Magazine article National Defense

An Army of One, but in What Color Beret?

Magazine article National Defense

An Army of One, but in What Color Beret?

Article excerpt

The Army's decision to issue black berets to every soldier is one of those stories that keeps on giving. A retired major general, now working in the defense industry, said that the issue has distracted service leaders from more important issues, and that the cosmetic change in the Army uniform should not be a priority. "The two highest-ranking Army officials at the Pentagon don't have time to talk to me," he said under the condition of anonymity, "because they are too busy preparing testimony about berets for two House of Representatives committee hearings.

"They should be spending their time on more pressing priorities, like modernization, recruitment and retention," he said.

The general conceded, however, that there are legitimate reasons for introducing the black berets. One of those reasons is to make enlisted members feel valued and not less important than those serving in the elite beret-wearing units. This also goes along with the new recruiting slogan, "An Army of One. …

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