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Guard unit dons new caps

By By SHERRY DIGMON
Advance Staff Writer
Members of the Alabama Army National Guard Company A 711 Signal Battalion in Atmore removed their battledress uniform caps Sunday afternoon and donned black berets, the Army's new official headgear.
Mayor Howard Shell participated in the ceremony, presenting black berets to the oldest member of the battalion, Sgt. Vernon Fore, and the youngest member, Pvt. 1st Class Liana George.
First Sgt. Billy Gates conducted the ceremony, with 1st Lt. Robert Routzong standing by.
Military berets date back to 1924 when the first modern military beret was worn by the British Royal Tank Regiment. In 1975, the black beret was adopted by the elite Rangers, a special forces group that now will wear tan berets to set them apart.
The Army has three components: regular Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard.