U.S. ARMY SPECIAL FORCES GREEN BERET

While the forerunners of today’s Army Special Forces wore berets during World War II, it was in the early 1950s that berets of different designs and colors began to appear during field exercises conducted by the U.S. Army 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), which had been formed at Fort Bragg in 1952. Green quickly became a favorite color because it was associated with berets approved for British Commandos through an Army Council Instruction in October 1942.

What is astonishing about the Green Beret is that its wear was almost something of an insurrection, with Special Forces units deciding unilaterally to wear the headgear rather than waiting for official approval or authorization. In 1955, the 77th Special Forces Group (Airborne) mandated its Soldiers wear a rifle-green beret made in the design of the Canadian Army beret. Around the same time, Special Forces personnel stationed in Europe also adopted a green beret as their headgear and soon thereafter went so far as to wear it with the recently introduced Class A green uniform. Controversy ensued after the Fort Bragg commander banned the wear of green berets in 1957, but ultimately the Department of the Army wisely decided that Special Forces deserved, at the very least, special headgear; it authorized the green beret as official Army headgear for Special Forces on September 25, 1961.

Today, green berets are worn by all Special Forces-qualified personnel with an MOS in Career Management Field (CMF)18, including Officers (18A) and Warrant Officers (180A) and Command Sergeants Major (OOZ) who were reclassified from CMF 18. Soldiers who reclassify to another CFM will wear the green beret until they’ve been awarded a new Military Occupational Specialty or placed in a new branch. Soldiers

All Special Forces-qualified personnel carrying career management field (CMF) 18 military occupational specialties (MOSs), to include 18A or 180A and command sergeants major (CSMs) reclassified from 18Z to OOZ are authorized to wear the green beret. This includes Senior and Junior ROTC instructors and those attending training in a student status (for example, Command and General Staff College, Defense Language Institute, or the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy). Special Forces personnel who reclassify to another CMF continue to wear the green beret until a new MOS or branch is awarded. Soldiers who have earned the Special Forces Tab may not wear the green beret unless they are currently assigned to a Special Forces position or unit.
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