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MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-19, 03:54 AM
This is probably about as far off the astronomy topic as you can get.

I have several nice berets. Actually I have about 9 berets of different colors. One is green (Royal Marines Commandos), maroon (US Airborne), black (US Military), black (Canadian military), black (classic French), camo (US military), and several others. I like to wear berets. They are comfortable and since they are wool, they keep my head warm in the winter. Since they have no brim, they don’t blow off while riding my motorcycle. I think I look good in a beret, and quite a few people have told me the same thing. I even wore a beret in a play in San Diego.

Here is the problem. There are a few people who object to me wearing a military style beret because ”I didn’t earn it”. Usually it is someone who has been in the military a very short time, such as two years. Long before the National Guard was called to Iraq, it was the weekend warriors who had never even been out of the USA. Now it is soldiers returning from their first tour in Iraq. I have been assaulted, had my beret taken off my head, and been punched in the face.

I am a US Veteran. I served 6 years in the US Navy. I believed that I was fighting for freedom in America. I still believe that. As a civilian, I do not think that anyone has a right to get in my face, threaten me, and attack me because I am wearing a beret. I have talked to a lot of older Veterans, those with 10-15-20 years or more in the service. None of them has ever had any objection. In fact, they generally say that those guys have no valid reason to object, let alone attack.

So, what do you think?

HenrikOlsen
2007-Dec-19, 04:41 AM
I think beret color is used in the military as a group identity symbol, something that makes US different from THEM, including making OUR branch different from THEIR branch.
It's part of how people are motivated to perform better through manipulation of artificial goals.

The longer a person has served, the less meaning is attached to the artificial goals and more to the real ones, which is why such a thing as beret color has more importance to one who has served the shortest.

Note that this is my own interpretation and may be complete and utter garbage.

Neverfly
2007-Dec-19, 04:43 AM
As a fellow serviceman and soldier- I find that hypocritical and ridiculous.
Lemme know who punched you and I'll motivate his friends to renickname him "omelete face."

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-19, 06:57 AM
HenrikOlsen,
Interesting hypothesis. There may be something to that. I feel that it may be related to maturity and experience.

Neverfly,
Thank you for the support. If I find him again, I might complete that task myself.

Neverfly
2007-Dec-19, 07:05 AM
HenrikOlsen,
Interesting hypothesis. There may be something to that. I feel that it may be related to maturity and experience.

Neverfly,
Thank you for the support. If I find him again, I might complete that task myself.

Here in Ausitn, it is quite normal to see all mannar of folks wearing camo clothes- BDU pants, BDU caps- PT uniforms etc. Many of them never served themselves- they got them from family members or spouses or Military Surplus.

I'm glad to see it. I consider it support of our troops to see people proudly sporting the military colors. And they live here don't they! They have every right to wear whatever tickles their fancy as long as nothing indecent is exposed.

"This We'll Defend"

Lianachan
2007-Dec-19, 10:26 AM
Anybody who takes your beret off and punches your face isn't really your friend.

(to paraphrase The Simpsons)

Moose
2007-Dec-19, 01:53 PM
Note that this is my own interpretation and may be complete and utter garbage.

It's both plausible and reasonable, Henrik. It seems to me that real veterans who genuinely have nothing left to prove would be far less likely to be so insecure as to fuss over irrelevancies.

Larry Jacks
2007-Dec-19, 02:32 PM
Owning berets and other military memorbilia is fine but it is crossing a line when you wear one you have not earned. There are a lot of posers out there claiming to be Green Berets or SEALS. In more than one case, these posers have defamed the military (e.g. the "Winter Soldier" group during and after the Vietnam War were mostly frauds). It got so bad that a group of SEALS set up a site to verify who is and isn't a SEAL. It takes a tremendous amount of dedication to earn the right to wear one of those berets. When you wear them, you're effectively claiming something you have not earned.

IMO, collecting is fine but wearing is not.

Neverfly
2007-Dec-19, 02:44 PM
Owning berets and other military memorbilia is fine but it is crossing a line when you wear one you have not earned. There are a lot of posers out there claiming to be Green Berets or SEALS. In more than one case, these posers have defamed the military (e.g. the "Winter Soldier" group during and after the Vietnam War were mostly frauds). It got so bad that a group of SEALS set up a site to verify who is and isn't a SEAL. It takes a tremendous amount of dedication to earn the right to wear one of those berets. When you wear them, you're effectively claiming something you have not earned.

