Author Topic: Army returns to dark blue or khaki berets for Foot Guards and technical corps  (Read 5444 times)

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Offline OceanBonfire

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By Steven Fouchard, Army Public Affairs

Ottawa, Ontario — The first colour most would associate with the Canadian Army (CA) is green but, in light of a new change in dress policy, some CA members will be wearing dark blue or khaki berets.

In total, 16,000 new berets will be issued in a process that began in March 2019.

The dark blue berets are a shade known officially as “Army Blue” and are being issued to members of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery (RCA), Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME), Royal Canadian Corps of Signals (RCCS), and Canadian Intelligence Corps (C Int C).

“We Gunners are honoured by the restoration of our distinctive blue beret and look forward to wearing it proudly alongside our RCCS, RCEME and C Int C comrades-in-arms,” said Brigadier-General (Retired) J.J. Selbie, Colonel Commandant of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery.

Those being issued the blue berets are authorized to wear them with all Orders of Dress, which include formal ceremonial wear and operational dress, both in the field and in garrison.


Red and scarlet a part of historical identity

Army Blue is a dark shade but lighter than the almost-black worn by CA members in the post-Second World War period. It is also not quite as dark as the traditional Royal Blue, which is worn by many Corps and Regiments as facings on their formal Mess Dress and often mistaken for black.

Army Blue was chosen by a team of Corps Sergeants Major and CA heritage experts, who wanted to ensure a traditional look and feel was maintained. Compatibility with the current Army Service Dress uniform was also a consideration.

Dark blue is a key component of the CA’s historical identity. During the Victorian era, scarlet tunics were worn as Field Dress and blue was the colour of almost everything else. As the first ‘technical’ Corps developed, The RCA and RCEME chose to highlight their distinct identities by wearing more blue. With the later emergence of the RCCS and RCEME, they naturally also adopted blue as an identifying colour.

The initiative to re-adopt Army Blue berets was led by The RCA. After some discussion, the RCEME and RCCS also submitted requests to return to this traditional colour. The newly reformed C Int C also requested it.

The new berets are a reinforcement of C Int C’s distinct identity. It operated under that name from 1942 until 1968 when, as part of the merging of the Army, Navy, and Air Force under the single Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) banner, it was incorporated into the CAF-wide Intelligence Branch. It was re-named Canadian Intelligence Corps in 2016 – part of a wider trend which has seen it and other Corps adopt historic names.


Khaki berets for the Foot Guard Regiments

Additionally, khaki berets are being issued to the CA’s Foot Guard Regiments – the Governor General’s Foot Guards and the Canadian Grenadier Guards. Wear of the khaki berets by Foot Guard members is limited to Combat Dress, as these Regiments wear a Forage Cap with all other Orders of Dress. A Forage Cap is a peaked cap worn during parade and other dress occasions instead of a beret.

In the discussions on new berets, members of the Foot Guard Regiments considered staying with their current green or adopting either Army Blue or khaki. They opted for the latter to recognize their unique role as the only Household Regiments in Canada supporting the Queen’s representative, Her Excellency the Governor General.

The choice is also an acknowledgement of strong historical connections to the British Household Regiments, which adopted khaki berets in the 1970s.

“The Guards are privileged to adopt the khaki beret affirming our role as Household Troops in support of the Queen’s representative in Canada, Her Excellency the Governor General,” said Colonel R.M. Foster, the senior serving Guards officer. “We stand shoulder to shoulder alongside the other corps and branches of the Canadian Army in operational dress with distinctive berets.”

https://www.facebook.com/notes/canadian-army/army-returns-to-dark-blue-or-khaki-berets-for-foot-guards-and-technical-corps/2134631726628794/

http://www.army-armee.forces.gc.ca/en/news-publications/national-news-details-no-menu.page?doc=army-returns-to-dark-blue-or-khaki-berets-for-foot-guards-and-technical-corps/jucn3okj
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Offline Rheostatic

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"returns"

Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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How about basic useful necessary stuff??,....seems to me that we should be working on that.  Obviously, any folks who worked on a project such as this, MUST be an overage and can be laid off.
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Offline Calvillo

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Are INT members wearing Navy and Air Force uniforms eligible to wear the dark blue beret?

Offline Not a Sig Op

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Just so I'm understanding this right...

This can be summed up as blue berets were a thing briefly in the 50s, and khaki berets were a thing a foreign unit did in the 70s, so now it's an important part of military heritage?

Offline Remius

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Just so I'm understanding this right...

This can be summed up as blue berets were a thing briefly in the 50s, and khaki berets were a thing a foreign unit did in the 70s, so now it's an important part of military heritage?

were a thing a foreign unit did

Like maroon. tan, airforce blue or red berets were adopted for the same reasons?
Optio

Offline comfortablynumb

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I'm assuming that the new fighting rigs, improved uniform designs, and modern sidearms are next, right?

Right?  :'(


 :rofl:
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 13:35:39 by DetectiveMcNulty »

Offline Remius

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I'm assuming that the new fighting rigs, improved uniform designs, and modern sidearms are next, right?

Right?  :'(


 :rofl:

Ha!  Not likely.  Berets are low hanging fruit. 
Optio

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Just so I'm understanding this right...

This can be summed up as blue berets were a thing briefly in the 50s, and khaki berets were a thing a foreign unit did in the 70s, so now it's an important part of military heritage?

