According to an article titled “Drill Sergeants return to Fort Lee” published 22 March 2018 at the official U.S. Army Web site, Drill Sergeants are the only personnel authorized to wear the Campaign Hat. However, this was not always the case.

The Army first introduced the Campaign Hat in 1872 with a goal of protecting Soldiers from the harsh elements of the Western frontier—then proceeded to spend the next couple of decades correcting various design and material issues. Soldiers and Enlisted men began adorning the hat with colored cords and insignia in the late 1880s, a practice the Army put a halt to but then reinstated in 1899 when it reintroduced hat cords reflecting the branch colors of the wearer. Branches with two colors were represented by intertwined cords until 1921, when the regulations were change to make the cord one color and the piping and the “acorns” another.

General Officers were authorized to wear hat cords of gold from 1858 (cords were worn on headgear before the Campaign Hat was introduced) up through the end of World War II.

1858 through World War II, General Officers could wear Campaign Hats with gold acorn-end hat cords. AR 600-35, published by the War Department on 11 October 1921, specifies that the hat cords for General Officers was to be “a double cord of gold bullion ¼-inch in diameter, with an acorn of same material 1-¾ inches in length, at each end. Keeper of same material, ¾-inch in length, and 3/4-inch in diameter to hold both ends and one loop of cord.”

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As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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