IMO, collecting is fine but wearing is not.

I understand where you are coming from. And yes, posers are annoying. There are a lot of them out there- and most everyone poses at SOMETHING at some point in their lives. Even a soldier tends to exxagerate his war stories.

Not that anyone should punch them in the snoot. Some may deserve it though...:p

But Mental Avenger did not describe in the OP that as the case. It's about those who jump up and down claiming that a person is posing, when in fact they are not.

I think Henrik Olsen and Moose really set it down well.

But for the posers out there trying to fake it- for whatever motivations- yes they do deserve to be exposed for posing.
But I think the line is pretty clear on when a person is posing- and when a person is just following their own style- or proudly sporting USA colors.
We had a guy in the Army get busted for having sown patches (like Airborne) on his uniform that he had never actually earned. Was disgracefully sent home- From Bosnia! And he was a Sargeant First Class (E-7).

For those who have undergone the grueling training to be a SEAL or SF or Green Beret- yes, they do have the right to get pretty annoyed about the many posers.

God Speed to US Army SF :D

ETA: Just a personal note- I actually never wear ANY service uniform material out of uniform- nor combine any uniform material out of uniform. In civilian attire- I look like any plain ol' civilian.
Most the folks around here that sport Military gear and clothing are not actually in- or no longer in or whatever- but like I said before- I take it as a sign of support for our troops- they are encouraging us by wearing the Proud Colors.

mike alexander
2007-Dec-19, 04:59 PM
I happen to think the beret is the silliest-looking head-topping ever invented, with the possible exception of those Napoleon hats with the brims turned up and worn sideways . The Phrygian cap is in the same taxonomic lineage, millenia old. Basques and Scots have worn them for centuries (hope no Scots out there are offended if I see a tam as a beret variant).

To claim an old, traditional design of headgear as your own and beat up someone for daring to wear one is akin to a gang member beating up someone for wearing its colors. It makes you a stupid bully.

Moose
2007-Dec-19, 05:20 PM
To claim an old, traditional design of headgear as your own and beat up someone for daring to wear one is akin to a gang member beating up someone for wearing its colors. It makes you a stupid bully.

Very much agreed, and "gang colors" was very much in my mind when I replied earlier.

It's gets even more ridiculous (which is a much milder term than what I'd like to use) when you're demanding exclusivity to a very common color like black. Or green. Or whatever.

It's like Hercules' Magic Ring from that stupid '80s cartoon. The beret/uniform/flag has no effect whatsoever to an individual servicecritter's worth. Only their training, actions, and motives do that.

Trebuchet
2007-Dec-19, 05:51 PM
I'm curious if the OP's berets are just plain colors, or have military logos, badges, or patches on them. Certainly no excuse for anyone to take offense if they're plain, and not really much otherwise either.

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-19, 05:53 PM
Thanks everyone for your comments.

To clarify, the last incident took place in a bar. The guy came up and said “Are you a Green Beret? I said no, “I never have been.” He responded with something like, “Then why are you wearing that green beret?” I said, “This is a green beret, but it is not a Green Beret. It is a British beret, not American.” He launched into a lecture on why I couldn’t wear it. I explained repeatedly that I was not pretending to have been a Green Beret, and that not only was the beret British, but the pin on the beret was a GarryOwen pin. Then he left and talked to his friends for a while. Then he came back and asked if I knew what Group 1 was. I said no, and he said, “I thought so.” Then he left again. He came back a third time and demanded I take off the beret. I explained that I was a civilian and had the right to wear anything I wanted. That’s when he grabbed the beret and threw it on the floor.

For those who object to my wearing the beret, I have never pretended to have earned it as a military headgear. If someone asks, I explain that it is a British beret and was given to me by a friend. Usually, it ends there. As noted before, no one I have talked to that is older, or who has had more than a year or two in the military, has had any apparent objections. Another thing, each aggressive confrontation has been by someone who is NOT or has never been a Green Beret.

At one time I considered not wearing it to prevent confrontations. But it occurred to me that I wouldn’t be able to wear my Maroon beret lest I offend Airborne, or one of my black berets lest I offend Army, or a blue beret lest I offend Air Force, or a red beret lest someone accuse me of pretending to be a Guardian Angel. Who knows who I would offend if I dared to wear the plaid beret. The line has to be drawn somewhere, and I draw the line at zero.

