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Army soldiers ditch hated berets in favor of caps

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By SUSANNE M. SCHAFER
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -- Army soldiers are gleeful they can ditch the ill-fitting black wool berets they've worn for years and go back to their old, brimmed patrol caps.

Army leaders say the change is taking effect Tuesday, which also happens to be the service's 236th birthday.

South Carolina Army National Guard Col. Pete Brooks says the change comes just in time to help soldiers deal with the heat. Brooks says the brimmed patrol cap is easier to put on and wards off the sun. The change is part of a wide range of changes being made to Army uniforms.

A top Army general ordered the switch to berets 10 years ago to help boost morale. But it irritated elite units who were given green or maroon berets as badges of honor.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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