undergraduate Voluntary Corps, High School Royal Police Cadet Corps (with Light Blue badge lining and hackle)
RedFederal Reserve Unit (Anti-riot Police) (with Red hackle)
MaroonSenoi Praaq (with Yellow badge lining and Khaki hackle), Special Actions Unit (with Maroon hackle)
Tan69 Commando
Light blueMarine Operations Force, UNGERIN
  • Hackle is worn above cap badge during official duty and ceremony parade. All police personnel usually wear dark blue hackle unless stated above. However, for the General Task Police Force and General Operations Force, the hackle's colour differs between Police Contingent and Brigades.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (Coast Guard)
ColourWearer
      Dark blueRegular MMEA Force
ScarletSpecial Task And Rescue
Other Government Agency
ColourWearer
      Blue BlackRoyal Malaysian Customs, Road Transport Department, Anti-Corruption Commission, Immigration Department
RedFire and Rescue Department, Immigration Department's Special Control Team (Anti-riot)
OrangeCivil Defence Force
YellowRELA

Macau

The members of the Police Tactical Intervention Unit of the Public Security Police Force of Macau wear red berets with the force emblem on it as its standard headgear.

Panama

The following branches of the Panamanian Public Forces wear berets:

Philippines

Black berets for the PNP Special Action Force and PCG Special Operations Group.

Poland

The Polish Police Anti-Terrorist Units wear dark blue berets. Dark blue berets are also worn by other Police special units such as pyrotechnics. Polish Border Guards wear light green berets.

Portugal

In Portugal, the beret is worn by a number of civil security forces and emergency organizations. The colors worn are:

ColourWearer
      GreenPublic Security Police (PSP) Special Operations Group (GOE)
BlackPSP Underground Security and Explosive Disposal Unit (CIEXSS) and Prison Guard
RedPSP Dog Unit
Dark bluePSP Riot Unit and Civil Protection
CrimsonPortuguese Red Cross (CVP) Rescue Corps (until 2008)
TanCVP Rescue Corps (since 2008)
UN bluePSP Bodyguard Unit, Personnel serving with the United Nations on international missions

Singapore

Black berets were worn by all members of the Singapore Police Force until 1969, when the peaked cap was introduced. The beret was, however, retained for specialist forces, such as officers of the Special Operations Command (SOC) and the Police Coast Guard, as well as the Gurkha Contingent. A dark blue beret is worn, although the Police Tactical Unit of the SOC switched to red berets in 2005. The Gurkha Contingent began wearing khaki-coloured berets from 2006. TransCom (Public Transport Security Command) officers wear light grey berets.[1]

Members of the Singapore Civil Defence Force attached to a headquarters element, or on overseas missions, also wear black berets. These are adorned with the SCDF crest, and may sport a flash in certain specialist units, such as the Rescue Dog Unit and the elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team.

Auxiliary police officers of Certis CISCO and Aetos Security Management don dark blue berets when performing escort and other high-risk duties, as do specialist forces of the Singapore Prison Service. In addition, student cadets of uniformed youth organizations such as the National Cadet Corps also wear berets of different colours. National Cadet Corps has three distinct beret colours for each of its services (Land, Sea and Air), these are NCC Green, NCC Black and NCC Blue for each service respectively.National Police Cadet Corps wears their own separate dark blue berets, while National Civil Defence Cadet Corps wears their separate black beret.

South Africa

The Special Task Force of the South African Police Service wear camouflage berets.

South Korea

Several police SWAT teams belonging to different municipalities wear either maroon or green berets; Seoul Metropolitan Police SWAT team (Unit 868) wears maroon berets, while Incheon Metropolitan Police SWAT team (Unit 313) wears green berets.

Spain

The beret, txapela in Basque, where it was especially popular, has been in common usage in Basque Country for centuries. Some believe it was introduced in the sixteenth century from the Low Countries, which at the time shared the same monarchy. The Txapelgorriak (from Basque txapel gorri, "red beret") were an Isabelline troop, but later the red beret became a symbol of Carlism. The red beret became a Falange symbol when Carlism was temporarily merged into it after the Spanish Civil War.

