Our service cap for Field Grade officer (O-4 to O-6) in the Army Chaplain Corps perfectly complements the Army Service Uniform, or ASU. Manufactured new in Army Shade 450 to match the ASU, the Field Grade service cap’s visor is adorned with arcs of oak leaves in beautiful gold bullion. The hatband features a black silk band bounded by ½-inch gold braid, which helps accentuate the goldenlite chinstrap.

Why settle for hats that were previously issued (and probably worn) when you can have a new, smartly crafted service cap that has been manufactured to meet or surpass all Army regulations?
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For most of the Civil War, Chaplains were acknowledged to be military officers, but statute did not enumerate positions of rank for them. Near the end of the war, Congress established a “rank of chaplain without command,” subsequently changing it to “assimilated rank of captain”—i.e., Chaplains were to be seen and respected as Captains, but with no command authority. This odd classification remained the only rank for Chaplains until 1904, when those with ten or more years of service were promoted to Major.

But being a Major and wearing insignia and other accouterments indicating that rank were two different things. It wasn’t until 1914 that Chaplains began to wear actual rank insignia, but the practice was brought to an end in 1918 thanks to the influence of General John J. “BlackJack Pershing” his perspective on the role of Chaplains in the military.

Along with Bishop Charles Brent, who was serving as the Chief Chaplain of the American Expeditionary Force, Pershing felt that rank was a barrier to open communication and good relations between the Chaplaincy and enlisted soldiers. In the Encyclopedia of United States Army Insignia and Uniforms, retired Lieutenant Colonel William K. Emerson says that “Pershing believed that a successful chaplain depended on his personality instead of his rank, and he believed it so much that he really thought chaplains were not true soldiers.”

Although Pershing’s orders were obeyed by Chaplains in Europe, his edict was not as well-received stateside. Emerson notes that the order was not widely followed in the United States, and that three senior Chaplains were relieved for leading protests against Pershing’s decision. But with Pershing’s resignation as Army Chief of Staff in 1924, the door was opened to reverse the disliked order, and in 1926 John T. Axton, Chief of Chaplains of the United States Army, succeeded in having rank insignia restored to the uniforms of Chaplain Corps officers.


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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