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Army berets won't be made in China

WASHINGTON -- A flap over the Army's plan to buy more than 600,000 black berets with "made in China" labels has been put to rest by the Pentagon's number two civilian leader.

"U.S. troops shall not wear berets made in China, or berets made with Chinese content" - Pentagon statement (Read the complete statement - requires Adobe Acrobat)

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz Tuesday said the berets won't be made in Communist China. The announcement drove a stake through the heart of a plan by Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki to distribute 1.4 million black berets to soldiers by June 14, which is the Army's birthday.

"The Army Chief of Staff has determined that U.S. troops shall not wear berets made in China, or berets made with Chinese content," the statement says.

"I direct the Army and the Defense Logistics Agency to take appropriate action to recall previously distributed berets and dispose of the stock" already purchased, Wolfowitz statement said.

The blunt death blow to the controversial decision to buy the Chinese-made berets will lay to rest a sore point with conservatives in Congress.

Soldiers will still wear the black berets, which were until now the exclusive domain of the Army's elite Ranger units, but berets made in Communist China will be excluded from the purchasing program.

Army may delay beret change after ordering glitch
March 16, 2001
Ex-Ranger walks 750 miles to Washington for beret protest
March 10, 2001

U.S. Army

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