Originally called an overseas cap, the garrison cap was introduced to American ground forces by the French during World War I. Its adoption by both the Army and the Marine Corps was one of necessity: service and campaign caps not only took up considerable storage space, but also could be easily crushed or malformed. Garrison caps, on the other hand, could be easily folded and stowed in pockets or tucked under belts.  

Garrison caps fell out of use by the U.S. military following World War I, but they were reintroduced during World War II and are still worn by members of each of the four Department of Defense military branches (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force). With only male and female versions, the Marine Corps is the only branch that does not have a garrison cap designed for wear only by officers or senior enlisted personnel.

Both male and female Marines may wear garrison caps with the service uniform except when the service cap is authorized or prescribed for specific occasions. Officers wear the rank insignia on the wearer’s right, with the insignia placed in such a way that it bisects the arch of the crease and the crease bisects the insignia.

At some point since its introduction, the Marine Corps garrison cap acquired the nickname “piss cutter” (a coarse phrase—highlight the area between the quotation marks if you wish to see the term). Thankfully, this nickname seems to be fading from common usage.

Related Items
Officer Garrison Cap Rank Insignia
Officer Garrison Cap Device
Enlisted Garrison Gap Device

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.


100% secure payment

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