Wow.  Pre-Marlon Brando.  IACE in Calgary, Canada,

August 1948






Unofficial Cadet Service Cap Devices, 1950s:

Prior to official approval of the service cap in 1961 and introduction of the cadet service cap device, cadets used a variety of devices including the WWII senior member devices, flight cap patch, and the senior member devices.

Enlisted and officer cadets wore the service cap.  What they wore on it seems to depend on their wing.

Enlisted Flight Cap Device, 1984:

The cloth patch was replaced by the currently-used clutch back device.  It was, and is, only worn on the enlisted cadet flight cap.

CAP Cutout Seen as Flight Cap Insignia, 1960-80s:

The reason for this is three-fold: post-WWII one regulation advised senior members to wear the cutout on the flight cap (the regulation changed quickly but the practice continued), some wings did not like to ruin a flight cap by sewing on a patch, and in one place the 1965 Leadership  Lab stated the CAP should be worn on the flight cap.  This practice stopped when the clutch back device was rolled out in 1984.

The female flight cap returns, ~1984:

The flight cap was authorized for female cadets in the mid-eighties, and female beret was slowly phased out in the late 80s.  Female officers wore their grade insignia on the flight cap, enlisted cadets wore the clutch back enlisted device.

Cadet Officer Device, 1974:

The cadet officer hat device was authorized in 1974.  This replaced the round prop and wing device authorized in 1961, and enlisted cadets stopped wearing the service cap around this time.

A smaller version was authorized for females and it was worn on the "female beret" and the female service cap.

Unidentified cadet, NC Wing, 1962


NY Wing cadets Henry Olynik and Charles Chaluisan shake Vice President Nixon's hand, 1957.

​They are wearing the WWII era senior member officer hat device, and a white band.

AL Wing, circa 1975

Medical Services Orientation, 1975

AK Wing 1959

Screenshots of cadet officers.  The cadet on the right appears to be wearing the Senior Member officer service cap device.  I do not know what the cadet on the left is wearing.  It appears to be the round Senior Member enlisted device - but this device was not released until 1961.  It is possible he is wearing the round USAF enlisted device.

Official Cadet Service Cap Device, 1961:

Cadets, officer and enlisted, could wear the service cap with permission from their Wing Commander in 1961.  Cadet officers were supposed to wear the service cap banded in white, instead of the usual blue.  It was worn with the white band until approximately 1971. 

All cadets who wore the service cap used this device.  It had a long screw post on the back and was secured through a grommet on the cap. 


Cadet Amy Maloy of PA Wing is presented her Spaatz award by US Representative Austin Murphy, 1987

Cadet flight cap patch, 1942-84

This patch was worn on flight caps by all cadets during WWII.  When metal officer insignia was authorized in 1949, the cadet officers wore their grade insignia.  Cadets even wore this on their fatigue caps during the 1950s.  This patch endured until 1984.

The female beret, ~1973:

When the Air Force and CAP transitioned to all blue in the early 1970s, the female flight cap was replaced by the female beret.  Cadets, officer and enlisted, wore the service cap device on the female beret.

It was designed to be worn toward the back of the head.

Cadet officers could continue to wear the service cap.

Enlisted cadets wearing the round service cap device, 1974

This cadet is wearing the cloth flight cap patch.
Based on the cadet's insignia and uniform, this photo was taken around 1951-52.

This cadet is wearing the senior member WWII enlisted cap device.

Mary Ellen DeDominicis

Miami Beach Senior High School

circa 1943 

CAP Cadet History Project

AK Wing, 1970

IL Wing Flight Encampment,1979

C/Col Judy Masarik, DE Wing, 1969