''Black Hats''

  • General History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

The term ''Black Hat'' (or simply ''Black Hats'') is indicative of The US Armed Forces, in particular – The US Army. These are basic Baseball-style, civilian procured Headgear, worn only by Instructors assigned to various Special Skills Training Courses. Examples being: Airborne (Paratrooper), Air Assault (Helicopter) and various other Special Skills Courses. Various other American Armed Forces also use a form of ''Black Hat'' in their Special Skills Training Courses.


Devised in the 1960s as a means of identifying Airborne Instructors (who were not allowed to use the iconic Model 1916 ''Campaign Hat'', most commonly associated with Drill Instructors), Black Hats wear either a ''Skull Cap'' (tighter Crown) Version or a traditional wide Front Crowned Style, often creased on the top sides, nearest the Front Crown. In addition, the Full Dress Qualifications Badge of the particular School is worn on the Front, nearest the Crown. The Instructors Rank is worn below this Badge. These Insignia are actually Dress Shirt Collar Versions (as was originally worn on Fatigue Caps in the 1950s and 1960s).


''Black Hats'' are fully qualified Holders of the particular Special Skills Course a Soldier attends. They are often Masters (the highest level of Qualification) and undertake additional Instructors Training. As stated, Black Hats are not provided by The Government, but are procured from Civilian sources. In addition, Black Hats often wear a solid Black colored Undershirt, as part of their identification during training. They are worn only during training cycles.