How to Wear a Beret


Army Regulation 670-1 states that the beret is the basic headgear for utility uniforms in garrison environments. Soldiers who are not assigned to units or positions authorized wear of the tan, green, or maroon berets will wear the black beret. This includes senior and junior ROTC instructors.

  • Purchase an unlined wool beret, preferably one cut pre-shaped, without a seam running down the back from the crown and with a genuine leather headband.

  • Sew on your unit flash. Center your unit flash on the cardboard flash support and sew it onto the front of the beret. Once the flash is sewn on, cut the cardboard support to within 1/4 inch of the flash.

  • Shave the beret. Use a disposable razor to shave the fuzzy wool off of the beret, both inside and out, to remove bulk and give a smooth appearance. This is time-consuming but absolutely necessary.

  • Size the beret. Wet the beret and place it on your head. Pull the sizing ribbon ends snug and tie them in a square knot. Remove the beret and trim the ribbon ends, leaving an inch on each end so they'll stay under the beret.

  • Shape the beret. Put on the sized beret. Pull the majority of the material down the right side, touching the outside corner of your right eye. Ensure the fold starts at the right edge of the unit flash.

  • Fold the beret. While still wet, remove the beret and fold it from the right side of the flash back. Allow the top of the beret to fold in.

  • Press the beret until dry. When set flat, the flash and left of the beret will be on top. The right drawn-down side will be on the bottom. Ensure sharp creases and place it under a heavy book or mattress until dry.

  • Remove the beret with one hand. Place your right index finger behind the flash. Grasp the fold point at the right side of the flash with your thumb and middle finger. Remove the beret and rotate your hand to lay it in your palm. A well-creased beret will close flat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always place a beret flat, maintaining its creases. The more broken-in the beret becomes, the better it will fold when removed.
  • Don't tie sizing ribbon too tight. Leave it loose enough to allow for changes in hair length.
  • Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons,, AR 670-1
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