For more than 130 years, the primary headgear for Sailors in the United States Navy has been the white service hat, dubbed a “Dixie cup” because of its more-than-passing resemblance to the drinking cup (although the white Navy cap predates the paper product by over 20 years). Currently made from 100-percent cotton, the white service hat—also called a “squid lid,” “Cracker Jack hat,” or just plain “cover”—of course serves as protection against the scorching sunlight at sea, and when used properly is a quite serviceable flotation device.

Introduced in more or less its current form in 1886, the white hat was designed to replace straw hats worn during warm-weather months and was crafted out of canvas. (A black, flat hat was still worn during winter.) The new piece of headgear had several advantages over its straw forebear: it was comfortable, inexpensive to produce, and easy to clean and store.

As part of a uniform makeover in the 1970s, the Navy announced it was phasing out the Dixie cup in favor a combination cover in 1973, only to discover that both Sailors and the general public had developed quite a fondness for the iconic hat and were quite vocal in their advocacy for its return to the sea bag. In 2016, the Navy again altered uniform regulations regarding the white service hat, but this time it aimed to expand its wear by mandating as the uniform headgear for female E1-E6 sailors.

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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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.