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Army beret to be dumped in favor of more practical caps

Army beret: Those who tend to confuse US Army soldiers with beatniks will soon have one less excuse. The Army is ditching the black beret in favor of a more practical patrol cap.


In this undated photo, US Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Myhre stoically tolerates an uncomfortable and impractical beret atop his head. The Army announced that it is abandoning the beret after a failed 10-year experiment. The traditional Basque hat, which proved deeply unpopular with American soldiers, will be replaced by a patrol cap for everyday wear.

AFP/US Army/Newscom/File

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If you tend to confuse American soldiers with beatniks, you will soon have one less excuse: The US Army has announced that it will be replacing the black beret as the default headwear for its standard combat uniform.

In its place will be the patrol cap, a soft baseball-cap-like head covering with a flat top and a rounded visor.

Introduced a decade ago as part of the standard Army Combat Uniform, the black wool beret was almost universally despised by US soldiers. It lacks a visor to shield the eyes from the sun. It's hot and doesn't absorb sweat. You can't carry it in a pocket. You need two hands to put it on.

I hate wearing a wet sock on my head," Chief Warrant Officer Mark Vino of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., wrote in to the Army Times newspaper. "Plus it makes my head/skin break out.”


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