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-19, 06:00 PM
Owning berets and other military memorbilia is fine but it is crossing a line when you wear one you have not earned. There are a lot of posers out there claiming to be Green Berets or SEALS. Owning ball caps and other baseball memorabilia is fine but it is crossing a line when you wear one you have not earned. There are a lot of posers out there claiming to be baseball players. Perhaps we should pass a law that makes it a criminal offense to wear a ball cap with a logo on it that you have not earned.

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-19, 06:02 PM
I'm curious if the OP's berets are just plain colors, or have military logos, badges, or patches on them. Certainly no excuse for anyone to take offense if they're plain, and not really much otherwise either.There are two metal pins on the beret. One is the GarryOwen emblem, and the other is my Drum and Bugle Corps emblem.

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-20, 09:34 PM
Beret

mike alexander
2007-Dec-20, 09:37 PM
Who is Gary Owen?

Fazor
2007-Dec-20, 09:41 PM
I've met lots of ex-millitary types who get very protective of "civilians", or in your case, veterans of another branch, wearing their insignia.
After being in Law Enforcement (schooling), I'd be a hypocrite if I said it was wrong to tease someone (i.e., call them a wannabe or in my case turning out to be a "rent-a-cop") for wearing such apparel, but only in good natured fun.

As for assualting someone over it, that's ludacris. Not only do I think it's okay, I think it's great to show support for your country's millitary. I'm very proud of our service men and women, why can't I show that?

Posing in full dress of a service man, and pretding you are/were one, would be offensive to me. But simply wearing a piece of apparel?

Well, as with any profession, you have the good, the bad, the smart, and the stone-dumb. Just try not to classify all of them in that last category.

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-20, 10:12 PM
Garryowen is the name of the tune that General George Custer selected for the Seventh Cavalry. It is also the theme song of the 7th Cavalry Drum & Bugle Corps.

The History of Garryowen (http://www.first-team.us/journals/1stndx16.html)

Larry Jacks
2007-Dec-21, 01:03 AM
I've met lots of ex-millitary types who get very protective of "civilians", or in your case, veterans of another branch, wearing their insignia.

The notion of people wearing military insignia they have not earned is a very sore point with a lot of veterans. A lot of the "Winter Soldier" types who claimed they witnessed American soldiers and Marines committing war crimes in Vietnam (and today in Iraq) have been proven to be imposters and phonies. This has generated a lot of anger and hostility towards those wearing military artifacts (especially metals) they didn't earn.

Stolen Valor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolen_Valor)
Winter Solders (http://www.aim.org/guest_column/A2054_0_6_0_C/)

Neverfly
2007-Dec-21, 01:06 AM
I've met lots of ex-millitary types who get very protective of "civilians", or in your case, veterans of another branch, wearing their insignia.

The notion of people wearing military insignia they have not earned is a very sore point with a lot of veterans. A lot of the "Winter Soldier" types who claimed they witnessed American soldiers and Marines committing war crimes in Vietnam (and today in Iraq) have been proven to be imposters and phonies. This has generated a lot of anger and hostility towards those wearing military artifacts (especially metals) they didn't earn.

Stolen Valor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolen_Valor)
Winter Solders (http://www.aim.org/guest_column/A2054_0_6_0_C/)

Understandably. But at least don't be so ignorant as to assault someone who is NOT an imposter or a poser.

Jens
2007-Dec-21, 04:02 AM
Owning berets and other military memorbilia is fine but it is crossing a line when you wear one you have not earned.

What about all the people who go around wearing soccer or football or basketball shirts from teams that they've never even tried out for, let alone belonged to? That seems pretty outlandish. Although I can't say I've ever heard of a member of a soccer team going after a fan for shamelessly impersonating them.

Hydro
2007-Dec-21, 04:25 AM
What about all the people who go around wearing soccer or football or basketball shirts from teams that they've never even tried out for, let alone belonged to? That seems pretty outlandish. Although I can't say I've ever heard of a member of a soccer team going after a fan for shamelessly impersonating them.

Supporting your favorite sports team is a huge difference from impersonating official military insignia.

Except if you wear a Redskins jersey in Dallas. Good luck with that. :D

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-21, 05:08 AM
If you notice the two buttons on the beret, neither is a military symbol. Well, the Garryowen symbol is sometimes used for US 7th Cavalry, but the button next to it is actually the American Legion Post #7 button for 2007, honoring our Drum & Bugle Corps.

