Today’s post relates to the 1st Commando (CDO) Regiment (prototype) hat badge which is shown as ‘Type 2’ of CB 294R, in Volume 2 of our book (“Metal Uniform Embellishments of the Australian Army, Post 1953 (QE11 Series), Vol 2 (Units/Regts etc.)”
This article has been prompted by the small number of these items which do periodically crop up for sale a militaria venues or web sites and by the questions put to us about the items and their ‘pedigree’.
So, for the record, while these ‘1 CDO’ beret badges are generally not well-known, they were made in a single small run of individually numbered items, which were issued to Unit personnel as part of a badge design trial for a smaller sized ‘beret’ badge for use by the Unit in 2010. The items measure (approximately) 39mm x 39mm and are fitted with two threaded fixing posts with matching thumb wheels (i.e. jeweller grade fixings). The items do not display a Maker’s Mark, however information from the Unit establishes that these items were produced by PLATATAC in Australia.
These items can sometimes be found with a transparent plastic backing piece (cut into a diamond shape). That backing piece was placed inside the beret to give the thumb screw fixtures a firm surface to be tightened against and also to hold a proper shape to the black headdress patch which is now worn by all SF qualified personnel throughout the ADF.
Ultimately, the Unit’s trial of a separate ‘beret sized’ item was not approved by the Australian Army, and the long history of stoic esprit de corps behaviour within the Australian Army seems to have acquired a new chapter… with the items reportedly being sported by some of the ‘Old’s and Bold’s’ after the sanctioned trial period finished.
Yours in Militaria Writing and Collecting