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Patrol Caps - Covering Soldiers

Soft hats are used to protect U.S. soldiers from the sun in hot climates.


Patrol Caps - Covering Soldiers
Updated August 17, 2011

When not wearing a combat helmet in the field, U.S. soldiers often rely on a patrol cap to cover their head.

Korean War

Versions of the patrol cap are worn by soldiers in most units of the U.S. military. Patrol caps were first used by U.S. Army Rangers during the Korean War in the 1950s. Soldiers sometimes refer to patrol caps as "field caps" or "head covers." Typically, patrol caps resemble baseball hats. They are made of soft cloth and have a stiff, rounded visor that is used to keep the sun off a soldier’s head and out of their eyes. As of June 2011, the patrol cap is officially the primary headgear of all U.S. soldiers wearing duty gear.

The patrol cap comes in a variety of colours and camouflage patterns, and is designed to match the military uniform being worn by a soldier. The modern patrol cap is made of a combination of cotton and nylon and can come with ear flaps to keep a soldier’s head warm in cold environments. Some patrol caps have been designed with a soldiers name and rank on the back. Patrol caps with desert camouflage patterns are used widely by U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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