Today the Basque police force, Ertzaintza, wears red berets, as did their Miquelete forebears[2]

Sri Lanka

The Special Task Force of the Sri Lanka Police wear green berets. Sri Lanka Army Commandos wear a maroon beret while special forces wear a black beret.

Turkey

Gendarmerie General Command personnel wears green beret. Police Special Action teams of General Directorate of Security wears dark green beret.

Ukraine

The maroon beret was used by Berkut officers as their standard headgear.

United Kingdom

CO19, the armed response unit of the London Metropolitan Police, used to wear dark blue berets, and were nicknamed the 'Blue Berets'. Today, they generally wear helmets or baseball caps.

Civilian organizations

Berets are associated with a variety of other organizations:

  • Some Scout groups, notably in Hong Kong, Japan and Britain, where green berets were once worn, Thailand, where khaki berets are worn, Indonesia, where dark brown berets are worn, and in Poland where berets in different colors are one of few caps. The British and Hong Kong Air Scouts wear blue berets. The official Scouts Canada uniform included a beret between 1968 and 1998 (it was green until 1992, then navy blue). It has made a comeback with the older members in Rover Scouts having adopted the red beret as part of their uniform. The Boy Scouts of America are authorized to wear a red beret, although the BSA itself no longer makes them and very few Scout troops or Scouts wear them. The Girl Scouts of the USA have worn green berets that often led to members of rival military units reminding the United States Army Special Forces of the fact.
  • In Britain, berets are worn by the Sea Cadet Corps (SCC), Army Cadet Force (ACF), Air Training Corps (ATC) and Combined Cadet Force (CCF). These are in the appropriate service colour, with ACF and CCF Army Section units wearing the beret of the regiment or corps to which they are affiliated. Some Cadet units who are affiliated to the Rifles regiment are permitted to wear the 'Back Badge'. Also the St John Ambulance Cadets of the UK can also wear black berets.
  • Berets are worn by the Royal Canadian Army Cadets. They wear the same color as their affiliated regular force unit, unless there is no affiliated unit, in which case a green beret is worn.[3]
  • In Malaysia, cadets of the Kadet Remaja Sekolah Malaysia wear matching dark green berets.
  • Navy blue berets have been the standard headdress of the Royal Canadian Legion as well as other veterans' groups in Canada.[4] Members of the Canadian Merchant Navy Veterans Association wear a blue beret with a white crown.
  • The Guardian Angels have adopted a red beret as a recognizable item of clothing[5]
  • Some security companies in Hong Kong such as Securicor wear berets.
  • Members of the youth committee of the Mexican Red Cross used to wear a red beret, and black berets were worn by parachutists of the same institution. These were phased out in 2006, when a new uniform was issued.
  • Sousaphone players in marching bands typically wear berets because the regular combination cap or shako would get in the way of the bell. All members of the Ohio State University Marching Band wear scarlet berets with a "Diamond Ohio" flash when not wearing their uniform hat (essentially, whenever they are outdoors and not performing).
  • Members of the Civil Air Patrol who attend National Blue Beret (NBB) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin during the EAA AirVenture airshow can earn blue berets along with the Saint Alban's Cross, and the title of Blue Beret. Members of the Indiana Wing who achieve the classification of Ground Team Member level 3 (GTM3)[6] are also awarded blue berets.
  • Firemen of Hong Kong Fire Services Department used to wear berets for non-emergency operations, but they have switched to baseball caps while ambulancemen are still wearing berets.
  • Civil Aid Service and Auxiliary Medical Service also adopt black berets as part of their uniform.
  • Hong Kong Customs and Excise and Immigration Department officers wear black and dark blue berets as their headgear during public parades and ceremonies.
  • In Peru, the Music Band of San Ignacio de Recalde School was formed as a percussion band in 1994. Wind instruments were first acquired in 2004. The band wears green berets are part of their uniform.[7]
  • Members of the Assemblies of God boys program Royal Rangers typically wear a beret as a part of their class A and Class B dress uniforms, with specific color and symbols dependent upon the age group.[8]
  • Pathfinders (Seventh-day Adventist) wear a black beret with the badge in the middle; their leaders also use it, but with a different insignia
  • Since August 2017, the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree members are now wearing black berets as part of their new uniform.[9]

References

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