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This article describes the use of the beret as part of the uniform of various organizations. The use of the beret as military headgear is covered in a dedicated article, Military beret.

Police and paramilitary organizationsEdit

Hong KongEdit

The navy blue beret is the standard headgear of officers of the Police Tactical Unit of the Hong Kong Police Force. Officers are nicknamed the "Blue Berets" or the "Blue Caps". These berets are also being worn by the officers of the Emergency Unit and the Airport Security Unit of the Hong Kong Police Force.


The Police Cadets, Riot unit and the members of the Special Operations Unit of the National Commissioner of Icelandic Police (Víkingasveitin) wear black berets. High-ranking members of the Reykjavík Air Rescue Unit are entitled to wear red berets after 5 T-10 army parachutes jumps (3 Hollywood jumps and 2 with full gear).


Dark blue berets are worn by the Polizia di Stato and blue berets by the Polizia Penitenziaria.


Royal Malaysian Police

Dark blue berets with Black Hackle are worn by all the regular aviations of Royal Malaysian Police including Suksis. For paramilitary organizations consisting of General Operations Forces, the beret worn by the units is dark blue with Khaki Hackle for ceremony, and the paramilitary Senoi Praaq Brigade wear maroon berets also with Khaki Hackle. The dark blue berets with Light Blue Hackle was worn by high school students' Royal Police Cadet Corps. The anti-riot Federal Reserve Units (FRU) wearing the red berets with black hackle. The Marine Operations Force (Malay language: Pasukan Gerakan Marin) wore the light blue berets.

The berets are also worn by Police Counter-Terrorism Forces, such as operators of Pasukan Gerakan Khas, the main anti-terror special forces. Some sub-division units of the PGKs, including the Special Actions Unit (UTK), wear the maroon berets and VAT 69 Commandos wore tan (sand) berets, berets which honored by British 22nd Special Air Service. The newly maritime anti-terror special force, known as UNGERIN and United Nations police branch wear the light blue berets.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (Coast Guard) operators wear black berets. The specialist force team wear the Sky Blue Beret, bestowed by the trainer, Royal Malaysian Air Force PASKAU.


Other security organisations like Pertahanan Awam/ Civil Defence, their personnel wear the orange beret and RELA personnel wear the yellow beret. In school, uniform body wear berets too: such as Kadet Remaja Sekolah Malaysia(KRS)(a.k.a. School Youth Cadet) who wear matching dark green berets.


Black berets for the PNP Special Action Force and PCG Special Operations Group.


The Polish Police Anti-Terrorist Units wear dark blue berets. Dark blue berets are also worn by other Police special units such as pyrotechnics. Polish Border Guards wear light green berets.


The Polícia de Segurança Pública (PSP) Intervention Corps wear navy blue berets, the Personal Security Corps (Corpo de Segurança Pessoal) (VIP bodyguards) wear sky blue berets, CIEXSS teams (explosive disposal) wear black berets, and the PSP Special Operations Group wear emerald green berets. The Guarda Prisional (Prison Guards) and the Proteção Civil (Civil Defense) wear black berets.

The members of the paramilitary Rescue Corps of the Portuguese Red Cross wear purple berets.

Until their disbandment in 1975, the Angola and Mozambique paramilitary civil defence volunteers wore black berets.


Black berets were worn by all members of the Singapore Police Force until 1969, when the peaked cap was introduced. The beret was, however, retained for specialist forces, such as officers of the Special Operations Command (SOC) and the Police Coast Guard, as well as the Gurkha Contingent. A dark blue beret is worn, although the Police Tactical Unit of the SOC switched to red berets in 2005. The Gurkha Contingent began wearing khaki-coloured berets from 2006. TransCom (Public Transport Security Command) officers wear light grey berets.[1]

Members of the Singapore Civil Defence Force attached to a headquarters element, or on overseas missions, also wear black berets. These are adorned with the SCDF crest, and may sport a flash in certain specialist units, such as the Rescue Dog Unit and the elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team. Auxiliary police officers of Certis CISCO and Aetos Security Management don dark blue berets when performing escort and other high-risk duties, as do specialist forces of the Singapore Prison Service. In addition, student cadets of uniformed youth organizations such as the National Cadet Corps also wear berets of different colours. National Cadet Corps has three distinct beret colours for each of its services (Land, Sea and Air), these are NCC Green, NCC Blue and blue for each service respectively.National Police Cadet Corps wear their own separate dark blue berets.

