Maroon – Which Forces Are Authorized to Wear the Beret?

A beret is a standard headgear of the Indian Armed Forces. It is worn by officers and other ranks. Sikhs are authorized to wear turbans. Berets have been a component of the uniforms of armed forces throughout the world since the mid-20th century. They come in all shape, sizes and colour.

The colour most easily recognizable of all is the maroon. Maroon is the symbol of airborne forces all around the world. The Maroon Beret is not worn during operations and is a part of the uniform in peacetime. But what forces are actually authorized to wear the beret in Indian Armed Forces? Here is the answer:

Read More: Here Are 9 Berets Worn By Indian Military And What Their Colour Means

Army:

In the army, the personnel of the parachute forces are explicitly authorized to wear the beret. There may be some exceptions in case of medical and other support officers. But the most commonly recognizable forces with maroon beret in the Indian Army are:

  • 50th (Independent) Parachute Brigade

    Personnel of Parachute Regiment
    Personnel of Parachute Regiment
  • President’s Bodyguard

    Maj Surendra Poonia of President's Bodyguard
    Maj Surendra Poonia of President’s Bodyguard
  • Special Forces Units

Air Force:

In the Indian Air Force, the only the Special Forces wear the beret. The forces in IAF which are authorized to wear the beret are:

  • Special Operations Force
  • Garud Commando Force

    Garud
    Garud Commandos of IAF

Navy:

In the Indian Navy, the Marine Commandos are authorized to wear the beret on uniforms.

MARCOS
An Indian Navy Officer with Maroon Beret

Para-Military Forces:

Among the Indian Paramilitary Forces, the Special Frontier Force of the Home Ministry are parachute trained and wear the maroon beret.

One Tough lady from the Special Frontier Force
One Tough lady from the Special Frontier Force

NCC:

As against popular belief, NCC Cadets are not authorized to wear the maroon beret with their uniforms. Although, one can dawn the beret unofficially with prior permission from the CO of the unit.

NCC
An NCC cadet wearing the maroon beret

Parachute Trained Personnel:

Apart from all these authorized forces, the personnel who are parachute trained but are not from one of the forces specified above, are eligible to wear the beret with prior permission from the Commanding Officer of their respective units.

women maroon
A Parachute-Trained AMC Doctor

Also Read: The Price of Wearing The Maroon Beret

Conclusion:

You have to pay a price to earn the maroon beret. And it not that easy. The forces which are authorized to wear the maroon beret are:

  • 50th (Independent) Parachute Brigade
  • President’s Bodyguards
  • Special Forces Units
  • Special Operations Force
  • Garud Commando Force
  • Parachute-Trained Personnel of Special Frontier Force
  • MARCOS
 

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