The Company-Grade service cap for Captains and 1st and 2nd Lieutenants in the United States Air Force could easily be mistaken for the type worn by an enlisted Airmen. It employs the same blue fabric for the crown, has the same type of black chin strap, and is also bereft of any type of ornamentation on the visor. In fact, the only noteworthy difference is not one of addition, but of subtraction: Officers wear the service cap insignia (the Great Seal of the United States) without a circle around it, as is required for enlisted personnel wearing the cap. (Our Company-Grade Air Force service cap ships with the cap insignia mounted and ready for wear).

While there have been numerous squabbles over the design of the Air Force’s service uniform over the years, one component that has been left out of the design debate is the service cap, which the Air Force refers to as the “Wheel Cap” even in official uniform documentation. Perhaps it’s an open secret that everyone is assumed to understand—but on the other hand there are more than a few phrases in the military that seem to have as many explanations as there are “experts” explaining them.

And while the Air Force is the youngest of the branches operating under the purview of the Department of Defense, it was the first to authorize a form of “unisex” headgear for male and female personnel. Although female Airmen and Officers have the option to wear the female version of the “Wheel Cap,” regulations plainly state that women are also authorized to wear the men’s service cap should they so desire.

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.