No! No! Blue berets were a thing in the 50s, 60s and very early 70s until that green abomination took over. The blue beret was the first headress I was ever issued (about sixty seconds before I got my Peter Pan combat hat - which incidentally I still have after just over half a century)

I for one (and the seventeen other people just like me) are happy to see it make a comeback. (Sure hope gunners will wear a red felt patch behind the cap badge.)

 ;D :stirpot:
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Just so I'm understanding this right...

This can be summed up as blue berets were a thing briefly in the 50s, and khaki berets were a thing a foreign unit did in the 70s, so now it's an important part of military heritage?

Pretty much. And, based on my observations in another Army, at another time and place, you watch how fast those Guardsmen try to 'big up' that khaki beret as "almost tan and therefore just about as special as 'them'" :)
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Online Old Sweat

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I briefly wore the blue beret in 1958 in the RCA Depot and then 4 RCHA. However we also were issued blue forage caps and examination of my few photos from the depot showing my troop on a guard of honour for the CGS and then our graduation group photo had us in forage caps.

I frankly find the matter underwhelming.

Offline Furniture

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Are INT members wearing Navy and Air Force uniforms eligible to wear the dark blue beret?

Only those members of the branch in CA DEU, the rest of us carry on with the RCAF blue, and RCN black berets we already have.

Offline Calvillo

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Only those members of the branch in CA DEU, the rest of us carry on with the RCAF blue, and RCN black berets we already have.

Interesting, considering that Navy and Air Force MP and CANSOFCOM wear Scarlet and Tan, respectively.

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...examination of my few photos from the depot showing my troop on a guard of honour for the CGS and then our graduation group photo had us in forage caps.

Any chance of you scanning and posting those?

Cheers,
Dan.
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Offline Petard

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From the headline I guess the CA lumps gunners in with technical trades now?

I still don’t get the connection to “going back” to blue berets, and what’s next? Dickies?
There are far more important things to focus on that will increase pride in service
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 11:00:10 by Petard »

Offline Furniture

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Interesting, considering that Navy and Air Force MP and CANSOFCOM wear Scarlet and Tan, respectively.

The reasoning given is that those are speciality berets, and new blue one is a standard beret like the RCAF, RCN, and current CA green berets. It just replaces the green beret for some trades in CA uniform.

Offline RomeoJuliet

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The reasoning given is that those are speciality berets, and new blue one is a standard beret like the RCAF, RCN, and current CA green berets. It just replaces the green beret for some trades in CA uniform.
What if you are a member of a unit that has the new blue beret and you are not of that MOS? Will one wear that beret  à la armoured regiments?


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Offline daftandbarmy

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What if you are a member of a unit that has the new blue beret and you are not of that MOS? Will one wear that beret  à la armoured regiments?


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If only there was a decision tree process map ....  ;D
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Offline dapaterson

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If only there was a decision tree process map ....  ;D

Once we figure out the toque / gloves / raingear conundrum, we can move on to more complex issues like this.  For example, what colour beret would a RCEME tech in an armoured regiment wear?
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Offline RomeoJuliet

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Once we figure out the toque / gloves / raingear conundrum, we can move on to more complex issues like this.  For example, what colour beret would a RCEME tech in an armoured regiment wear?
So complicated is the CAF is it not?


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Offline Furniture

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What if you are a member of a unit that has the new blue beret and you are not of that MOS? Will one wear that beret  à la armoured regiments?


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Not that I know of, unless arty decides to go that route. For the Int side it's just CA DEU Int/Met people.

Offline Calvillo

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The reasoning given is that those are speciality berets, and new blue one is a standard beret like the RCAF, RCN, and current CA green berets. It just replaces the green beret for some trades in CA uniform.

Not that I am questioning you personally but can one not argue that the blue beret is a specialty for ARTY, RCEME, RCCS and INT? It just happens that all but INT are Army-specific trades.

It would be funny if Navy and Air Force retaliate by issuing different color berets for their own INT.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Not that I am questioning you personally but can one not argue that the blue beret is a specialty for ARTY, RCEME, RCCS and INT? It just happens that all but INT are Army-specific trades.

It would be funny if Navy and Air Force retaliate by issuing different color berets for their own INT.

.... like Purple, because it's a 'Purple Trade' right? ;)
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Offline Furniture

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Not that I am questioning you personally but can one not argue that the blue beret is a specialty for ARTY, RCEME, RCCS and INT? It just happens that all but INT are Army-specific trades.

It would be funny if Navy and Air Force retaliate by issuing different color berets for their own INT.

That's the way it was described in the email from my CoC, since I'm stuck wearing a blue bag I just have to make sure my troops switch to the new beret at the right time.

Offline Navy_Pete

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.... like Purple, because it's a 'Purple Trade' right? ;)

Back in the day when navy officers had trade stripes, the one for the engineering officers (now called marine systems engineering officers) actually was purple.  Each officer trade had their own colour. 

That went away at some point (unification), but there is still (a rather stupid) tradition where some engineering officers on the ships use a purple pen.

For whatever reason, Navy medical officers kept the red stripe.

Anyway, please don't go there, or we'll have more navy shenanigans like the stupid executive curl.  Unless I get to wear a cape (and maybe a tricorn) lets not feed the good idea fairies anything but warm Ovaltine.