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Am I the only member who doesn't wear a hat?

BlueTrain

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I have a couple of waxed cotton hats that I wear in inclement weather, a Filson wool hat that I wear in cold weather, plus a number of plain cotton bush hats that I wear when wandering around in the woods. I have three or four, either pale olive green or khaki that I've had for years. I also have a wide-brimmed hat of a well-known brand that I can't remember with a ventilated crown that I bought specifically for whenever I'm going to be spending a lot of time in the sun, which is rare. I really do get out to the woods a lot, however, but that doesn't involve being in the sun much at all. I also have a couple of baseball caps with logos that were handed out at work but I actually wear them indoors more than outdoors. The old olive-green baseball cap was what was being worn with fatigues in the army and I never liked them and that translates into my not liking baseball caps very much now. I wish we had berets. I think I missed wearing the Ridgeway cap only by a year or two.

Almost all armies wear berets in some order of dress now and they all wear them differently. But the US Army wears them like they were skull caps and it looks awful.
 

Harp

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Almost all armies wear berets in some order of dress now and they all wear them differently. But the US Army wears them like they were skull caps and it looks awful.

My hair is long and shaggy, I always need a haircut. Almost never wear a hat. The US Army should have limited beret issue to Special Forces (ex-12th SF); however, the dress blues issued now do look awful.:eek:
 

LizzieMaine

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I'm sorry, I know The Military gets very worked up about berets, but when I look at a beret the only thing I think of is Girl Scouts. At least the Army doesn't wear beanies.

83584259.jpg


The original Green Berets in action.
 

BlueTrain

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My son didn't care for berets when he was in the army. The funny thing about berets, which originated as an item of military headwear before WWI, is that everyone wears them a little differently. The original French alpine beret was a very large floppy thing and they (the French alpine units) still wear them exactly the same way. Soldiers in the Middle East wear them in a very careless manner. Apparently, the cool and stylish way to wear them in the British Army now is down past your eyebrows. Totally non-regulation, of course.
 

Harp

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... is that everyone wears them a little differently. Soldiers in the Middle East wear them in a very careless manner.
Apparently, the cool and stylish way to wear them in the British Army now is down past your eyebrows. Totally non-regulation, of course.

I preferred a boonie to a beret for field wear. I pulled a tour as an adviser with the Greek Army and all Hellenic infantry were issued berets and forage caps,
the latter I borrowed for field wear and I stole a US Navy black knit cap from the SEALS for cold Macedonia hills. A beret is impractical for field usage but the
British Gurkkhas really set a fashion statement with theirs.:)
 

LizzieMaine

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I went to supper last night with some of the kids, and one of them was wearing one of those knit visor caps that are all the rage among the skateboard crowd these days. The one he had on was identical in nearly every way to the Army "jeep cap" loathed by General Patton and made famous by Radar O'Reilly. Now that's style.
 
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The beret is a very protean hat: cute innocence on a Girl Scouts, national identity on a French man or woman and don't-eff-with-me on a Green Beret (and other military units) - and one more, completely goofy and out-of-place on my head.

That little hat can take on many meanings. Oh, one more, a certain green-eyed, blonde girl in college in the '80s wore one to my Logic, Reason and Persuasion class that had a come-hither sexuality to it. Yup, that little hat can say many different things.
 
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LizzieMaine

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Dodgers announcer Red Barber was once very nearly fired by Walter F. O'Malley for his insistence on wearing a beret instead of a "normal" hat. The Big Oom thought that it would be offensive to television viewers conditioned to think of the beret as a "foreign sissy hat", which was its most common American connotation prior to the 1960s. Barber finally agreed not to wear his beret on camera, but made a point of wearing it at all times everywhere else.
 
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I went to supper last night with some of the kids, and one of them was wearing one of those knit visor caps that are all the rage among the skateboard crowd these days. The one he had on was identical in nearly every way to the Army "jeep cap" loathed by General Patton and made famous by Radar O'Reilly. Now that's style.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q= radar o'reilly&qs=n&form=QBIR&pq=jeep radar o'reilly&sc=0-0&sp=-1&sk=

Aah, now I know, what you mean! The alternative version to the fieldcap! :)
 
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Dodgers announcer Red Barber was once very nearly fired by Walter F. O'Malley for his insistence on wearing a beret instead of a "normal" hat. The Big Oom thought that it would be offensive to television viewers conditioned to think of the beret as a "foreign sissy hat", which was its most common American connotation prior to the 1960s. Barber finally agreed not to wear his beret on camera, but made a point of wearing it at all times everywhere else.

Another reason for you to "love" Walter F. O'Malley :).