BTW, when asked, I always make sure I state that I never was a Green Beret and have no intention of representing that I was. Remember, it really is a British Royal Marines Commando beret. I also make sure they know it was given to me, that I never was a RMC.

Jens
2007-Dec-21, 05:25 AM
Supporting your favorite sports team is a huge difference from impersonating official military insignia.


I don't see why. If I like a sports team, I wear their t-shirt. If I like the green berets, I wear their beret. I'm not impersonating a green beret any more than I'm impersonating, say Milan FC or Liverpool or the Kashima Antlers. Just making something an official piece of clothing doesn't mean that others can wear it. Although I can recognize exceptions. Allowing anybody to wear a police uniform is dangerous. But allowing people to wear a pilot's uniform, why not? Or to dress up like a jockey, for example. You may have never ridden a horse, but that shouldn't give them the right to say that nobody else can wear one of those black helmets.

Hydro
2007-Dec-21, 06:02 AM
I don't see why. If I like a sports team, I wear their t-shirt. If I like the green berets, I wear their beret. I'm not impersonating a green beret any more than I'm impersonating, say Milan FC or Liverpool or the Kashima Antlers. Just making something an official piece of clothing doesn't mean that others can wear it. Although I can recognize exceptions. Allowing anybody to wear a police uniform is dangerous. But allowing people to wear a pilot's uniform, why not? Or to dress up like a jockey, for example. You may have never ridden a horse, but that shouldn't give them the right to say that nobody else can wear one of those black helmets.

In the United States, Federal laws concerning the wear of the United States Military uniforms by people not on active duty are published in the United States Code (USC). Specifically, 10 USC, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 45, Sections 771 (http://usmilitary.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=usmilitary&cdn=careers&tm=189&f=00&tt=2&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/10/771.html) and 772 (http://usmilitary.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=usmilitary&cdn=careers&tm=87&f=00&tt=2&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/10/771.html) (a few exceptions here)


Except as otherwise provided by law, no person except a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps, as the case may be, may wear—
(1) the uniform, or a distinctive part of the uniform, of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps; or
(2) a uniform any part of which is similar to a distinctive part of the uniform of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps.

Neverfly
2007-Dec-21, 10:17 AM
Ok, you two.

What part of "there is a big difference between wearing a particular symbol of a group and trying to impersonate the group" did you NOT understand?

I have a black police jacket. I love it and wear it all the time. However, the badge patch has no badge on it. It's just jet black like the rest of the jacket.

Now If I wore the full get up and pretended to be a cop- I would get in trouble. I don't. I just wear the jacket- and that is only when it's cold.

No one, not citizens nor police officer, has ever given me any issue over the jacket.ive been complimented on it though. Once by a cop with a grin on hid face.

Mental Avenger is not impersonating ANYONE nor misleading in any way as if it even COULD be construed as impersonation.

Fazor
2007-Dec-21, 02:36 PM
Mental Avenger is not impersonating ANYONE nor misleading in any way as if it even COULD be construed as impersonation.
I agree; it's one thing if you're pretending to be something you're not. Simply wearing a beret is not doing that. Wearing a beret and your full BDU would be different.

Moose
2007-Dec-21, 03:40 PM
All US military uniforms include pants. So as to not offend the insecure, we, my friends, must immediately drop trou for great justice.

Lianachan
2007-Dec-21, 04:47 PM
I have a pair of US army issue summer time combat trousers that I use when I go out to do my archaeology (they are light, comfy, and wonderfully hard wearing and water resistant)... should I burn them/hand them in to the police?

Tucson_Tim
2007-Dec-21, 05:10 PM
I don't expect this to be a problem for folks on this forum but . . .

This subject comes up on the motorcycle forums. You can get yourself killed (or at least get the crap beat of you) if you wear a m/c gang jacket. To put it mildly, they don't like that. Even wearing a patch that mimics a m/c gang's patch will get you in trouble. I'm talking about the 1%er gangs - not the HD Hog clubs, etc.

Fazor
2007-Dec-21, 05:23 PM
I don't expect this to be a problem for folks on this forum but . . .

