Forage cap SNCO

I have brought an officers side cap, can I take the officer cap badge out and replace with SNCO cap badge. Will it fit and be the right size?

So long as the officers’ cap is for Wg Cmdr and below (no blue piping) I think it will be OK. I have nothing local to compare it with though.

Thanks, yes I’ve made sure I haven’t purchased the blue seam variant! I can’t find anywhere online to purchase the airman’s forage cap!

You might find some ire from the Uniform afcianadoes, with you wanting to go all individual!!!

Personally I think that all ATC officers who wear forage caps do not wear them properly, so they look silly!! But that is my opinion and does not mean you can’t wear one if you want!!

An Officer’s/WO’s forage cap and an OR’s forage cap are different designs/shapes, and made from different materials.



Do you know where I can purchase an ORs forage cap?

I think it comes free with a sarcasm implant…

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I thought you got one upon successfully completing the Blue Peter Bog Roll and Cereal Box Tracey Island…

No such thing, they’re all the same now. Except Gp Cpt and above.

Is this the look you are after??

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I think the bloke at top right has got something in in his bottom. Possibly the bloke at top left…

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So to be clear on this…are you saying that ORs are now wearing the same style of forage caps as was worn only by officers/WOs?

Bearing in mind that the two are definitely a different shape…and a different material/colour…?

Yeah, pretty much!

The difference in those two are mainly tailor dependant! As there’s no real pattern to follow as I’m aware of, there’s just one style. And as there are no official suppliers anymore it depends where you buy them from.

My new one looks like the one you have there with the ORs cap badge on and was sold as an officers’ one!


I think the problem Wilf is that they aren’t issued anymore. When ORs were issued them they were made out of cheaper materials, (Serge) now they can only be private purchase, they are just whatever the tailor has.
The closest to classic OR was the tailor at St Mawgan, sadly no longer operating.

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Are they not still issued to aircrew? Mine is an issue one from a pilot who didn’t want it, although it was a few years ago.

Historically, RAF ORs forage caps have tended to possess a ‘peaked’ front. Originally. And a taller upstand behind the button-flaps. This always gave them a distinctly-different front & back…

Conversely, RAF Officers’ forage caps have originally tended to the same shape when front compared to back, downswept with no peaked front, and a shortened upstand…

So now all ranks just wear Offr pattern ones?

With silk inside? Because OR ones were traditionally either unlined or just part-lined in melton. This is weird…

There isn’t really a distinction anymore. Brize only sold one pattern when I went there, silk lined Barathea. The St Mawgan ones were made of no.1 material, but you could purchase personalised linings. I’ve seen shocking pink, silk map and a Cornish flag

How does this kind of uniform variation just occur over time, without authority?

It makes no sense to me that what were defined differences between Offr and OR pattern caps now no longer exist (note: I’m making an observation, not a direct criticism).

Surely (whether an optional item of clothing or not) decisions on this type of change should be getting made by the RAF DPC?

If forage caps are regulated in AP1358 to the extent as to what orders of dress they can or can’t be worn in (including the current curious prohibition on them being worn in No3 dress, unless ranked something like 2* and above) and stipulations regarding the “minerva blue” piping, who was it that just arbritarily decided that it was ok for the ORs pattern forage cap to vanish?

I fully-understand that suppliers/military tailors will make and sell only only that which they can…sell and make, but: this is an odd effect…the covert change of uniform regulations via incremental adoption.

At this rate the recently-proposed change for male WOs’ peak caps (ie becoming cloth-peaked, effectively just using Offr pattern, thus bringing them into line with female RAF WO pattern, and equivalency with Army style) may just happen one day via an RAF WO deciding to wear an Offr peak cap, and then waiting for others to follow suit.

Arguably something similar happened with side caps in No3. The old CAS kept doing it and they eventually gave up and rewrote the regs to make it legal!


Same with wearing a short sleeved shirt with a tie under jumpers and the cloth VRT Badges on No5 both of those have come in mainly by everyone just doing it anyway!