The old adage of “look after your kit and your kit will look after you” rings very true.

Here is my original beret, belt and fighting knife issued to me back in the mid 1970s. A little rough around the edges, a little threadbare, heavy but acceptable patina…much like myself today. However, still in OK working order given the years gone by, the miles traveled, and the campaigns fought.

It seems like only yesterday that I was issued the kit, and the basics of kit at that, yet to every new Trooper, the rarest and most important items of our military careers.

It was a great chapter in my life, starting at the age of 17 with 3 years in the RAF Regiment’s Para Squadron, 2 (Field) Squadron.

Off onto 22 SAS Regiment’s Selection course with one excellent officer passing, and five other ranks…myself being the only Tom.

The day that we few were taken into a room, given a brief talking to, and then thrown the SAS beret was the greatest military moment of my life…it’s as clear today as it was back then.

The beginning of an almost 20 year terrific adventure with 22 SAS Regiment.

Given the old adage mentioned, those items still look after me today. Having left the gates of Stirling Lines over 25 years ago now, they simply give me the ability to think back, and reminisce. By looking, touching, smelling and hearing them…yes hearing… because they talk to me.

Of course I would never have thought about today way back then…but I’m really glad that I looked after my kit now.


bob's originals

Bob Shepherd’s beret, regimental stable belt and fighting knife, laid on a para smock alongside an escape map of a Middle Eastern country.

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit

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2 thoughts on “MY SAS BERET AND BELT”

  1. You must have served with a few of my old mates at H,then. Geordie L. Geordie S. George N. The list is endless. Good luck.

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