This subject comes up on the motorcycle forums. You can get yourself killed (or at least get the crap beat of you) if you wear a m/c gang jacket. To put it mildly, they don't like that. Even wearing a patch that mimics a m/c gang's patch will get you in trouble. I'm talking about the 1%er gangs - not the HD Hog clubs, etc.

Well, yeah. But the question is not "do you get beat up for wearing someone else's insignia", but "should you". And, it should go without saying that many things those types of gangs do, should infact not be done.

Tucson_Tim
2007-Dec-21, 05:26 PM
And, it should go without saying that many things those types of gangs do, should infact not be done.

But you said it anyway. :) True - those gangs are full of dirt-bags. Rumor has it that in order to "earn" one of their merit badges you have to kill someone. Nice club.

ETA: BTW, did you get the heads out of your freezer? :)

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-21, 05:33 PM
In the United States, Federal laws concerning the wear of the United States Military uniforms by people not on active duty are published in the United States Code (USC). And that refers to “uniforms”, not selected uniform items. It means full uniform with insignias. In practice, it is acceptable to wear virtually a complete current military uniform, as long as there are no insignias that make it appear that you are an active member of that branch of service.

How do I know that? Easy, I am one of the Directors of Bugles Across America. (http://xeml.buglesacrossamerica.org/index.xeml) BAA is a Non-Profit organization dedicated to providing live TAPS at the funerals of Veterans. I honor our Veterans by playing TAPS on a bugle at Veteran funerals. When doing so, we often wear the uniform we wore on active duty, or a replacement if that one no longer fits. :) Our members play at over 1000 funerals a month, and AFAIK, there has never been a problem.

Fazor
2007-Dec-21, 05:35 PM
ETA: BTW, did you get the heads out of your freezer? :)
Yeah, I had to turn them over to BloodDawg to get my jacke---I mean, what heads?

Cougar
2007-Dec-21, 10:14 PM
I am a US Veteran. I served 6 years in the US Navy.... I do not think that anyone has a right to get in my face... So, what do you think?
No way anyone has a right to get in your face.


I think I look good in a beret, and quite a few people have told me the same thing. I even wore a beret in a play in San Diego.
I used to wear a beret all the time when I was a "professional" dart shooter, so much so that I was known, at least throughout the state, as Frenchie. :cool:

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-21, 11:02 PM
Thanks everyone for your support. I really appreciate that, I mean it. It only takes a few inconsiderate people to create problems. It’s good to know there are so many patriotic Americans here. Thanks.

Hydro
2007-Dec-22, 03:10 AM
Hey, don't shoot the messenger! I was simply pointing out that there is a huge difference between wearing a soccer jersey and wearing a military uni.

Personally, I like to see the military honored. If that includes folks wearing a part of the uniform, so be it. I have a standing rule whenever I see a man in uniform, I introduce myself and thank them for their work.

I even took it a step farther this summer as I was attending a training class in Portland. It just so happens it was also fleet week, with several Navy ships docked in port, so there were dress whites everywhere on shore leave. I was hanging out at a popular watering hole one evening, and decided to buy a round for every sailor in the joint. $225 dollars later...I had many new friends. :D

SeanF
2007-Dec-28, 05:11 PM
And that refers to “uniforms”, not selected uniform items. It means full uniform with insignias.
Actually, the law Hydro quoted says, "...or a distinctive part of the uniform...", so it's not only in reference to full uniforms with insignia.

But a simple beret as you were wearing would not, I think, qualify as "distinctive." :)

mike alexander
2007-Dec-28, 06:03 PM
These reactions also wax and wane over time. When I was a bit younger (oh, say about the time of the US in Vietnam) there was a movement to make the American flag a sacred object; I don't mean as in common respect, I mean as in follow ritual or we'll kill you.

Same old problem when an object becomes equivalent to the qualities it is supposed to represent. Then it becomes a talisman, and enormous amounts of effort better used elsewhere may be expended on its preservation and adoration.

mugaliens
2007-Dec-30, 07:26 AM
Wear the beret. After all, it's just shaped wool.

But please don't wear any of the military insignia associated with the units, whether chrome crests or subdued patches. Those people in those units did earn them.

We did not.

Neverfly
2007-Dec-30, 08:07 AM
Wear the beret. After all, it's just shaped wool.

But please don't wear any of the military insignia associated with the units, whether chrome crests or subdued patches. Those people in those units did earn them.


We did not.

Speak for yourself:p