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 “Nickolas the Wonderworker” is made of stainless steel with enamel. It represents a relief waist-deep image of Saint Nickolas in strictly frontal grand posture with blessing right hand and the Gospel in the left one (there is a cross on the binder of the Book).
A monastic elder with high templed forehead, small rounded and curly beard is the most widespread iconic image.
Dog tag – “Submarine Force of Russia” is made of stainless steel with enamel.
It is a relief image of a nuclear submarine walking on the waves with a waving St. Andrew’s Russian Navy flag above it.
At the bottom of the tag there is a stylized image of the globe with an overlaid eight-pointed star.
The inscription on the tag says: “RUSSIA”, “SUBMARINE FORCE”.
The dog tag is made of stainless steel with enamel.
It is a relief image of the “dead head” in a beret, with two crossed swords, on the background of an explosion fire.
Above and below the dog tag is framed with the motto: “MERCENARIES NEVER DIE”.
Under the emblem there is the inscription: “They just go to hell to regroup”.