RCN launches new sea service cap

The new peaked cap is based on a design worn by petty officers pre-1967.

The new peaked cap is based on a design worn by petty officers pre-1967.

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has released a new, more comfortable peaked cap for its sailors.

“The new cap has a flexible oval frame to better accommodate different head sizes, which makes it more adaptable for everyone,” says Chief Petty Officer 1st Class (CPO1) David Steeves, Command Chief Petty Officer of the Royal Canadian Navy. 

The new cap – which is comfortable to wear in various weather conditions – will be easier than the old version to care for. Its replaceable cloth top cover can be machine washed and dried. When it is worn-out, damaged or permanently soiled, the top cover can be replaced at less cost than replacing the whole cap. Sailors will wear the new cap with their naval Distinctive Environmental Uniform.

“A sailor’s uniform is a source of pride,” says CPO1 Steeves. “Being able to wash the white cover of the cap will make it easier for sailors to maintain a professional appearance.”

The peaked cap was authorized for wear by all sailors, regardless of gender   or gender orientation in 2016: the new cap will conform to that existing policy. Female sailors will be able to wear either the current sea service bowler or the new peaked cap, based on what is best for the member to accommodate their authorized hairstyles. Alternative service headdresses such as a hijab or Sikh turban will continue to be available to naval members to support their faith-based requirements.

The design of the new cap is also a nod to RCN tradition. The non-commissioned members’ version is based on the RCN petty officer cap worn prior to unification of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1967. The new cap will be worn by non-commissioned members from the rank of sailor third class to chief petty officer first class, as well as naval officer cadets. For officers, the new cap will continue to use the distinctive embellishments specific to junior, senior and flag officers, which came into existence with unification. 

Issue of the new cap will be phased in incrementally as stock becomes available, with the goal of having the entire RCN wearing the new peaked cap by November 2022. During this transition period, either the old sea service cap or the new peaked cap may be worn. The new caps will be issued to non-commissioned members first, beginning in September 2021, and to officers in early 2022, based on production and delivery schedule.

As of September 7, 2021, naval non-commissioned members and naval officer cadets can submit their online order for the new peaked cap through the Logistiks Unicorp website. All members will receive their first full cap ensemble at no cost. After the initial issue, members will be able to order an additional cover using their points. Sizing is the same as is used for the current sea service cap.


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