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Navy Combination Caps?


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#1 MrStiv

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 06:46 AM

So October 2018 marks the end of the bucket cover for females in the Navy, but as usual with this service nothing is ever clear as it should be.

 

In the online regulations, it says that "As of 31 October 2018, the alternate and unisex Combination Covers are mandatory for wear by all female officers and chief petty officers."

 

OK, I understand what the Unisex Combination Cover is. But what is the "Alternate" combination cover? Is that another name for the men's combination cap when it's worn by a woman?

 

And the way this is worded makes it sound like TWO types of Combination covers are mandatory!

 

 

 



#2 Justin B.

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:24 AM

The Alternate Combination Cover is an updated design, with more of an oval band instead of circular for a better fit. It originated in trials to replace the female bucket cap, but is authorized for both males and females. Despite the "and" wording, I think the intent is that both types of cap will be interchangeable in future regulations.

 

http://www.public.na...15/NAV15236.txt



#3 MrStiv

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:32 AM

Thanks for the link, Justin. The NAVADMIN is quite clear. Too bad the Navy's online manual very often is not.

 

The Alternate Combination Cover is an updated design, with more of an oval band instead of circular for a better fit. It originated in trials to replace the female bucket cap, but is authorized for both males and females. Despite the "and" wording, I think the intent is that both types of cap will be interchangeable in future regulations.

 

http://www.public.na...15/NAV15236.txt

 



#4 MattS

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:51 AM

Thanks for the link, didn't know about the ACC.

In my previous career, our campaign hats (Smokey Bears) started to become available with Long Oval designations some years back, so that the size would be '7 1/4 LO'. They do fit a lot better on a normal shaped noggin, I don't know why it took so long for some hat makers to figure out that skulls aren't circular. 



#5 MrStiv

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:53 AM

Thanks for the link, Justin. The NAVADMIN is quite clear. Too bad the Navy's online manual very often is not.

 

In a summary of changes dated November 2016, it says:

 

2. Chapter 4, Rank/Rate Insignia, Section 3, Headgear Insignia, Officers Headgear,

Article 4311.4.

 

Removed:

“a. Combination Cap. Insignia on combination caps consists of a cap device, chin strap,and retaining buttons. An embroidered visor/hat band is worn by officers of the rank of Commander and above. Female officers, 0-5 and above, do not wear the gold chin strap.

 

Then, just two months later (February 2017) the Summary of Changes reads this way (I won't bother repeating the Chapter and article number stuff):

 

Added:  
 “a. Combination Cap. Insignia on combination caps consists of a cap device, chin strap,and retaining buttons. An embroidered visor/hat band is worn by officers of the rank of Commander and above. Female officers, O-5 and above, do not wear the gold chin strap.” 

 

This is the way it appears in the current version of the online manual, which leads me to ask: Are female Commanders and higher going to wear the same Combination Cap as their male counterparts, but with a black chin strap instead of gold? Or will females just remove the chin strap and wear the cap without it? After all, the manual doesn't go on to say that they replace the gold chin strap with a different kind, does it?

 

In any case, if this is the case it's truly rich--the Navy goes to all this trouble to make everyone look the same, then gives female officers a NOTICEABLY DIFFERENT "insignia component?"

 

Sorry to go on, but it seems like I run into confusing verbiage like this on every other page of the USN Uniform regs...

 

The Alternate Combination Cover is an updated design, with more of an oval band instead of circular for a better fit. It originated in trials to replace the female bucket cap, but is authorized for both males and females. Despite the "and" wording, I think the intent is that both types of cap will be interchangeable in future regulations.

 

http://www.public.na...15/NAV15236.txt

 



#6 Bob Hudson

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:08 AM

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combo.jpeg

 

combo2.jpeg

 

combo3.jpeg



#7 Dave

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:11 AM

 

This is the way it appears in the current version of the online manual, which leads me to ask: Are female Commanders and higher going to wear the same Combination Cap as their male counterparts, but with a black chin strap instead of gold? Or will females just remove the chin strap and wear the cap without it? After all, the manual doesn't go on to say that they replace the gold chin strap with a different kind, does it?

 

 

 

 

I believe this is talking about the older female covers. They had the bullion "scrambled eggs" instead of the chin strap. The male-style cover for females, O-5 and above, still has the gold chinstrap. 



#8 MrStiv

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:44 AM

Actually, the pics above show the old bucket cover for women with the gold chin strap (thank you Bob Hudson!), which means the current version of the Navy manual that is online is wrong since they would wear the gold chin both old and new combo covers.

 

 

 

 

I believe this is talking about the older female covers. They had the bullion "scrambled eggs" instead of the chin strap. The male-style cover for females, O-5 and above, still has the gold chinstrap. 


Edited by MrStiv, 13 June 2018 - 08:45 AM.


#9 Justin B.

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:47 AM

They do fit a lot better on a normal shaped noggin, I don't know why it took so long for some hat makers to figure out that skulls aren't circular. 

 

I read somewhere a British WW2 sailor saying that wearing the cap (flat hat equivalent) at odd angles or way at the back of the head was as much to relieve pain as to make a fashion statement.



