Service cap may be the most important article in the army’s uniform. You wear a service cap to protect yourself from the rain and hot rays of sunshine. More importantly, you wear it to signal your military status to others. Military designers are tempted again and again to make service caps stylish and fashionable. The US patriot store has a great variety of service caps on sale – boonie hats, ACU Fleece watch caps, Iraqi Freedom Veteran hats… They look smart and very tempting to wear.

My old patrol cap, the one I am holding in my hand, is my friend’s present. It has neither double thick bill nor internal pocket, neither chinstraps nor breathtaking camouflage color by which any desert sniper would figure me out in no time. Quite an old thing it is, keeping secrets of the military service but whenever I put it on … Well, how comfortable it feels – even with that strong smell of military service! What a feeling!

In the army, the patrol cap is one of the three service cap options, together with the beret and the military visor dress hat. When I tried to find secrets of a new ACU patrol cap, it occurred to me that the military value moisture-wicking boots more than a service cap.

A new patrol cap is described as “an upgraded soft cap with double thick bill, no earflaps and a lower profile.” (New ACU related questions, nd, np). Well, my old patrol cap is soft, too. No wonders, it has known so many laundries. It has no earflaps, either. What about a lower profile or a higher profile? No sweat, if I change it like this (shows) and like that (shows). Where’s the rub?

You may ask me why I argue against a new patrol cap.

Because I care for its history and I hate being cheated.

My patrol cap suits me well. It may be used under any weather conditions. The color may be dulled but a faded cap is the proof of many hours spent outdoors. I don’t think a special pocket in the crown may alter anything in this valuable object of mine. Neither would two-ply panels with eyelets improve it a lot. Well, I can’t call my cap a “flying tiger” but it serves me well. At least it functions as a cap, has no false pretensions, and protects safely my head. You would recognize it as a patrol cap at first sight. Such a cherished model!

Whatever you think, mine is a true patrol cap. In a new patrol cap this feeling will somewhat disappear. I bet!

New caps are stylish, but how suitable are they to wear?

New caps have certain improvements, but isn’t a wheel always a wheel, round and rolling along?

Who says that new patrol caps are more comfortable than the old ones?

Isn’t it too costly to introduce changes when they aren’t needed?

The army’s uniform keeps on changing. Patrol caps are still in fashion. They are stylish and match the design of a new uniform.

However, modifications are not always functionally justified. In my opinion, an old patrol cap has proved to serve its functions best. So, it is arguable whether modifications of an old patrol cap are worth the efforts and time. My patrol cap is history and comfort combined. That’s true!