I worked with guys in the '90s who associated the beret with ''sissy Frenchmen," but I could never focus on what they were saying as the aforementioned green-eyed, blonde coed always obliterates other thoughts in my small brain when the word beret comes up.
 

BlueTrain

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The beret in military usage had, at least for Americans, come to mean something special, as in a militarily elite unit or soldier. They have acquired certain connotations with certain colors, as in maroon for airborne, rifle green for commandos or special forces and so on. The idea behind wearing a certain form of headdress when you aren't wearing a helmet is to identify the wearer as a member of a certain unit and not necessarily elite. The French Foreign Legion is known for its white kepi (kepi blanc), Scottish units for their glengarries and bonnets of different styles, and the USMC for their particular covers, including their white dress cap and the shop cap-style fatigue cap. Another very distinctive military hat is that worn by Italian Alpini soldiers.

To me, the most distinctive of all is the campaign hat as worn by Gurkha units in the British and Indian armies. Nobody else wears anything exactly like it. They even wear it in a distinctive way, tilted to one side in a rakish manner. Ever notice how soldiers and Marines in the 30s and 40s wore their caps, tilted way over to one side? British solders at the beginning of WWII had a folding "field service cap" that was worn when the steel helmet was not required (with lots of exceptions). It was always worn well over to one side and has been described as "gravity-defying."

A Montana-peak Stetson is very stylish and practical, if somewhat expensive, and they were once general issue in the army, for about 40 years, and were also popular as a civilian hat, particularly around 1900. These days, however, it has assumed unfortunate associations with drill sergeants, boys scouts and state policemen. I guess I'll have to stick to my old cotton bush hats.
 

Harp

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To me, the most distinctive of all is the campaign hat as worn by Gurkha units in the British and Indian armies. Nobody else wears anything exactly like it...

The Gurkkha knife is also distinctive. I once asked a Geewhiz about his knife and as he drew it from its sheath, he cut his finger before handing me the blade.
Apparently, their knife must taste blood whenever drawn. During the Falklands campaign Gs were on beach landing point against the Argentine defense.
Those guys are first rate soldiers.
 

LizzieMaine

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Another reason for you to "love" Walter F. O'Malley :).

I worked with guys in the '90s who associated the beret with ''sissy Frenchmen," but I could never focus on what they were saying as the aforementioned green-eyed, blonde coed always obliterates other thoughts in my small brain when the word beret comes up.

The symbol of the UAW's "Women's Emergency Brigade" in the late '30s was a red felt beret, bought at Woolworths for a quarter. Such berets were worn as the ladies of the WEB blackjacked cops, National Guardsmen, and scabs during the Flint Sit-Downs of 1936-37. So even in the Era, not everyone considered berets to be sissified.

The hat that really had a "tough guy" connotation in the Era was the derby -- usually black, usually worn, and sometimes with a dent in it. Popular culture tough-guy figures from Chimmie Fadden to Moon Mullins to Doiby Dickles were known for wearing derbies as they slugged malefactors in the head with iron pipefitters' wrenches. If you wanted any character to immediately be seen as a "toughie with a heart of gold," you put a derby on his head, usually worn at a cocked angle.

AA+33.jpg
 
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In the ugliest days of NYC - the late '70s / early '80s - when it really felt like the city was teetering on losing control - the police weren't policing small crimes, weren't out in force on the streets, etc., - the Guardian Angels, effectively a vigilante force, started patrolling the subway system to fight crime.

While controversial then and now, as someone who lived / worked here, anyone who was doing something seemingly positive was embraced. Their paramilitary uniforms were topped off with their signature red beret. As a patron of the subway system then (and now), back then, when other than at rush hour, you were always on alert to bad stuff happening, I know I felt relieved when I saw an Angel with the red beret nearby.
 
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I'm amazed to see that they're still around -- I would've thought they'd have been Guilianied out of existance. It makes me very happy to see that they list "animal protection" as one of their briefs.

I am not offering an opinion on Giuliani, but the thing that always made me laugh in this very, very liberal city (I think it votes 103% democratic - okay, a bit of an exaggeration, but there are parts of the city that vote over 90% democrat and, almost none republican - which is why, other than for money, there is no presidential campaigning in NYC) is that very few people would admit to voting for him, but he won two terms as mayor.
 

Harp

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... but the thing that always made me laugh in this very, very liberal city (I think it votes 103% democratic - okay, a bit of an exaggeration,
but there are parts of the city that vote over 90% democrat and, almost none republican -....

Chicago is such a democratic egalitarian bastion of freedom even the cemeteries are ward heal precincts.;)
 
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