The gendarme’s kepi

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the kepi, introduced in 1861 and used by the French Army and National Gendarmerie, replaces the shako, headgear in the shape of a truncated cone with a visor. It is associated with the French because mainly carried in France.

Its port has been in constant decline for about thirty years. It was abandoned by the national police in 1984 and by prison guards in 1940.

The composition of the kepi

  • the gallon(D) is located above the elite stripe, the color varies according to the rank of the gendarme.
  • the elite stripe(E) is of different colors depending on the weapon subdivision: silver for the Departmental Gendarmes (GD), or for Mobile Gendarmes (GM), scarlet and yellow for the Republican Guards (GR) and Royal blue for the Volunteer Assistant Gendarmes (GAV).
  • The jugular(G) is stretched between two gold or silver uniform buttons on which are engraved the symbol of the weapon.
  • The Grenade(F) is the symbol of elite troops. It is unique within armies by its representation with eight flames, also following the colors of the subdivisions.
  • The amounts(A) corresponding to the lines adorning the four corners of the kepi: one from the rank of Gendarme to that of Lieutenant, two for Captains and three for Senior Officers.
  • the Hungarian knot (B) is simple and displayed from the rank of Warrant Officer. For senior officers, it is tripled. The color also varies according to the subdivision of the gendarme.
  • The ornamental soutache(C) is identical to grade soutaches.
  • Interior is fully lined with a transparent plastic sheet. It has a leather sweat band for senior officers and NCOs and a synthetic sweat band for non-commissioned officers and junior NCOs.

Note that the ornaments of the kepi are of different colors depending on the membership:

  • color silver for departmental gendarmes
  • color or for mobile gendarmes
  • color scarlet-yellow for the Republican Guards
  • color Royal blue for the volunteer assistant gendarmes.

Le calot

The female staff of the national gendarmerie do not wear the kepi, but a calot Or other hat of the same type.

This headdress has a headband and a raised edge in dark blue fabric. The rigidity of the shell is obtained by a plastic carcass. This hairstyle features an inner lining like the kepi. On the front of the band is vertically embroidered a gold or silver grenade depending on the weapon subdivision.

The cap of the postilion of senior officers is adorned with a hungarian knot three-strand, gold or silver of 1.2 mm. That of junior officers and senior non-commissioned officers has a Hungarian knot with a single strand, gold or silver, 3 mm wide.

A removable strip in dark blue fabric intended to support the braid is placed on the outside of the base of the cap in order to receive the official braid and the gold or silver grade soutaches.

For senior officers, the soutache measures 2.5 mm in width, for junior officers, 3 mm in width, as for the soutache of sub-lieutenants, it measures 4 mm in width, just like that of majors, warrant officers, warrant officers and marshals of logis- heads.

For the gendarmes, the soutaches are replaced by yellow, scarlet or blue braids as for the caps of the gendarmes.