#10 Dave

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 09:00 AM

Actually, the pics above show the old bucket cover for women with the gold chin strap (thank you Bob Hudson!), which means the current version of the Navy manual that is online is wrong since they would wear the gold chin both old and new combo covers.

 

 

 

Wait...a current Navy manual is incorrect? Never! ;) :D 



#11 MrStiv

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 09:04 AM

Thanks for the feedback guys, and also for letting me vent a little bit...I feel much better now :D



#12 MattS

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 10:19 AM

 

I read somewhere a British WW2 sailor saying that wearing the cap (flat hat equivalent) at odd angles or way at the back of the head was as much to relieve pain as to make a fashion statement.

 

Nothing worse than the indented line across your forehead with matching headache after wearing the hat for several hours straight. 



#13 sigsaye

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 05:53 PM

It always took w bit to get one of those things to fit right. After wearing it and warming it up, it eventually fit right (Im a long oval head shape). I used to take a shoe string and lace it between the chin strap buttons and squeeze the cap into shape to wear, when it was in my locker. I imagine the old wicker frames adjusted to your head quicker and easier. My sister in a Madter Chief, and hates the new Combination Caps. Much preferred her old bucket cap. She enlisted with the older female uniforms. Saw the intro of the white jumper. Then the shift from dungarees to utilities, then cammies. Then saw jumper blues and white hats for female Sailors and this Combination Cap. Like most of us, never cared for any of the changes. Be careful what you wish for

Edited by sigsaye, 13 June 2018 - 05:55 PM.


#14 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:13 PM

Same with me Steve, once you got the combination cap shaped correctly, it was alright.  I'd squeeze it  to make it oval and fit snugly.  But many of my shipmates bought the Bancroft combination hats with the white vinyl cover.  It looked sharp and was easy to clean, but it had less give and was hot especially in tropical or humid climates.  I always wore the cloth cover.  It was tougher to keep clean but it was much cooler and lighter too when being worn on Quarterdeck watches or duty days.

 

(They'd also buy the stupid corfam plastic shoes because they were lazy and didn't know how to get a good spit shine of their shoes)


Edited by Salvage Sailor, 13 June 2018 - 07:16 PM.


#15 sigsaye

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 04:32 AM

Same with me Steve, once you got the combination cap shaped correctly, it was alright.  I'd squeeze it  to make it oval and fit snugly.  But many of my shipmates bought the Bancroft combination hats with the white vinyl cover.  It looked sharp and was easy to clean, but it had less give and was hot especially in tropical or humid climates.  I always wore the cloth cover.  It was tougher to keep clean but it was much cooler and lighter too when being worn on Quarterdeck watches or duty days.
 
(They'd also buy the stupid corfam plastic shoes because they were lazy and didn't know how to get a good spit shine of their shoes)

. The first Combi Cap I got when they changed us all over to the CPO style uniforms was on of those Bancroft with the venal cover. Hated it! Yep, hot and heavy. I thought it would be easier to keep clean shoved in a locker, but actually turned out not to be. The stitching still got filthy. And how do you clean that! Just got a few white cotton covers. Change them out and toss the dirty one in the laundry. When I made Chief, it got complicated. White cotton for the blues, white CNT for the whites, khaki cotton got the wash khakis, khaki CNT for the Dress khaki. Pain in the butt for something you only wore once in a while.

Yeah. Shoes. I was always able to get my leathers to shine up. Hated corframs. Never had any till I went to Grear Lakes to push boots. Then was told that we were required to wear them when not actually On The Street with a Recruit Company ( I had 3 pair of Army Combat Boots I kept spit shined and rotated for that).

#16 MastersMate

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 07:37 AM

For some unexplained reason, Shortly after the transition to the current uniform, the CG personnel developed a practice of expanding the grommet inside the cover so tight that the damned thing would develop lift ( ala USMC Style). That made it difficult to set the cap down on the noggin for a good fit.  I adopted, and kept, the old school CPO custom of keeping a fair bit of slack in the grommet. The cover was not so tight as it would not fit down on the head. Also used the twine trick to keep the frame shape more oval than round..

 

With the CG white cap of 1967 to 1976, the original from Art Caps had a soft weave, flexible plastic tube grommet and maintained a 'crusher' style to it. By the 1970s, some CG white hats started the trend to putting a steel grommet into the tubing and tightening the cover to a very 'stiff' flaring shape.. The fit got more uncomfortable, and back like the early blue cap, they got more difficult to keep on the head with any kind of breeze.. no chin strap to hold it down..  The custom was created, the CG would wear the stiff crowned combination cap..



#17 Dave

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 10:22 AM

. The first Combi Cap I got when they changed us all over to the CPO style uniforms was on of those Bancroft with the venal cover. Hated it! Yep, hot and heavy. 

 

The worst thing about the unbreathable vinyl cover was what happened to me in OCS (the only time I wore one before switching to CNT...) After sweating profusely in the hot Pensacola summer sun, the inside of the cover started to develop mold! Gross!




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