USAF GENERALS' FLIGHT CAP

When the French first introduced a foldable military cap to Soldiers and Marines of the American Expeditionary Forces stationed in Europe during World War I, the Army managed to to give it a name that that was both completely accurate and wholly uninformative: the overseas cap. By the time the highly utilitarian piece of headgear was again issued in large numbers during World War II by the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, it had become redesignated the garrison cap. Today, it retains that name in the Navy and Marine Corps, while the Air Force retitled it the Flight Cap.

The Air Force Flight Cap is authorized for wear only with the Service Dress, Service, Flight Duty/Desert Flight Duty, and Air Force food services uniforms. Flight Caps worn by General Officers are manufactured with a solid silver cord-edge braid (Company- and Field-Grade Officer caps feature silver-and-blue braid). Beginning in 2006, the Air Force made the men’s Flight Cap an optional wear item for women Airmen while still offering a woman’s version of the headgear.

Rank insignia is centered vertically on the wearer’s left, 1-1/2 inch from the front edge of the cap. Air Force regulations call for Generals’ star(s) to be positioned so that the bottom two points are parallel with the bottom of the cap; multiple stared are lined up one after another with no spacing between them. Regulations call for Generals to wear 1-inch star on the Flight Cap, but ¾-inch stars are permitted “if unable to wear the 1 inch star.” (Presumably this refers to procurement of appropriately sized cap devices rather than physical capability to wear them.)

Flight Caps are to be worn just a bit to the wearer’s right so that the vertical creases in the cap are aligned with the center of the forehead and form a straight line with the nose. AFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel, states that the cap is to extend about an inch from the eyebrows, but even a cursory perusal of Air Force Generals wearing their Flight Caps reveals that considerable leeway is given concerning this wear guidance.

Like all our offerings, our USAF General Flight Caps are Made in the USA and are Berry Amendment-compliant.
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