by Jim Traner
When I first started attending meetings, I had a lot of questions, one of which was the significance of the White Hat that a few of the members wore.
Every year Department selects Commanders and Quartermasters that have met certain criteria and gives them a White Hat as an award. Only a handful are given each year so it is a significant achievement; however, as far as the Commander goes, it is a Post award as much as an individual award. Without a lot of people doing their jobs correctly the Commander would never get a White Hat.
The Quartermasters, on the other hand, really earn their hat based on their individual performance. The Quartermaster is the bookkeeper of the Post and is audited by the Trustees every month. In addition, there are a variety of reports they must submit throughout the year, and the VFW keeps the QM very busy.
Along with different colored covers, there are different colored braids on those covers. Silver means the wearer holds a National position, Red is for Department officers, i.e. Washington state, Green for District Officers, and Gold is for the general membership where the real work of VFW is done.
From an article first appearing in the June 2012 issue of the Post newsletter.