What Are Some Different Types of American Military Hats?

Types of American military hats include drill sergeant hats, Jeep caps, balaclavas, Navy sailor hats and berets. Each branch of the armed forces has its own regulations regarding hats and uniforms.

Drill sergeant hats are felt or straw with a high crown pinched at its four corners and broad brims. Soldiers began wearing these hats in the 1840s because this style was more practical than the military-issued shakos or kepis popular with armed forces at the time.

Jeep caps are beanies knitted from yarn with brims. The U.S. Army first issued these caps during World War II for soldiers to wear under their combat helmets. The television series M.A.S.H. featured a character named Radar O'Reilly, who frequently wore Jeep caps.

SWAT team members and National Security guards wear military-issued balaclavas. Balaclavas are frequently made from polar fleece to keep the face and neck warm. Soldiers can wear the headgear in several different ways, including exposing only the eyes, exposing the entire face, around the neck or as a cap.

U.S. Navy sailors still wear traditional Navy sailor caps. The caps are white in color and made from high-quality cotton fabric.

The U.S. Army issues berets in black, green, tan and maroon. All army soldiers wear black berets unless authorized to wear another color. Special Forces soldiers wear green berets, and Army Rangers wear tan berets. Airborne forces wear British-style maroon berets.