As the name implies, hat badges (also known as cap badges) are badges worn on an individualâs headgear in order to be identified by his nationality, organization, or rank. Theyâre usually used in different military regiments around the world, which each design as unique as the groups who wear them.
Trivia on Hat Badge
The use of regimental hat badge seems to trace back to the British Army. Each regiment and corps in the British army has their own distinct design.
Some examples of British hat badge are the Fouled Anchor of the Lord High Admiral of Britain, the Capstar of the Coldstream Guards, and the cypher of the Royal Horse Artillery.
The hat badge of the 4 SCOTS (also known as the Highlanders, 4th Battalion) is unique because it could be separated into several pieces, whereas most other hat badge is cast as one piece. Other regiments that share this type of hat badge casting is the Royal Marines and the Royal Corps of Signals.
While most regiments change the material and design of the hat badge as an individual goes up the ranks, members of the Welsh Guards wear cloth hat badge at all ranks. Meanwhile, the Special Air Serviceâs hat badges all have embroidery and members of The Rifles never change their hat badge, no matter what rank they are.
Depending on the hat, the way of wearing hat badges changes:
Peaked caps (also known as combination hats) â must be worn above the center point between the ownerâs eyebrows.
Berets â must be worn one inch (or the width of two fingers) above the left eye.
Side caps, tam oâ shanters (called the TOS by the British military), and the glengarries – should be worn between the left eye and the left ear.
Feather bonnets and busbies â should be worn slightly off the left ear and towards the left eye.
Jungle hats â should be worn either at the center front or between the left eye and the left ear.
The Canadian Forces use either metal or cloth hat badges depending on their regiment or the branch that the service members are under.
Members of the United States Army wear their Distinctive Unit Insignias on the flash of their berets. When they wear their peaked caps, they wear the eagle from the Great Seal of the United States. The same eagle is worn on the hats of the United States Air Force.