PA troopers chin strap

Why do PA State Troopers Wear Chin Straps?

We’ve researched why Pennsylvania State Troopers wear their hats with the chin strap under their lips instead of under their chins. After thorough investigation, we found that this unique style of wearing the hat has a historical and practical significance. So, here’s your answer. 

Why do PA State Troopers Wear Chin Straps?

Pennsylvania State Troopers wear chin straps as part of their uniform because it helps to keep their hats securely in place while they are on duty. The chin strap fastens under the trooper’s chin and prevents the hat from falling off or blowing away in windy conditions. This is especially important for troopers who work in outdoor environments where weather conditions can be unpredictable. Additionally, the chin strap provides a professional and polished appearance for the trooper’s uniform.

The History of PA State Troopers Hats 

The tradition of wearing the hat with the chin strap under the lips dates back to the early 1900s when the Pennsylvania State Police was founded. The original design of the hat had a flat brim and a round crown, which made it difficult to keep the hat on the head during windy or active conditions. The solution was to secure the hat with a chin strap, but wearing it under the chin caused the hat to fly off the head even more frequently. To keep the hat secure, troopers began wearing the strap under their lips, which provided a tighter fit and prevented the hat from being blown off by strong winds.

The Pennsylvania State Police also have ceremonial hats, which are worn for special occasions, such as parades, funerals, and other formal events. The ceremonial hat has a high peak and a stiff brim, and it is worn with the chin strap under the chin, similar to other law enforcement agencies. The difference in the style of wearing the hat between the regular and ceremonial hats is due to the practicality of the design. The regular hat is worn for everyday use and must be secured to the head to avoid loss or interference with duties, while the ceremonial hat is designed to look impressive and is not worn for everyday use.

To the practical reasons for wearing the hat with the chin strap under the lips, the style also has a historical significance. The Pennsylvania State Police were modeled after the Texas Rangers, who also wore their hats with the chin strap under their lips. The Texas Rangers were a legendary law enforcement agency in the late 1800s and early 1900s and were renowned for their bravery and resourcefulness. The Pennsylvania State Police modeled their organization after the Texas Rangers and adopted many of their traditions, including the style of wearing the hat.

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