R Irish Beret?


I recall a few years back... I guess about 2004/5. I met a captain who wore a beret with a Royal Irish, cloth capbadge on it (no hackle obv). He might well have been 1Bn.

What ever happened to the Beret. I mean we all wear caubeens now. ?

I have been out since before Royal Irish Rangers became Royal Irish Regiment but understand that there were to be two forms of headdress to be worn on different ocassions:

The green caubeen with silver badge
A green beret with gold badge.

reasons for this were
1/ It would provide continuity with the UDR
2/ The caubeen is not very aerodynamic in high winds.

Anyway if it's now back to the caubeen all the time then that can only be good

ps No ill will meant to UDR


War Hero
To be honest the beret is a bit more practical, i always wore it on ops except during repatriations.

The caubeen is very distinctive though and adds to the personality of the unit.


War Hero
The Beret is still there, but is not worn.

In my opinion, the Caubeen is a better way of ensuring Regimental Identity for a single Battalion Regiment-more recognisable and, arguably a better recruiting tool.

No disrespect to the Home Service elements of the R IRISH, but it never really took off in 1 R IRISH. Over time and through a few COs 1 R IRISH slowly stopped wearing the beret and now only really wears caubeens.



War Hero
carnage said:
did'nt TC burn all the berets when he took charge of 1 RIR?

There's tons of rumours of things TC might have done, I was elsewhere at that time so i can only go by hear say.


Still worn with pride by those that should, still not convinced the dress regs have been properly changed.

There were a set of 1 R IRISH "dress policy" documents kicking about a year ago however after the reference to "Dessert boots" I gave up reading.
On merger on 01 Jul 92 the new Regiments dress regs stated that the beret+gold gilt UDR cap badge would be worn when in combats and the Caubeen+silver UDR cap badge would be worn in Barrack Dress or in No 2 dress.

The reason for the UDR cap badge being chosen was simply that all antecedent Regiments are comemorated in the No 2 Dress; Green Hackle=Faughs; Black buttons=Rifles; Collar Castles=Skins etc. The UDR cap badge was added to the No2 dress to remember the UDR therefore following the convention used in 1968 when the Skins, Faughs & Rifles merged to form The Rangers.

There was a baltant reluctance on the part of the 1st Bn (mostly COs) to embrace the beret so the caubeen was principly worn in the 1st Bn all the time. Equally and because it was not merged in 1992 the Royal Irish Rangers(TA) Battalions continued to wear the caubeen with the Rangers cap badge.

I do recall that when the 1st Bn were patrolling in NI - Dungannon town patrols etc - in caubeens - that the public and some HS lads took the 'urine' by asking them if they were TA. The CO was TC at the time and I understand that the Bde Comd had to order him to put his Bn into berets so as not to confuse PIRA (as I have stated earlier The Rangers (TA) took no part in the Sy effort in NI but still wore their caubeens so PIRA might have thought that the TA had deployed on patrols in NI therefore putting TA lives at risk). I recall old TC was in a right strop for some time when word got out about what the Bde Comd had ordered him to do!!!

Having a silver and a gold cap badge really confused the issue as well. Some silver cap badges made it into berets and some gold ones made it into caubeens - a real cluster!!

Even at the later half of last year (2008) more confusion has appeared with the introduction of yet another cap badge which has been slightly modified from the UDR cap badge (Erin is more rounded). There was uproar in the Regimental Association and lots of comments, emails etc flying on the Op Banner web site about this unannounced change; even the Regt Sec in RHQ got involved trying to play down the significance of this cap badge change which in effect removed any link to the former UDR being commemorated on the No2 dress. And with caubeens being worn permentaly now bby the 1st and 2nd Bn the UDR beret has been discarded.

And still dress regs are the same ones which were around on merger 27 years ago!!!!

For those 'spotters' out there; when a R IRISH Officer/Soldier is wearing a caubeen then you can be fairly sure he has come through the 1st Bn or Rangers pedigree; if he/she is wearing a beret then he/she must have come through the UDR pedigree.

Hope this clears up any confusion!! (Watch and Shoot, Watch and Shoot)


Lurgan_Stoop said:
Still worn with pride by those that should, still not convinced the dress regs have been properly changed.
LOL!!! Aye maybe in your own head boss :D :D :D :D Your dome's big enuf without firing a fine caubeen on it too. Stay safe and enjoy your Jolly :wink: :wink:




TZA, I was guard commander in DGN the day the call came through to inform the RSM to get in touch with 3 Bde ref caubeens, needless to say JP wasnt happy that it was in the occurrance book!
There's still people in second bat cutting about in the older silver UDR cap badge but I think that's probably because they can't be bothered to go to the stores.

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