Boy Scout Uniform Headgear: Campaign Caps

Figure 1.--American Scouts in the 1940s adopted the U.S. Army style campaign cap and wore it until the 1980 uniform change.

American Scouts began wearing campaign caps after World War II. They were the most popular American scout cap during the 1940s-70s. This cap was adopted by the U.S. Army in the 1940s and immediately picked up on by the Scouts. It proved much more popular than the old "lemmon-squeezer" style which was in many ways inpractical. I know of few other countries which also adopted this style. The Scouts that I am aware of that picked up this style were Asian countries like the Philippines and Korea where American styles were very influential.

The campaign cap was an interesting choice by American Scouts. I do not known of any other country's Scouts which had adopted this style. I believe the Italian and Spanish youth groups wore it, but I know of no other Scout group. It clearly followed the U.S. Army and for that reason the BSA presumably thought it would be popular with boys. That said it appears to violate some of the basic tenants of Scout uniforms in that it had no practical use. The campaign cap had no brim to ptovide shade or keep off the rain like the old lemmon-squeezer cap. Granted that had was impractical for several reasons, it was hard to keep in shape, expensive, caught the wind, and awkward to store. It did, however, keep the rain and sun off a Scout's face. The campaign cap was in contrast purely ornamental, to provide a stylish cap--without any real use.


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Created: June 12, 1999
Last updated: 12:20 AM 8/12/2019