South AfricaEdit

The Special Task Force of the South African Police Service wear camouflage berets.

South KoreaEdit

Several police SWAT teams belonging to different municipalities wear either maroon or green berets; Seoul Metropolitan Police SWAT team (Unit 868) wears maroon berets, while Incheon Metropolitan Police SWAT team (Unit 313) wears green berets.



The Carlist general Tomás de Zumalakarregii in his red beret.

The beret, txapela in Basque, where it was especially popular, has been in common usage in Basque Country for centuries. Some believe it was introduced in the sixteenth century from the Low Countries, which at the time shared the same monarchy. The Txapelgorriak (from Basque txapel gorri, "red beret") were an Isabelline troop, but later the red beret became a symbol of Carlism. The red beret became a Falange symbol when Carlism was temporarily merged into it after the Spanish Civil War.

Today the Basque police force, Ertzaintza, wears red berets, as did their Miquelete forebears[2]

Sri LankaEdit

The Special Task Force of the Sri Lanka Police wear green berets. Sri Lanka Army Commandos wear a maroon beret while special forces wear a black beret.

United KingdomEdit

CO19, the armed response unit of the London Metropolitan Police, used to wear dark blue berets, and were nicknamed the 'Blue Berets'. Today, they generally wear helmets or baseball caps.

Civilian organizationsEdit

Berets are associated with a variety of other organizations:

  • Berets are worn by some Scout groups, notably in Hong Kong, Japan and Britain, where green berets were once worn, Thailand, where khaki berets are worn and in Poland where berets in different colors are one of few caps . The British and Hong Kong Air Scouts wear blue berets.[citation needed] The official Scouts Canada uniform included a beret between 1968 and 1998 (it was green until 1992, then navy blue). It has made a comeback with the older members in Rover Scouts having adopted the red beret as part of their uniform. The Boy Scouts of America are authorized to wear a red beret, although the BSA itself no longer makes them and very few Scout troops or Scouts wear them. The Girl Scouts of the USA have worn green berets that often led to members of rival military units reminding the United States Army Special Forces of the fact.[citation needed]
  • In Britain, berets are worn by the Sea Cadet Corps (SCC), Army Cadet Force (ACF), Air Training Corps (ATC) and Combined Cadet Force (CCF). These are in the appropriate service colour, with ACF and CCF Army Section units wearing the beret of the regiment or corps to which they are affiliated. Some Cadet units who are affiliated to the Rifles regiment are permitted to wear the 'Back Badge'. Also the St John Ambulance Cadets of the UK can also wear black berets.
  • Berets are worn by the Royal Canadian Army Cadets. They wear the same color as their affiliated regular force unit, unless there is no affiliated unit, in which case a green beret is worn.[3]
  • Navy blue berets have been the standard headdress of the Royal Canadian Legion as well as other veterans' groups in Canada.[4] Members of the Canadian Merchant Navy Veterans Association wear a blue beret with a white crown.
  • The Guardian Angels have adopted a red beret as a recognizable item of clothing[5]
  • Some security companies in Hong Kong such as Securicor wear berets.
  • Members of the youth committee of the Mexican Red Cross used to wear a red beret, and black berets were worn by parachutists of the same institution. These were phased out in 2006, when a new uniform was issued.
  • Sousaphone players in marching bands typically wear berets because the regular combination cap or shako would get in the way of the bell. All members of the Ohio State University Marching Band wear scarlet berets with a "Diamond Ohio" flash when not wearing their uniform hat (essentially, whenever they are outdoors and not performing).
  • Members of the Civil Air Patrol who attend National Blue Beret (NBB) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin during the EAA AirVenture airshow can earn blue berets along with the Saint Alban's Cross, and the title of Blue Beret. Members of the Indiana Wing who achieve the classification of Ground Team Member level 3 (GTM3)[6] are also awarded blue berets.
  • Members of the Civil Aid Service in Hong Kong were black berets as part of their uniform.
  • In Peru, the Music Band of San Ignacio de Recalde School was formed as a percussion band in 1994. Wind instruments were first acquired in 2004. The band wears green berets are part of their uniform.[7]
  • Members of the Assemblies of God boys program Royal Rangers typically wear a beret as a part of their class A and Class B dress uniforms, with specific color and symbols dependent upon the age group.[8]
  • Pathfinders (Seventh-day Adventist) wear a black beret with the badge in the middle; their leaders also use it, but with a different insignia


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