The Different Types of Hats Used by the Military

The Different Types of Hats Used by the Military

Oct 05, 2022

All aspects of military uniforms are essential. Enlisted personnel and officers depend on different clothing articles to best suit certain combat situations. Hats play a vital role in protecting our troops. Here is a history of the different types of hats used by the military and how soldiers wear them today.

Boonie Hat

The boonie hat is one of the types of hats used by the military since the 1950s. Some officers found it too casual in appearance, but the boonie proved its usefulness and has become a mainstay to this day. Plenty of soldiers prefer this hat because it has a relaxed fit.

Boonies lend themselves well to warm weather in jungles and deserts alike. Snipers opt for this headgear to keep their aim accurate whenever they take a shot, as the flexible brim works perfectly in combat situations.

Patrol Cap

The patrol cap is reminiscent of baseball caps worn by civilians. It has a considerable history that dates to the early 1940s. Over the decades, this hat received many makeovers. Past versions of the patrol cap lacked the stiffness of today’s models, which some commanding officers disliked since it made for a sloppier appearance.

Some soldiers complained about the materials used in the original patrol caps. Over time, manufacturers made improvements to accommodate for weather conditions on the combat field. The version we’re familiar with today debuted in 1985 and featured the operational camouflage pattern.

Consider outfitting yourself with our signature OCP ball cap for all your tactical needs. This patrol cap works well in different environments and has an adjustable hook and loop back strap to provide a comfortable fit for enlisted personnel and officers.


Berets are more commonly associated with civilians than the military. Perhaps you picture a French artist painting the Eiffel Tower when you imagine this hat, which is fitting since it originated in the French army during the late 1800s. Our troops started wearing them in the early 1940s.

Berets function better in cold weather rather than in warm climates. Today, soldiers commonly wear it for ceremonial purposes, and patrol caps take precedence on the field. However, they continue to be a part of the military and come in varying colors.

Boonie hats, patrol caps, and berets have a fascinating past, and they continue to prove their worth today for our troops. Whether you're currently or formerly enlisted in the military, ensure you're wearing the right hat to tackle the day.