The cap has a crown, a band, and a peak (British English) or visor (American English). The crown is one color, often white for navies, light blue for air forces, and green for armies, and may be piped around the edge in a different color. The band can be one color, often black, or can be striped, vertically or horizontally. Most caps have some form of cap device (or cap badge). In the British Army, each regiment and corps has a different badge. In the American armed forces, the cap device is uniform throughout the branch of service. The peak or visor is short, historically made of leather, or in newer caps may be a shiny plastic. Sometimes it is covered in fabric.
In the Canadian Forces, the service dress cap (chapeau de service) is the primary headgear for men's Naval service dress. It has largely been replaced by the wedge cap in the Air Force, although it is still available for wear on formal occasions. It has been eliminated from the Army in favour of the beret, except in Guards units such as the Canadian Grenadier Guards.
The peak and chinstrap of the service cap are always black. The crown of the cap is white for Navy and air force blue for Air Force. The cap band is black for both elements with the exception of a member serving with the military police, who wears a red cap band on any occasion that they wear the service cap.
The chinstrap is affixed to the cap via two small buttons, one roughly over each ear; these buttons are miniature versions of the buttons on the service dress tunic, and as such bear an environmental device.
The peak of the cap of non-commissioned members and subordinate officers is left plain, except for footguard units' forage caps which are adorned with one or more bands of brass (depending on rank) at the forward edge of the peak. The peak of the junior officer's cap has a gold band along the forward edge, that of the senior officer has a row of gold oak leaves across the forward edge, while that of the general or flag officer has two rows of gold oak leaves, one along the forward edge and one near the cap band.
Royal Navy officers, Warrant officers, and Senior Rates today wear a cap with a white cover and a black band in Nos 1, 2 and 3 Dress; originally only worn in tropical climes, the white cover was adopted for all areas after the Second World War.
Royal Marines wear a cap with a white cover and a red band with 'Blues' uniform. The Royal Marines Band Service also wear this cap with the Lovat Uniform and Barrack Dress.
It has a cap band which may be coloured (red for all Royal Regiments and Corps), a crown (formerly khaki, now black, except for Military Police which has always been red) which may have coloured piping or a regimental/corps colour and a patent leather peak and chinstrap. The chinstrap is usually secured above and across the peak and secured at each end by a small button of the appropriate Regimental or Corps pattern.
Officers in some regiments are also required to wear a Khaki version of the Cap, often called the "Service Dress Cap" with Service Dress (the Officers' No 2 Dress) and/or Barrack Dress; the design of this dates back to the cap worn in the field until replaced by the steel helmet during the First World War.
All ranks of the Royal Air Force wear a cap with a blue-grey crown and a black band, worn with the appropriate badge in No 1 dress, and sometimes in other types as well. The peak is:
It should be noted that the simpler "Army Green" service uniform will be phased out in 2011. (See U.S. Army Service Uniform for details.) Whilst the Army Green service cap has already been phased out when the black beret was introduced as standard headgear. The Service Cap is still in Cadet Command Regulation 670-1 even though it is no longer found in Army Regulation 670-1.
The Army Green service cap is similar to the Army Blue service cap in insignia and chin straps. There is no cap band on the AG cap. The AG Service Cap is favorable to wear over the AG Garrison Cap but has been phased out since the Army Black Beret and Ranger Tan Beret (a way for the 75th Ranger Regiment to separate themselves from the regular army because they formerly worn the black beret) has been introduced.
In the United States Air Force, all personnel have the option to wear combination caps, but only Field-Grade (Major and above) and General Officers are required to own one. The cap of enlisted members has the insignia within a metal circle, while the Company-Grade (2LT-1LT-Captain) Officer version has a larger insignia without the metal circle. Field Grade Officers have two pairs of clouds and lightning bolts on the visor. General Officers caps add an extra pair of clouds and bolts on the visor, while the cap of the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force adds clouds and bolts around the entire cap band.
These caps are often disliked because of their bulk. Airmen prefer the flight cap for practical reasons. They often refer to this hat as "the bus driver cap" instead of "service cap" because of its similarity to hats worn by the drivers in some cities' public transportation systems, and also because the round top is almost as large as the steering wheel of a bus.
In the Israel Defense Forces, combination caps are used only by:
A number of civilian professions - the most notable modern examples being merchant marine and civil aviation - also wear peaked caps. In such civilian usage, only Captains have the oak leaf motifs ("scrambled eggs") on the visor; this is in contrast to the naval tradition, where it is also worn by Commanders (one rank below Captain) as well as by Commodores and Flag Officers. Peaked caps are also commonly worn around the world by railway staff and security guards.