If it’s one thing I never earned in the Army that I wish I would have earned is a Army Stetson hat. I was never fortunate enough to be assigned to a Cavalry unit. Instead, I was mostly assigned to mechanized infantry and light infantry units. The Army Stetson hat has a proud tradition in the Army for Cavalry Soldiers. In the paragraphs below I want to share what I know about the hat, in order to educate you a little bit.
- Troopers in Cavalry units wear the hat in place of the patrol cap or beret.
- From the research I found online, anyone can get/wear a Stetson hat, as long as they are assigned to a Cavalry unit. In other words, you don’t have to be a scout or tanker. The Supply Sergeant, maintenance personnel and administration folks also qualify for it.
- It costs about $200 to $300 to purchase one online (and the accessories).
- Each Stetson hat will have different colors (cords) based upon the Soldier’s MOS or Branch.
- They are mostly worn by senior NCOs and Officers, but junior enlisted can wear them too.
- It is not an official uniform item.
- Commanders in CAV units can use their discretion as to when their soldiers can wear their Stetson.
- Enlisted soldiers wear a yellow hat cord, Warrant Officers wear a silver or black cord and commissioned officers wear a gold or black cord.
- Soldiers wear cross sabers on the front along with their rank insignia (aviators wear their wings) and on the back Soldiers can have their airborne, air assault or other related pins.
- What accessories go on the Stetson varies greatly by unit.
This is what I found out about the hats. There’s still a lot of information I don’t know about them. Here are some questions I don’t know the answers to:
- Do you have to take a test or do anything specific to get your Army Stetson hat? For instance, do you have to go on a spur ride? Or, are you automatically eligible once you get to the unit?
- Once you’ve earned the Stetson hat, can you still wear it when you are no longer assigned to a Cavalry unit?
- Which types of Cavalry units are eligible for it? For example, could a Reconnaissance Troop in a Infantry Brigade wear a Stetson hat?
- Can Stryker Units wear them?
Any information that you know and could share would be very helpful. Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts.