Leadership: November 6, 2000

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Army Chief of Staff General Shinseki has decided that as of 14 June, 2001, all Army soldiers will wear black berets to symbolize the elite status of all US Army units. Exceptions include the Special Forces who will keep their green berets and the paratroopers who will keep their red berets. The Rangers, who wore black berets, are furious. The tankers, who note that tankers in all European Armies wear black berets, continue to grumble. The news did not go over well. Declaring everyone to be elite in effect declares that no one is elite. Berets are said to look jaunty and cool, but most soldiers find them to be silly. They provide no shade in bright sun and turn into sodden rags in the rain. The idea that the entire Army is elite harkens back to the time when Adolf Hitler "promoted" all infantry units to "rifle" units.--Stephen V Cole

 


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