Why Do State Troopers Wear Hats

When you see a trooper on the side of the road dressed in full uniform, you probably appreciate their presence and the function they serve: keeping you and everyone else safe on the highways. Not just their duty to protect and serve, however, the hats they wear can actually be functional and a symbol of respect. There are several reasons why state troopers wear hats.

To start, hats in law enforcement have been an established part of the uniform since the early 1900s. As part of a dress code, state trooper hats help identify them and are an easily recognizable symbol of authority – whether it’s a removable campaign-style hat or an integrated ballistic helmet. Not just that, their uniform is an easily identifiable symbol of professionalism, order, and the community’s commitment to safety.

Apart from acting as badge of rank and respect, hats also have a practical purpose. They shield a state trooper from the elements while on duty and provide them with sun protection, keeping their heads cool. Not just that,the hats catch sweat and dust in hot weather and protect troopers from rain and snow. This can greatly reduce the problems associated with long shifts, such as distraction and fatigue.

In some states, trooper hats are also part of the uniform during military funeral ceremonies and guard of honor events. These provide honor and show respect for fallen officers, who were once bravely protecting and serving their community. Wearing hats in these situations is a way for state troopers to show both respect and level of duties assigned to the rank.

Moreover, the way troopers wear their hats can signify an even deeper level of respect. In some states, state troopers have a particular way of perching them on their heads. Those who know the inner workings of the system look for that to signify a trooper’s commitment to the job, dedication to the uniform and passion for serving their community.

To conclude, state troopers wear hats for many reasons beyond simply looking professional. Their hats not only denote rank, but also serve the practical purpose of providing needed protection from the elements. Plus, the way trooper hats are worn can signify a deeper level of respect and commitment to their jobs.


The history of trooper hats and law enforcement uniforms in general spans decades, evolving with the times. While the particular design and construction of the hats has changed, trooper hats remain a relatively constant feature since the introduction of uniforms in the early 1900s. Even after all these years, trooper hats remain a timeless and functional part of the uniform.

Furthermore, the original designs of trooper hats were heavily utilitarian, with standard blue material and brass badges. Later, more elaborate designs came into fashion, complete with gold and silver trim as a sign of rank and experience. These more stylish versions of the hats have become a more prominent part of the state trooper uniform.

Today, trooper hats are distinguishable depending on the state they are in. For example, California troopers wear a Stetson campaign style hat while New York state troopers wear a gray campaign cap with traditional black brim. Each state trooper hat displays a combination of rank insignia, badge and state patch, often with different color and material options.

Uniform Requirements

For a state trooper to obtain and maintain a hat for their uniform, there are stringent regulations and standards in place. The Department of Public Safety sets the guidelines regardless of the state. To determine eligibility, a trooper must finish their training courses and pass a physical examination. Upon successful completion of both, they receive the hat for the uniform.

This is only the first step, though. After being issued their hat, troopers must adhere to specific standards or run the risk of it being taken away. These standards involve maintaining a clean, unflawed uniform including the hat. Furthermore, the hat must be placed squarely on their head and not crooked or crookedly tilted in a manner that does not reflect the department.

Ultimately, wearing a legally-prescribed hat is essential for state troopers. The hat is an important and necessary part of their uniform, and they must take care to meet the required maintenance and cleanliness standards or risk having their hats taken away.


The hat is an essential and iconic part of the state trooper uniform. It serves both as a symbol of rank and respect, as well as a practical tool for keeping troopers out of the elements while on the job. It’s a timeless piece of clothing that has held its place as a uniform requirement since the early 1900s.

Today, each state trooper hat is distinguishable and often displays a combination of rank insignia, badge and state patch, signifying the state trooper’s dedication to their job and community. To be issued the hat and to maintain it, troopers must complete training and physical examinations and follow strict cleanliness and maintenance regulations.

Roy Burchard

Roy S. Burchard is an experienced hat enthusiast and writer who has been writing about hats for over 20 years. He has a deep understanding of the history and styles of hats, and his writing focuses on the unique features of each type of hat, from fedoras to top hats.

Leave a Comment