Cap Etiquette

Click - The Cap Etiquette Guide


The following is from the American Legion National Headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana...

  • The left side (emblem side) of the cap is reserved only for the Legion emblem, city, county, district or state lettering

  • If desired, the following items may be placed on the right side of the cap:

    1. additional lettering, restricted to either the name of a Post, or to an officer title (such as "Past Commander"),

    2. ​cap insignias or badges (for Past or Present officers),

    3. consecutive membership insignia, membership stars, and/or authorized Legion or military services decorations.

  •  Names or nicknames of individual members cannot be used on caps.

  • The Legion Uniform Cap should be worn by its members only when in attendance at official Legion meetings or ceremonies, or as official guests at patriotic or other civil functions, or by individuals when officially representing The American Legion on public occasions.

  • A member is considered to be in uniform if wearing an official Legion Uniform Cap. Therefore, it is not proper to wear the cap while eating a meal at an official Legion or civic luncheon or dinner.

  • The cap should be worn in a place of worship only by the Guard of Honor, Color Guard and Commander of same while in marching order or standing guard. When returned to and seated in pews, the cap should be removed.

  • Legion posts marching in formation into a place of worship should uncover, at the door, hold the cap with the right hand over the heart until the arrival in the pews and commanded to take seats, remaining uncovered during the entire service. At the close of the service, upon command, the post shall arise, the members holding the cap with the right hand over the heart will march out of the place of worship, and recover after marching through the door.

  • Legion members not in formation will uncover upon entering the place of worship and remain uncovered during the entire service, and will recover after leaving the place of worship.

  • When at a funeral, the cap should be held over the heart as one approaches the casket, and is not at any time worn in a place of worship (except by the Guard of Honor, Color Guard or Commander of same while in marching order or standing guard). At the graveside, the cap should be held in the right hand over the heart during the entire service. In cold and inclement weather, the cap should not be worn.

  • In Legion meetings, the cap should be worn except during moments of the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer, and when standing in silent reverence in memory of departed comrades, when the cap should be held with the right hand over the heart.

  • Female members of the Legion should wear their caps in the manner prescribed for female personnel of the armed services.

  • Women Legionnaires may remain covered at all times, generally following the directives of uniformed military personnel regarding headgear. 

  • Male Legionnaires may wear the Legion Cap at all times during Legion functions except for:

    • Religious segments of functions such as Invocations and Benedictions and other prayer

    • Memorial to Departed Comrades

    • Recital of the Pledge of Allegiance

    • As routine courtesy during dinne

The local Post is the core unit of The American Legion from which many of the Legion programs and activities start. Legionnaires at the post level are identified as "blue cap" Legionnaires. At the District level, these members are still "blue cap" Legionnaires but have a white crown to distinguish their position. At the State Department level, officers wear a full "white cap", while National officers wear the "red cap" of that top level. If a member has multiple caps, such as both a Post "blue cap" but also a Department "white cap", it is appropriate to wear the cap that you are representing. Example: If attending your local Post meeting, but with Department news to report, the "white cap" would be appropriate. However, if serving on the Honor Guard of your local Post for a function, the "blue cap" would be worn.