The Army Is Thinking About Giving SOF PSYOP Soldiers a Distinctive New Beret

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More than 200 Psychological Operations noncommissioned officers proudly stood before their families, friends and leaders during a promotion ceremony larger than any other in Army Special Operations history, May 31, 2019. Following a review of the PSYOP rank structure, leaders identified a need for the PSYOP NCOs’ rank to reflect their extensive training and education, and to correspond with the level of responsibility they assume downrange. Army and ARSOF leaders at multiple echelons worked for more than a
More than 200 Psychological Operations noncommissioned officers proudly stood before their families, friends and leaders during a promotion ceremony larger than any other in Army Special Operations history, May 31, 2019. Following a review of the PSYOP rank structure, leaders identified a need for the PSYOP NCOs’ rank to reflect their extensive training and education, and to correspond with the level of responsibility they assume downrange. Army and ARSOF leaders at multiple echelons worked for more than a year to achieve the grade plate change that would later create additional positions for the newly promoted staff sergeants and sergeants first class to be promoted into. Selected soldiers – some who have waited more than 10 years for this day – have met the time in grade and service requirements for promotion, and have completed the appropriate level of professional military education. (Courtesy Photo/1st Special Forces Command (Airborne)

This article by Haley Britzky originally appeared on Task & Purpose, a digital news and culture publication dedicated to military and veterans issues.

The Army is looking into a new uniform item for psychological operations soldiers in its special operations units, and it may or may not be a grey beret.

First reported by Army Times and confirmed by Task & Purpose, the idea of a "distinctive uniform item" (DUI) for PSYOP soldiers is currently undergoing testing at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

The search for a DUI is in its beginning stages and hasn't been approved, Army Special Operations Command spokesman Lt. Col. Loren Bymer said in a statement. It hasn't even been pitched to Maj. Gen. Patrick Roberson, the commanding general of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, just yet.

"In a move to more closely link Army Special Operations Forces, the PSYOP Proponent at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School is exploring the idea of a distinctive uniform item, like a grey beret, to those Soldiers who graduate the Psychological Operations Qualification Course," Bymer said in a statement.

At the end of October, the 5th Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group posted a photo on Facebook of the potential beret claiming that there "are currently no plans to implement a distinctive head gear [sic] for PSYOP. It has been an ongoing discussion, but it has not been officially proposed to the command, and has not been approved."

However, Bymer said that the post "incorrectly identified a grey beret as the new distinctive unit headgear" for PSYOP soldiers.

Soldiers with Army Special Forces currently wear green berets, while Rangers wear tan, paratroopers are in maroon, and the rest of the force rock black.

Nothing has been recommended to Maj. Gen. Roberson, but Bymer told Task & Purpose that if approved, the DUI would be available to soldiers who complete the Army Special Operations Forces PSYOP Qualification Course that includes a SOF PSYOP module.

"SOF PSYOP students have increased requirements from the PSYOP conventional units, including assessment and selection, airborne status, increased task skills, increased physical fitness requirements and language training," Bymer said.

The approved uniform item may also end up with the soldiers already serving in SOF PSYOP units.

This article originally appeared at Task & Purpose. Follow Task & Purpose on Twitter.

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