Australian soldiers will be allowed to wear berets once again, although only on designated occasions.
Army chief Lieutenant General David Morrison said the distinctively Australian slouch hat remained the Army’s primary headdress and would be worn when representing the Army in public.
But commanders can now approve wearing of berets within their units.
General Morrison’s decision, effective from January 1, reverses a decision made by former Army chief Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie in 2010.
He banned the berets on grounds that they led to an increased risk of skin cancer.
That proved unpopular across the army, even more so when it was discovered special forces units were exempt.
General Morrison said the beret issue was often raised when the army’s senior leaders talked to soldiers and veterans.
“I have therefore made the decision that the beret will be approved as an item of dress in the regimental environment and on other specified occasions,” he said in the Army Newspaper.
The new rule allows soldiers to choose not to wear a beret if concerned about sun exposure.