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Republic of Vietnam Early Army Senior Officer Black Beret (Cao Dai Affiliation)


Description:Three piece construction, black wool, senior officer bullion insignia, liner removed. An ongoing debate exists as to the identification of this insignia. One argument is it is an early version of the regular army beret insignia, another is that it is the insignia of Cao Dai troops (serving in the regular army), or a further theory is it is a mixture of both. Sufficient evidence to warrant a 100% designation has yet to be made well known. But, on this matter we (RVNHS) feel this beret was an early regular army beret, which also had some Cao Dai affiliation. The insignia came in color variants, with gold denoting officer and silver signifying enlisted rank. Elaborate senior officer insignia with enlarged wreaths around the insignia were also in use. This insignia is mainly seen in the 1950s-early 1960s, seldom encountered in the late 1960s-70s. The berets with this insignia were most often tan, but were also black. This beret was usually worn with badge on the ride side, but some period photos show berets with badges on the left (like the beret shown here).

An officer in black beret, with such insignia, 1960s.

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