Tactical Tailor

US Army to Adopt Stetson as Official Headgear

According to the Army News Service

WASHINGTON, APRIL 1, 2011 — In a fingertip-to-the-brim nod to its American frontier history, the Army is changing hats again – returning to the tumultuous days of the horse Cavalry in the wild west and adopting a dark blue Stetson as the official headgear for the current force of 1.1 million Soldiers.

“We figure the Stetson will be popular with the troops,” said Sgt. Maj. Bob S. Stone, Army Uniform Board headgear task force president. “It’s been a while since we have changed the headgear, so it’s time. Plus a Stetson is functional and down right American.”

But reminiscent of the controversial switch from the garrison cap to the black beret, the Army faces opposition from one community deeply opposed to losing its special identity with the Stetson – the Armor branch.

“Why in the heck are they doing to us what they did to the snake-eaters?” asked one officer familiar with the board’s deliberations. “If you ain’t Cav, you ain’t ought to be wearing a Cav hat. That just ain’t right.”

But the sheer functionality of the wide-brimmed American-classic Stetson won over the majority of the board.

“You can keep the sun out of your eyes, the hat won’t melt to your head on a sunny day, and female Soldiers can tuck long hair under a Stetson a lot easier than with the current beret,” says Stone. “Plus we’ve already gone back to blue jackets for the service dress uniform. The Stetson actually completes the look.”

The voting of the board fell along predicable lines, but was completed weeks ahead of schedule. In a surprise move representatives from Forts Bragg, Campbell and several undisclosed forward locations around the world pushed the vote for the Stetson to a head.

Representatives from various garrison activities and the Human Resources Command tried in vain to keep the beret, citing the cache it brings to wearers as well as practicality. According a dissenting member, “at least you can fold a beret and put it in your pocket. Where are you going to put your ten-gallon hat in your cubicle?”

The beret is not completely leaving the Army inventory, as communities who previously wore berets will return to or keep their traditional colors of maroon (airborne), black (Ranger) and green (Special Forces). Additionally Rangers will be allowed to keep the tan beret for use in desert climates. “We’ve at least earned that, for all grief we took in losing the black beret in the last go-round,” said one unidentified tab-wearing board member.

Stone refused to address rumors that the Army Uniform Board will next consider adoption of a black western-style or ‘cowboy’ boot to replace the current inventory of black low quarters for wear with the Army Service Uniform. Sources expect that if the board moves toward boots, the Armor community will likely push for the return of cavalry-use-only jodhpurs and spurs, as a concession for having lost its prior if informal and exclusive right to wear a Stetson.

There will be some restrictions on wear. In a nod to other dress blue uniform traditions, general officer Stetsons will be black and must have a completely flat brim. All other wearers of dark blue Stetsons will be allowed any combination of opposing but matching curls of the side brims, up-to-twenty-degrees up or down. However no single-side flapping of any portion of the brim will be allowed.

The Army’s official adoption date of the Stetson will be April Fool’s Day, 2012.

Oddly enough, this actually makes a lot of sense.


42 Responses to “US Army to Adopt Stetson as Official Headgear”

  1. Strike-Hold says:

    Why not just go right back to the beginning and adopt the George Washington style 3-cornered hat? LOL.

  2. Ryan says:

    Happy April fools day you fools

  3. Aaron says:

    bring back the campaign hat!

  4. FormerDirtDart says:

    Well done. Highly unbelievable, but, the effort did produce a smile.

  5. John says:

    Rangers = Tan Beret

  6. FormerDirtDart says:

    John, you have no sense of history

  7. Administrator says:

    Huzzah to to the Army for perpetrating this ruse on their own official website!

  8. OUTTA RANKS says:

    Pure comedy! I love the US Army!

  9. Maroon Beret says:

    April fool joke or not, why would anyone be surprised? They’ve ruined everything else about the uniform in the Army and this would be right in line with all of the other stupid and misguided decisions the uniform board (or knot head Shinseki with the stupid black beret) has already made. The US Army uniform decisions are made by representatives of the PLA and the Banana Republic of Latin America. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they adopted Patton’s gold football helmet for garrison wear. Then again, the Army can’t get anymore gaudy than they already look.

  10. Marc says:

    I sincerely hope that this is an April Fools joke…

  11. John Arbaugh says:

    BETTER be a joke, or they just opened a FOURTH front…….

  12. Why not? There are major changes taking place every day according to the news papers. This will be just one that Armor/Cavalry will enjoy. We used the Artillery song for the entire Army, now the Infantry can look to the future in any way that suites them

  13. Steve says:

    While I’m back to being a PFC now – a private f’ing civillian – I wish this were true and the berets-for-all just an April Fool’s joke!

  14. Doc Dodge says:

    As an old school black beret and Stetson cav-trooper/dragoon, I was not happy, until I remembered what day it was.

  15. jjj0309 says:

    Sgt. Hartman is very proud.

  16. Black Cowboy Boot…

    […] ons will be black and must have a completely flat brim. All other wearers of dar […]…

  17. Ray says:

    This has to be a joke right?

  18. Lcon says:

    Look I know the Big Cover looks good but are you kidding? the Army goes from smooth too blatant. From offending Army Rangers too offending Army Cav. might I make a suggestion here if you really want too put the nail in the Garrison and want too keep the peaked caps for the officers fine then look back at older Uniform issues that opens up the Campaign hat Worn in the first days of the 20th century that will piss off the Marines Drill instructors , Air Force Drill masters ( no issue for the Army in fact a bonus) but also the Army Drill Sargent Core too, unless you make a special version for the new issue on the up it also has the wide brim. a modern Hardee hat also a wide brim looking more like a Australian cover it is kind of a Cavalry Hat. bad news is it would piss off the Helicopter pilots some of whom wear them for ceremony. I think a good choice would be too go with a modern McClellan cap from the civil war, yes a kepi style although sometimes called a “Forage cap” American issue had a looser brim then the french it was issued until 1902. looks a little funny but it has a visor and if done nicely it could look good of course the french jokes would start up.

