American Legion Cap Protocol

The revised Protocol & Planning guide (Revision 2) is available on the Department Web-site. The following is Appendix J of the manual:

Legion Cap Etiquette:

The American Legion Cap is both symbolic and illustrative ot Legionnaires and conveys a distinct message to the general public about American Legion Membership. The cap should be decorated in accordance with the guidelines of Resolution 31, July 1967, of the Department of New York. It must be neat and orderly in it appearance.

Woman Legionnaires may remain covered at all times, generally following the directives of the 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 Pledge of Allegiance.

  • Playing of the National Anthem.

  • As routine courtesy during dining.

  • During he POW/MIA Remembrance Service.

Master of Ceremony or Meeting Chairs should remind attendees to uncover during the above activities.


Cap over Heart:

The Cap should be worn in church only by the Honor Guard or Color Guard while in marching order or standing guard. When returning to or while seated in pews, the Cap should be removed.

  • Legionnaires not in formation will remove the Cap while in church.

  • Legionnaires will hold their Cap over their heart in the following instances:

  • If marching in formation into church, until seated in the pew and as exiting the church.

  • Approaching a casket. (Note that the Cap over the heart is a form of salute. If a legionnaire desires to render a hand salute at the casket of a Departed Comrade, he/she may cover, salute and then uncover.)

  • At the Graveside, during the entire service, except for cold or inclement weather when the Cap should be doffed.

  • Religious segments of Legion Functions such as invocations, Benedictions and other prayer.

  • Pledge of Allegiance (Female Legionnaires will place their hand over their heart if covered).

  • National Anthem (Female Legionnaires should render a hand salute and not sing if covered).

  • Memorial to Departed Comrade(s).

  • POW/MIA Remembrance Service.


Cap Embellishments:

Pins, Patches and other items should be kept to a minimum and are never placed on the left side (side with the Legion Emblem) of the cap. Nothing should be placed forward of the piping on the right side of the cap (area with post number).


Note: Butt, Reginal Jr., "Protocol Committee", Nassau County Legionnaire, September 2014, p. 5

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  • Guest - David Williams

    allows the Marine Corp emblem to be on the left side of cap because of the globe anchor and flag ! ( facing foward ) Is this wrong? ?

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  • Guest - D J Moser

    Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    This has already been evidenced by the 1930's garrison cover circa FLYING TIGERS.
    Permisson granted. To my knowledge this has never been rescinded or superseded.

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