Dark Blue Berets return

Petard

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On 15 May 2019, all serving Canadian Gunners are to begin wearing a dark blue beret

Besides an odd date to chose, 26 May would have made more sense, I kind of have mixed feelings about this. Yes the dark blue has a long history, but gunners wore the green beret for close to half a century.  Those who wore the green beret I think have every right to be proud of the heritage they created while wearing it. They endured long periods of indifference that almost saw their extinction, yet they preserved, maintained their skills, and they too earned the abiding respect of the Combat Arms they supported in Operations Other Than War, and in combat in Afghanistan.

At any rate, here's the official "word"
 

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  • (CAN U) Implementation Order RCA Blue Berets (CAN U) - V2_bil.pdf
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PuckChaser

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Any word on whether this was made a "senior" beret, in that folks who are entitled to wear a maroon beret now have to switch to the blue one?
 

Remius

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I think the dark blue beret replaces the green one.  The rules for wearing other berets like maroon ones should not be any different than they were before.
 

McG

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A lot of lies were told in selling the return of the Canadian Army blue beret. It was not any organizations distinct headdress, and it did not have a long history in Canada.

In about 1950, the British Army adopted the dark blue beret as its standard beret. A few years later, Canada introduced the the dark blue beret as its standard beret.

Right up until it was eliminated by unification, the bark blue beret remained the Canadian Army standard beret ... but from what I have read, use of the beret had actually fallen out of practice in favour of the forge cap before the 1950s ended.

Beginning in the 1970s, the British Army began introducing many more new beret colours. As a result the dark blue beret appears to be worn by a smaller more select group in the UK, but the beret is in fact still just the standard beret colour for everyone who does not have a unique colour.

Those sales pitches that the dark blue beret was the distinct headdress of royal corps? Lies. Suggestions that it indicates those of advanced technical skills and mathematical abilities? More fabrications.

This restored dark blue beret is referred to in dress committee meetings as the Canadian Army Blue Beret and described in language that puts it equal to the Canadian Army Green Beret.
 
 

NavyShooter

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I checked some historical photos, and they all looked gray to me...
 

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Old Sweat

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MCG said:
A lot of lies were told in selling the return of the Canadian Army blue beret. It was not any organizations distinct headdress, and it did not have a long history in Canada.

In about 1950, the British Army adopted the dark blue beret as its standard beret. A few years later, Canada introduced the the dark blue beret as its standard beret.

Right up until it was eliminated by unification, the bark blue beret remained the Canadian Army standard beret ... but from what I have read, use of the beret had actually fallen out of practice in favour of the forge cap before the 1950s ended.

Beginning in the 1970s, the British Army began introducing many more new beret colours. As a result the dark blue beret appears to be worn by a smaller more select group in the UK, but the beret is in fact still just the standard beret colour for everyone who does not have a unique colour.

Those sales pitches that the dark blue beret was the distinct headdress of royal corps? Lies. Suggestions that it indicates those of advanced technical skills and mathematical abilities? More fabrications.

This restored dark blue beret is referred to in dress committee meetings as the Canadian Army Blue Beret and described in language that puts it equal to the Canadian Army Green Beret.

In 1958 I wore the blue beret for a short period of time both in the RCA Depot and then in 4RCHA. It was replaced by the blue forage cap for parade and ceremonial duties, and the cap, peaked, winter for general duties. By the way, both items of headwear were on general use in the gunners at this time. I suspect cost and uniformity ruled the day way  back then.

I suspect back in the post-Korea period, we adopted the blue beret because the Brits had. Nowadays, I have no idea.

 

Petard

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For those who don't want to download the attachment, I should point out this also is to be implemented by the RCEME, the RCCS (Signals), and the C Int C (Intelligence Corps)
I chose to put this in the Artillery thread as the RCA has formally announced it in the public domain on their website

Personally, I don't see what the point of it is

Edit to correct the Jimmies acronym
 

Fishbone Jones

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MCG said:
A lot of lies were told in selling the return of the Canadian Army blue beret. It was not any organizations distinct headdress, and it did not have a long history in Canada.

In about 1950, the British Army adopted the dark blue beret as its standard beret. A few years later, Canada introduced the the dark blue beret as its standard beret.

Right up until it was eliminated by unification, the bark blue beret remained the Canadian Army standard beret ... but from what I have read, use of the beret had actually fallen out of practice in favour of the forge cap before the 1950s ended.

Beginning in the 1970s, the British Army began introducing many more new beret colours. As a result the dark blue beret appears to be worn by a smaller more select group in the UK, but the beret is in fact still just the standard beret colour for everyone who does not have a unique colour.

Those sales pitches that the dark blue beret was the distinct headdress of royal corps? Lies. Suggestions that it indicates those of advanced technical skills and mathematical abilities? More fabrications.

This restored dark blue beret is referred to in dress committee meetings as the Canadian Army Blue Beret and described in language that puts it equal to the Canadian Army Green Beret.
 


If anyone wore the blue beret for those reasons, it was the RCEME 😉
 

The Bread Guy

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Petard said:
... this also is to be implemented by the RCEME, the RCSC (Signals), and the C Int C (Intelligence Corps) ...
First I've heard of int having a blue beret background.
Petard said:
Personally, I don't see what the point of it is
Because buttons & bows ... :(
 

Jarnhamar

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MCG said:
A lot of lies were told in selling the return of the Canadian Army blue beret. It was not any organizations distinct headdress, and it did not have a long history in Canada.
8)
 

211RadOp

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Petard said:
For those who don't want to download the attachment, I should point out this also is to be implemented by the RCEME, the RCSC  RCCS (Signals), and the C Int C (Intelligence Corps)
I chose to put this in the Artillery thread as the RCA has formally announced it in the public domain on their website

Personally, I don't see what the point of it is

FTFY
 

Gorgo

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I wonder if the RCA, RCEME, RCSigs and CIntC are getting their new berets from the same stock as where Robert Land Academy in Wellandport ON get their berets; blue has been the colour for all cadets after passing Recruit Period since I attended the school from 1980-84.
 

daftandbarmy

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NavyShooter said:
I checked some historical photos, and they all looked gray to me...

