State trooper campaign hat turns 50

Published 12:36 pm Wednesday, February 17, 2021

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The Tennessee State Trooper campaign hat turns 50 this year.

The now signature trooper campaign hat was added to the uniform of Tennessee State Troopers in 1971.

There were two seasonal versions that were available to the troopers. Dark olive green straw hats were available for summer usage and a similar felt hat for winter wear.

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Claude Armour was the State Safety Commissioner in 1971 and it was his belief that the hat would provide a more complete look for the uniform and help improve the overall image of troopers.

The hat would become a signature look for Tennessee troopers as well as others across the nation.

Troopers were not required to wear them inside patrol cars but each time they stepped outside the hat was mandatory.

The campaign style was chosen due to the lighter weight when compared to the caps they were wearing at the time.

The hat is a source of pride for those who have earned the right to wear it.

Sgt. Rex Bailey of the THP spoke of how it feels to be one of the few to wear it, “It’s a sense of honor and pride to wear this trooper hat especially knowing the ultimate sacrifice that many troopers have given over the years. Even before I was a trooper it was great respect you gave when you seen that person step out of that patrol car and place that hat on their head; you knew they was in charge.”

Troopers have now been wearing their signature hat for 50 years.