  19. jeff says:

    the sad part is that I would believe this. go army

    • Administrator says:

      What would you rather have? A hat with historical significance for the entire Army or the beret that is symbolic to only certain portions of the Army?

  20. Henry says:

    I wasn’t sure which was the better April Fools joke: the Stetson or the Tru-Spec MOLLE jacket.

  21. Matthew K. says:

    Dammit! Now what am I supposed to do with all this Stetson Hat Co. stock? MOLLE Extreme was funny as hell also…

  22. Ermey says:

    I know the stetson could lead to some controversy, but has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

  23. Alex Quintanilla says:

    I which it have been done during Vietnam where only Air Cav had them. I will get one for myself. Vietnam Veterans would love it.

  24. Ervch says:

    “Strike-Hold says:
    April 1, 2011 at 12:23 PM
    Why not just go right back to the beginning and adopt the George Washington style 3-cornered hat? LOL.”

    The Navy is actually ditching the 8 point and Dixie cup for the throw back 3 corner.

  25. gerald g. weesner sr says:

    this may be an april fool’s day joke, but anything is better than that idiotic, stupid, ugly french abomination called a beret……. it is worthless. it is ugly, does not shade the eyes nor ears. does not keep the rain out of your face and every idiot that wears it does not know how to wear it…….god save the stetson….

  26. Administrator says:

    Can anyone verify that they actually covered this on the NBC Nightly Noise?

  27. Andrew says:

    How about a Stetson covered with MOLLE? Anyone?


  28. Jeremy says:

    Ya, this better be a april fool’s joke…as if the Army hasn’t made to many stupid uniform decisions already…they also need to dispose of ACU’s already; even BDU’s would be better.

  29. Administrator says:

    Tactical Fanboy thought it was real, what a rube…

  30. Fred Bates says:

    Just another example of a pattern of a lack of leadership beginning with POTUS and running right down to the Company Clerk. When did a CSM have the pay grade required to shepherd a decision like this? In these tight budget times, I guess Uncle Sugar will pay for each troopie to get two (2 ea. Stetson Hats) on his nickle! What a waste of time and talent.

  31. Michael says:

    Probably April Fool’s joke, but I’ll go along with it. Why can’t the army just issue boonie hats as the standard headgear and let each branch enjoy their respective traditions? Boonie hats shield the neck and eyes from the sun, don’t look like the ugly beret, and have a history with elitness dating back to Vietnam. As an added bonus, you can fold it and stuff it anywhere.

  32. Phil Pennington says:

    I just can’t believe this. It’s so rediculous! Why not have a coon skin hat to commemorate Daniel Boone or Davy Crockett? Better still why not commemorate the American Revolution and have a three-cornered hat? Perhaps the army could come up with the 1950’s popular striped beenie cap with a propeller blade on top. How about a folded newspaper hat, remember these? Give me a break! When the army went to an all black beret it definately went overboard. But this will no doubt cost much more to produce. What will the army wear in hot climates—a straw version of the Stetson?

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  34. Lcon says:

    I stopped by army .mil before stopping here… No Retraction… so either they are going too wait till Monday or it’s for real. I still think the Kapi is a better choice representing the standard army head gear of the civil war.

  35. Joe says:

    Amazing, I now have to google the new “Army Service Uniform” and Stetson.

    Well, if we’re going completely rediculous, how about the female Drill’s hat?

    I’m sure if we change the color to Foliage Gra-, er, -een it won’t be an affront to the female drills I knew standing at “parade pretty”, (and no disrespect to proper female non-comissioned officers, just a few DS I knew who weren’t).

    Take the “Operator hat” baseball cap that seems to be so damn popular, insert a redesign stipulation into the contract with a review, and accountability for that review with clearly defined parameters.

    Really, nobody can figure this out?

    This is why soldiers are saddled with the black beret and UCP?

    Ah, to be enlisted and irritated and resigned to my fate, again, instead of just a grumpy-puss vet…

  36. Jack Luz says:

    The U.S. Army’s credibility has taken another dive. What is wrong with those guys? I believe that the uniform board has gone stark raving nuts.

  37. Uncle JAD~Chad says:

    haha why can’t the army wear a service cap like all the other branches? Big Army you crack me up. I bet some Officer who couldn’t make it in the “Special Community” wanted to wear it and propositioned to wear it. Like all the other army uniform decisions between the berets, to the “I don’t blend into anything” ACU, to the MultiCam vests with not so multicam molle… A BIG WASTE! haha Semper Fi

  38. Keith Garwick says:

    Well, as much time as we are spending in the Middle East, why not just issue everyone a turban (in branch appropriate colors, of course)…

  39. Ray says:

    If this was a joke then it was a good one. I for one fell for it since the military has done a lot of foolish things lately. On the other hand, this seemed to be posted on some official sites; that is not the smartest idea either.

  40. mike says:

    I like the stetson, this will be great headgear.

  41. SFC Pate says:

    OK, I have worn a stetson in Friday formations for a long time, and that thing gets seriously hot! Also, as a mechanic what do I do with it when I have to crawl under a truck? Take it off and have no headgear on? Save this hat for the CAV and please please please just let us wear the PC! It comes in every color of every uniform!