Similar to the nonsubdued pin-on metal insignia worn by Colonels on the black all-weather coat and windbreaker, the beret rank insignia features an eagle looking toward its right talon, while one of the two shoulder insignia has the eagle facing its left talon. Prior to 1951, this resulted in one of the eagles facing toward the talon holding arrows, leading it to be dubbed the “war eagle.”

Colonels and other officers were first authorized to wear pin-on metal insignia in 1942 on the Garrison Cap, which until 2001 was the standard headgear worn with the Class A Army Service uniform (“Army Greens” at the time). An edict at that time by Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki replaced both the Garrison Cap and the Service Cap with the black beret, which previously had been worn exclusively by members of Army Ranger units. (Note: we continue to manufacture Garrison Caps to meet the needs of veterans, uniform collectors, and those seeking historically accurate Army uniform items for motion-picture or television productions. We offer versions for Enlisted, Officers, Warrant Officers, and General Officers.)

The nonsubdued, pin-on metal Colonel’s rank insignia is worn centered on the flash of the black beret. It is also authorized for wear on the Green, Maroon, and Tan berets worn by members of Special Forces, Rangers, Airborne, and Ranger units.

How long the black beret will remain the default headgear for the Army Service Uniform is uncertain. Although the Army has made no announcements regarding replacing the beret with another type of headgear as the standard ASU hat, it’s common knowledge that the black beret is widely disliked, and its discontinuation frequently tops the list of uniform suggestions in surveys conducted by the Army Times.

About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.