Did you mean "sweet"... or are you just in to being all sweaty :^) Woo Hooo
On a more serious note, for this completely long and drawn-out thread - I will add my commentary; there was a time when the beret stood for something - and its care was a symbol of the pride the soldier had in him/herself as well the uniform that they wore.
Now, like fast food, everyone wants a pre-shaped ready to wear with little or no effort uniform. Perhaps this is at the core of the problems faced by today's military and the standards that are not being set, enforced, and maintained. Yes many of the problems of the Army could be solved simply by looking at the uniform we have now, its functionality, and how it is maintained by the individual soldier.
In the past a beret was earned by achieving something and being assigned to a unit that reflected that achievenment. Not the case today. The beret and jump boots had to be prepared for use, shaped and polished (actualy Spit-Shined) to a high reflective gloss... The time and effort taken for these simple but very time consuming things made a soldiers accomplishments and unit standing, stand-out against the crowd, and the pride of that soldier and his/her position in a unit that embraced those accomplishments was second to none.
Personnally, I refuse to wear Sta-Bright, everything I wear is stripped and polished to a bright shine, it takes effort - and is worth every second of it. My Jump Boots are all wax and water until they can reflect my steely-eyed stare at them from a standing position. And the beret, which for me is Maroon in color, for the Airborne, is shaped and shaved and re-shaped until it is able to be worn to standard without any possible hint of it being just a hat or balloon on my head.
Gen Shinseki (RET) wanted everyone in the Army to have a beret... perhaps in truth the Army was not ready for a beret and the symbol of excellance that it denotes. There are still three colors that stand out from the crowd, and each has to be earned, two of which harder than the first - all of which can be taken away if the standards aren't met. Except the black beret... which currently is the consolation prize when once it was the symbol of the 75th.
Yes I have an opinion on this... and it is still strong... Never look for the easy way for anything, or you will end up asking, "do you want fries with that?" Make the beret, no matter what color you wear, a symbol of the high standards it takes to wear such a device. It was an honor to wear it in the past, it should be an honor to wear it now... If you do not like it, then write your congressman/woman and request that you wear the old "Garrison Caps", and that it remain the headgear for "everyone else"
Last edited by LRSU_Dog; February 8th, 2011, 03:19 AM.
I have both a "pre shaped" beret and the standard issue wool blanket beret. The stard issue one that took ALOT of time to shave and shape does look better than my pre shaped. Its holds its form on my head far better than the former. I don't really miss the black leather boots to be honest.
And I agree that the beret given to everyone is weak sauce. Gen Shinseki gave everyone in the Army the black beret in part to spite the 75th Regiment.
When I was at Ft. Hood, in the mid-80’s, we had a couple of NCOs who were still in their ODs. They absolutely h*a*t*e*d switching to BDUs. The one constant in the Army, through all the years, is a dislike of change. That said, I recently saw a SFC I recognized as a recruiter, on the side of the road talking to a cop, in his ACUs, no head gear and his hands in his pockets. I was stunned! He looked like a total ragbag.
My wife and I have talked about the new (to us) uniforms. She remembers me spit shining (with alcohol and a zippo) my boots while we watched TV not to mention the weekly expenditure of having my BDUs pressed (double starch) each week at the Korean cleaners just off post. I also remember soaking my cap, dousing it in spray starch, then molding and baking it over a 100 watt bulb. Scorched the bejeesus out of more than one that way – but it was sharp. I really want back in uniform, but I gotta say, BDUs were much sharper.
On a side note, my wife was at a luncheon a few months back. She was seated at a table between an active duty Brigadier and a retired Admiral. To the General she says (and I am not lying) “Don’t you think the new BDUs are terrible? They just look so sloppy.” He stared at her for a second, and then busted up laughing. He agreed with her and asked how long she’d been a dependant (between me and her father, 26 out of 41 years). She then turned to the admiral, told him that we’re now Navy family and active members of the Navy League to support our son (who’s a squid) but it’s ok because (once again, not lying) “He’s so adorable in his little sailor suit.” He laughed too, and said “You mean his Uniform?” “Sure”, she says with a smile, “it’s just when I think of uniform, I always think of BDUs or Army greens.” And THAT is why I love her.