USMC COMPANY-GRADE SERVICE CAP

Authorized for wear only with the Marine Corps’ Service Uniform, our service cap for Company-Grade Officers (2ndLt, 1stLt, Captain) features a visor and chinstrap made of high-gloss synthetic leather for easy maintenance. It ships with the subdued (black) pin-on branch of service insignia worn by officers—the famous Marine Corps emblem of the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, with the rope attached to the fouled anchor at distinct points—already attached to the green gabardine crown. An ornate cross called a quatrefoil is embroidered on top of the cap’s crown to distinguish it from the highly similar cap worn by enlisted Marines.

For decades, it seems that few people questioned the explanation of how the quatrefoil came to be used as a distinguishing mark for Marine Corps officers, probably because it evoked images of combat from the Corps’ earliest days. The story went something like this: before Marine Corps officers would board an enemy ship during the War of 1812, they would attach knotted pieces of rope atop their covers, making them easy to spot—and thus avoid being inadvertently targeted—by their sharpshooter brothers-in-arms perched in their ship’s rigging.

It soundS somewhat reasonable, at least at first blush, but even a cursory examination of both the naval tactics and uniforms of the day quickly demolishes this “birthed in battle” theory. While the tactic of stationing some Marine sharpshooters in the masts of vessels to pick off enemy officers and gunners was employed during the War of 1812, this was done only while the ships were not within boarding distance. When the two vessels closed, the riflemen were called down to the deck to defend against any enemies that might try to board. What’s more, the hats worn by Marine officers during that war didn’t have a flat top on which rope could be placed.

The reality is that the Marines probably adopted the design from the French military, according to a 2012 article published by the Quantico Sentry, the Marine Corps’ oldest newspaper. Owen Conner, curator of Uniforms and Heraldry at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, said in that story that “The U.S. military always copied the dominant European land powers,” and that the Marine Corps uniform changes in 1859—when the quatrefoil first appeared in regulations—adopted many aspects of French uniform design at the time, in part because of France’s recent military successes in the Crimea.
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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. Tel: 1-844-937-2588