The Maroon Beret, like the Green Beret, is the trademark headgear of a US Army unit type, specifically, the Airborne. Mainly worn by members of the 82nd Airborne Division and the 18th Airborne Corps, the 101st Airborne Division is also known to carry these prized pieces of military uniform. Smaller units such as the 35th Signal Brigade are also known to be awarded these.

While the Maroon Beret signifies airborne status of a unit, it does not necessarily mean the wearer as an individual actually jumps from military aircraft such as the C-130 Hercules. Many airborne personnel are resentful of this, since the 'dirty legs' as they call them, are wearing an award they did not earn.

The beret itself is worn flopped over the right side of the head. In the front, centered over the right eye, is a 'flash'. This is a shield-shaped badge sewn onto the wool beret that is specific to the wearer's unit. On this flash one would pin the metal crest, or distinctive unit insignia, of his assigned unit.

Proper care of the beret requires changing of the flash often, as it tends to become soiled with wear, especially when performing tasks such as maintenence of military Hummers,or HMMWVs (Highly Mobile Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles).

When one first recieves their beret, the first task is to get the flash sewn on. Then, the wool fuzz must be shaven off. The beret must then be shaped to the wearer's head, and the strings on the leather band tied, clipped, and burned down. The backing cardboard that shapes the area where the flash is sewn to is reccomended to be cut away, so as to remove some of the bulk.

The Maroon Beret is also the Trademark of the British Army's Parachute Regiment. The American Airborne Maroon Beret was actually copied of the British Forces (the Parachute Regiment, being concieved in 1941, and issued the Maroon Beret). The Parachute Regiment wear the beret with a cap badge, that of a winged parachute with a crown on top.

The current styling of the beret is to wear the right hand side draged down as far as posible, and nearly in front of the right eye, with the centre of the cap badge lining up with the left most point of the left eye.

The Maroon Beret is issued to all members of the Airborne Forces, including Band Members. There are a FEW who have not passed P Company who wear it (some Band Members). This includes a few women (no more than a hand few). This is because women are not allowed to go though P Company

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.