Maroon (crimson) beret – the highest Spetsnaz insignia.
March, special obstacle course, shooting and melee combat.
Physical preparation and skillful handling of weapons is not enough – only the most desperate and persistent will reach the end.
This extreme test is passed by Special Forces ranks and officers voluntarily. Not for money. Not for the next rank. Just to gain the right to wear the maroon beret, to become a full member of the special military brotherhood.
The maroon beret, as a symbol of the Special Forces elite, exists for over thirty years. Only three best Special Forces detachments of Russia have the right to conduct tests for obtaining the treasured symbol: “Vityaz”, “Rusich” and Novosibirsk “Ermak”.
For many, running 11 kilometers in full military gear, surrounded by conditions akin to a real battle, would be unbearable.
Even trained servicemen have trouble performing such tasks. However, for those who wish to become soldiers in the Russian Special Forces, this is just one of the many tests they have to pass with flying colours. In addition, they have to shoot accurately, storm buildings quickly and demonstrate outstanding combat skills.
But no doubt their hardest challenge is to triumph over themselves.
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Black beret – the uniform headgear of the Marines of the USSR and Russia Navy.
Nickname – “Black Death”, the motto: “Where we are, there the victory is!”
Black is the official color of the Marines’ uniform since 1963.
The beret is worn with the cockade of 32 faceted rays and the Admiralty anchor entwined with a rope, and the special hallmark of a red triangular flag with a small golden anchor.
Blue beret – the uniform headgear of the USSR and Russian Airborne Troops (VDV).
The blue color is a symbol of honor and fidelity. Along with the green, the blue is the traditional color of Airborne Troops, the both symbolizing readiness and ability to fight on the ground and in the air.
Bashlyk is a part of the Adyghe (Circassian) warrior’s ammunition.
A hood with long blades made out of double-folded piece of cloth. The blades are wound around the neck, like a scarf. They can also cover the face from bad weather, or if you wish to remain unrecognized.
When riding horseback, bashlyk’s blades are wrapped around the neck with the ends dangling back. In good weather, bashlyk hangs on the shoulders, fastened with a cord, with its hood and blades lowered back.
The long end of the hood is edged with durable protective tape.
The Bashlyk hood has not lost its relevance in the modern urban environment being a fashionable removable hood, and as an indispensable article of a traveler’s, hunter’s or fisherman’s garment. It protects from rain, cold and sun.
Dog tag “Airborne Troops of Russia” (Skull) is made of stainless steel with enamel. It is an image of the “dead head” in a blue beret on the background of the waving banner of the Airborne Troops of Russia (VDV).
At the bottom of the tag, on a blue field, there is the emblem of the Airborne Troops of the USSR – an open parachute with a red five-pointed star on the slings and two airplanes on the sides. At the top the emblem is framed with curly ribbon with the motto: “STRENGTH, COURAGE, FORTITUDE.”
Dog tag “Anarchy” (Skull) is made of stainless steel with enamel.
It depicts an image of a black developing cloth with the Jolly Roger emblem attached to a bayonet.
The inscription on the tag calls: “Anarchy is the mother of order”.
The black banner is the traditional anarchist symbol. The uniform blackness of it is in absolute contrast to colorful flags of most nation-states.
The Jolly Roger (a black flag with skull and bones) has gained popularity among anarchists.
The dog tag is made of stainless steel with enamel.
It represents an eagle with raised wings soaring above a flame blast, and carrying a human skull in its talons. There are two sword bayonets to the left and to the right of the eagle.
At the top of the dog tag, above the eagle's head there is an open parachute with a white dome.