Authorized for wear with the service dress and service uniforms, the men’s Enlisted Service Cap is actually referred to as the “Wheel Cap” in Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel. Unfortunately, this phrase appears just once, and the manual does not bother to elaborate on just how the Air Force (or anyone else for that matter) came up with that phrase or nickname for the cap.

One possibility for the inspiration of the moniker is that the Air Force Service Cap is sometimes called a “bus driver’s hat”—a description applied, by the way, to almost all every frame-and-visor cap worn by personnel in all the branches of the Armed Forces of the United States. Since drivers are often called “wheel men” or simply “the wheel,” so the inclusion of “Wheel Cap” could be an oblique nod to the nickname. On the other hand, it might be a reference to the circle that surrounds the Great Seal of the United States that is attached in front center of the cap’s crown.

Regulations specify that the Service Cap is, appropriately enough, worn only with the Service Dress and Service Blue uniforms. While there is a distinct service cap designed for enlisted female Air Force personnel, they also are authorized to wear the men’s version.

Made in the United States and fully Berry Amendment-complaint, our enlisted USAF service cap ships ready-to-wear, with the insignia already attached in the correct location.

About us

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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