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Who Are the White Hats in the Military? (Answered)

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

who are the white hats in the military

When you hear “white hats,” you may think of hackers, but in the military context, they have diverse meanings.

For instance, it can refer to the classy-stylish caps worn by the soldiers, specifically, the navy sailors known as Dixie Cup Hats.

It can also describe individuals who support a former president. And yes, it’s even connected to computer security specialists known as ethical hackers.

Let’s continue discovering who are the white hats in the military and know their relevance in various contexts.

Different Meanings of White Hats in the Military Context


Let’s take a closer look at different contexts that involve a white hat.

We’ll kick off by examining the soldiers’ recognizable headgear, commonly known as the Dixie Cup hat, and its association with the concept of white hats.

1. Dixie cup hat as white hat:



It is a hat crafted from pristine white canvas, showcasing a tall vertical brim. This remarkable headpiece features a rounded crown and a visor meticulously stitched from soft cotton twill fabric.

The navy white hat has been a vital part of sailors’ and the navy’s uniform for over a century. This charming headgear, nicknamed the “Dixie cup,” earned its name thanks to its uncanny resemblance to a drinking cup.

The hat’s initial purpose was to offer protection from the shade of the burning sun during hot weather. The white hat keeps sailors comfortable under the scorching sun as it is meticulously tailored and crafted.

Enlisted men were required to wear this white hat until they attained the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Not only did sailors from Venezuela, the Philippines, Bolivia, and the United States embrace this headgear, but the Polish Navy also adopted it before 1939.

Eventually, its use spread across Europe. Furthermore, in 2016, the Navy authorized female enlisted Sailors to wear the Dixie Cups.

2. Political supporters as white hat:



White hats in government openly oppose the black hats, who support the deep state team. This political battle, supported by Trump, has gained strength during the Covid Pandemic Era.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a website that advocates against hate, defines the White Hats group as comprising military officials and government personnel who support QAnon and Donald Trump.

Roles And Responsibilities:

The role of these white hats, as supporters of the QAnon Conspiracy Theory and Trump, is to assist in eliminating those who bring despair to their country, such as child trafficking and other evil acts.

With a growing list of criminals in the US, their goal is to carry out a mass arrest, enabling the military to punish the guilty with death. They anticipate that, after these actions, harmony and peace will prevail throughout the country.

However, while their objective is to eliminate individuals with malicious intentions, many people feel uncomfortable with their methods and perceive the portrayal of Trump as a representation of our savior as problematic, unsettling, and can create more violence.

2. Computer security specialist as white hat:



The white hat military meaning defines the Military cybersecurity experts. These experts are liable for fortifying, defending, and safeguarding data, networks, and similar information systems by implementing essential safety precautions.

Roles And Responsibilities:

These Computer Security Specialists play the role of white hat hackers and are responsible for defending military systems and the nation against digital assaults from enemy forces.

Their primary focus is regulating, evaluating, identifying, and swiftly reacting to unlawful activities in the global internet sphere.

These individuals, referred to as black hat hackers, will go to great lengths to acquire sensitive information not intended for public access, thereby putting people at risk.

With the increasing population in each country, nations have also intensified their efforts, requiring these soldiers to maintain a constant cyber mindset.

Given this, the primary mission of the military’s white hats is to ensure the safety and security of all citizens.

The military team of our country plays a vital role by providing the nation with consistent national signal intelligence. The military can proactively execute offensive actions against cyber threats and hackers.

Due to the demanding roles and responsibilities of the military’s white hats, they undergo rigorous schooling.

In addition to acquiring knowledge and degrees in information technology or related fields, soldiers in this branch must undergo training that covers the following scope.

  • Evaluation and assessment of information
  • Carrying out protective cyberspace operations
  • Carrying out obnoxious cyberspace operations
  • Developing technological goods and time-sensitive reports
  • Network setup and configuration
  • Cyberspace security initiatives
  • Strategies of refined interaction
  • Creating and updating analytical and operational working aids and databases
  • Handling and coordination of projects and contracts
  • Using ADP (automated data processing) machinery
  • Taking care of, maintaining, and employing networking software tools/equipment
  • Team leader management
  • Network strategy and establishment of systems for Department of Defense information

Now that we understand the training that white hat personnel must undergo, it is significant to acknowledge the tasks and duties of soldiers in these groups.

Their core duty is to secure the Army’s crucial and complicated weapons systems, which consist of aviation systems,  satellites, and navigation against cyber attacks domestically or internationally.

Regularly updating and enhancing operational planning integration across all branches is ultimately significant.

Additionally, the roles and responsibilities of these white hats in the military encompass the following tasks to mitigate malicious threats:

  • Development, testing, analysis, and implementation of safety programs
  • Assessment and control of system vulnerabilities
  • Response to security attacks, threats, and other comparable occurrences
  • Strategy development for threat prevention
  • Generating Detailed Presentations for administrators and executive

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is The Connection of the Pentagon to White Hats?

In 2016, the US Department of Defense collaborated with HackerOne to establish a program that requires Pentagon white hats expertise.

Its purpose was to anticipate the intentions of black hats aiming to exploit the government’s system and proactively confront those challenges.

By inviting white hats to hack the Pentagon, they sought to identify areas for improvement and enhance the system’s overall security.

Through this initiative, white hat hackers have played a significant role in contributing to a more secure system that instills a sense of safety in the nation.

Remarkably, it was a successful program, leading to plans for a third rendition.

Who Are The Black Hats?

These individuals or groups, operating outside the boundaries of legality, deliberately violate ethical standards and laws.

They strive to cause harm to individuals, businesses, establishments, the government, or the military to obtain valuable information that they can use for threatening purposes or sell to others.

These black hats earn their reputation as perpetrators driven by a desire for unlawful financial gain or vengeance.


In summary, this article provides insights into who are the white hats in the military.

It explores the facets of white hat and its diverse contexts. The article also highlights rigorous training undertaken by soldiers to ensure the safeguarding of the Department of Defense’s information (DoD). It reveals the military’s employment of white hat hackers to enhance cybersecurity measures and understand the system’s challenges.

Lastly, we present a concise overview of black hats involved in unlawful activities driven by the pursuit of financial gain or vengeance.

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