My Dad was a 3 Div gunner in WW2 (I may forgive him some day :)) and his 'war' beret is khaki coloured. And yes, the wheel on his cap badge goes round and round ....
 

medicineman

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Petard said:
Personally, I don't see what the point of it is

Edit to correct the Jimmies acronym

Same ego driven personal agenda that brought back the pips and crowns?

If they're going by the British Model, IIRC, the RAMC wears a navy blue beret as well...RCMS isn't jumping on the band wagon?

daftandbarmy said:
My Dad was a 3 Div gunner in WW2 (I may forgive him some day :)) and his 'war' beret is khaki coloured. And yes, the wheel on his cap badge goes round and round ....

My grand dad was a a gunner in the British Army in the Second World War and usually wore a bush cap for most of it, since he was in India/Burma/Malaya - but berets were khaki for gunners then too.  When he transfered to the Canadian Army after demobbing, it went between khaki, blue, blue forage caps and peaked bush caps and back to berets - my dad had a similar experience his short stint as a gunner as well.

MM

 

BDTyre

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Petard said:
On 15 May 2019, all serving Canadian Gunners are to begin wearing a dark blue beret

Besides an odd date to chose, 26 May would have made more sense,

I noticed it's a Wednesday. Maybe this is to allow various reserve units to do it on a training night as opposed to setting up a dedicated day for it at stand-down time? Although yes, the 26th being a Sunday would have allowed it to not only be an all day event with a day of practice prior, but also to be an awesome way to end the training year.
 

FJAG

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I'll be a bit contrary here.

When I joined in 1965, like Old Sweat before me, I was issued a blue beret and wore the gunner cap badge with a piece of red backing felt. Once I completed my gun number's training I was issued the blue forage cap with a red band and my white lanyard. Both were symbols of pride that distinguished me as a young gunner from the hoi polloi of infantry and service corps that populated my armory. It was never so much the blue of the beret that was important but the red patch behind the badge and the red band on the forage cap that made us gunners. In fact my understanding at the time was that the dark blue was the default generic army colour and nothing special for the gunners.

The blue beret only became important to me when they took it away and replaced it with that generic piece of green crap that came with the green bus driver's uniform. I had gone regular army at exactly that point in time where the uniform changed. As officer cadets we wore battle dress and OR Tropical Worsted with the blue and red forage cap but at graduation, instead of getting officer's TWs, we were given a $600 clothing allowance to buy the newly issued green cloth and have two sets of uniform made (one summer weight and one winter weight - they still weren't available for issue at clothing stores). I still recall my first parade ever with 3 RCHA where the entire regiment paraded in TWs except for two of us, the regimental photographer who was a sailor and wore the old pattern navy rig and me, who was front and centre in his greens. Guess who pissed the RSM off more?

I was even more upset when they took away my Robin Hood combat cap and told me to wear my crappy green beret in the field. (actually they never took it away; they just ordered me never to wear it again--it's still in a box in my basement)

We universally hated unification and integration. The idea that we would be indistinguishable from other regiments, and even worse, sailors and pilots, was abhorrent. There was a great fear at the time that even our cap badges would be replaced by the corn flake badge.

I fully appreciate that this was over half a century ago and that there are many now that are going through the same angst. The big difference is that back then our individuality was being taken away while now it is being given back. I also understand how the thing is complicated by what are now the purple trades and the degree of integration that has by necessity taken place. But, I do think that initiatives that bring back or increase esprit d'corps are well worth it.

Every tradition has a day one. Just as we old buggers got used to the green stuff that they made us wear to the point where the new sprouts are now defending it, you'll get over the reinventing that's going on now. Stop sweating the little stuff. What you should be worrying about is whether or not the Adoptive Dispersed Operations concept will really keep the Russians from wiping you out and, if not, what to do about it.  ;D

:cheers:
 

Petard

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CanadianTire said:
I noticed it's a Wednesday. Maybe this is to allow various reserve units to do it on a training night as opposed to setting up a dedicated day for it at stand-down time? Although yes, the 26th being a Sunday would have allowed it to not only be an all day event with a day of practice prior, but also to be an awesome way to end the training year.

I was suggesting the 26th of May because that's considered "Artillery Day" (some say birthday) for gunners, but trying to get anyone out on a Sunday typically results in much wailing and gnashing of teeth, so they probably went with the safe bet of proceeding the "24 weekend" when everyone's in a good mood
 
 

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Petard said:
I was suggesting the 26th of May because that's considered "Artillery Day" (some say birthday) for gunners, but trying to get anyone out on a Sunday typically results in much wailing and gnashing of teeth, so they probably went with the safe bet of proceeding the "24 weekend" when everyone's in a good mood

Thanks! I wasn't aware of the significance of the 26th of May. But yes - Sunday parades are always a gong show, especially at the end of the training year. We usually do our smoker on the Saturday.
 

Colin Parkinson

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With the way things are going, the Reserve artillery will be gunners in name only, new hats and no guns.
 

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Colin P said:
With the way things are going, the Reserve artillery will be gunners in name only, new hats and no guns.

No kidding.

I slept over at an armoury one night while in transit, the armoury is primarily for a PRes Artillery unit.

The unit is quite large, which surprised me because out of the four C3 Howitzers they have, only one actually works.

It's a damn shame.

I get it though, you can't give everyone an M777, but give them something.
 
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