The first British unit to wear a beret was the British Army Tank Corps in 1924 after World War One. The beret was chosen from that worn by the French Chars d’Assault (Assault Tanks) troops. The colour black was chosen as it would hide oil and dirt stains associated with working on the tanks and would be more practical than caps or helmets.
The black beret in the British Army is only worn by the Royal Tank Regiment. The black beret was given approval to be worn by the Royal Australian Armoured Corps in 1944.
The Australian Army and a number of corps’ and units have since adopted other colours for their berets. The Army general duty beret, worn by all members of units that do not possess their own unique-to-corps beret, including recruits, is coloured dark blue.
The other beret colours are :
All members of 4 RAR whilst it was a rifle battalion eg 1964 to 1997 were entitled to wear the Rifle Green beret with the badge of the Royal Australian Regiment in General Duty Dress.
Qualified commando soldiers posted to 4 RAR (Cdo) from 1997 to 2009 were entitled to wear the Sherwood Green commando beret with the badge of the Royal Australian Regiment. Unqualified RAR members posted to 4 RAR (Cdo) during this period were entitled to wear the Rifle Green RAR beret with the badge of the Royal Australian Regiment. Members of other corps’ wore their own unique to corps coloured beret or slouch hat and their own regiment or corps badge.
Qualified members of the 2nd Commando Regiment (2 Cdo Regt) wear the Sherwood Green commando beret with the badge of 2 Cdo Regt Cdo.
Unqualified RAR members posted to 2 Cdo Regt wear the Rifle Green beret of the Royal Australian Regiment with the badge of the Royal Australian Regiment. Members of other corps’ posted to 2 Cdo Regt wear their own unique to corps coloured beret or slouch hat and their own regiment or corps badge.
It has become common for former members of 4 RAR to wear berets on ANZAC Day and at other commemorative occasions. This should be encouraged as although the wearing of berets with civilian dress has no official standing or authorisation, the wearing of the beret will keep alive the name of 4 RAR while the battalion is resting within the Order of Battle.
It is important though that the correct beret and badge be worn; that is, all RAR members who served in 4 RAR, 4 RAR/NZ (ANZAC) and 2/4 RAR may wear the Rifle Green beret and RAR badge; all those qualified commandos who served in 4 RAR (Cdo) may wear the Sherwood Green beret and RAR badge.
The Sherwood Green berets and badges of
2 Cdo Regt and 4 RAR (Cdo).
THE BEARDED ASSAULT PIONEER PLATOON SERGEANT
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the motto of the Royal Australian Regiment
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