Military Wiki
Ramshead Device
Ramshead Device(2).jpg
Awarded by United States Army
Type Badge
Awarded for Completion of the Mountain Warfare School
Status Currently awarded
Last awarded On going
Next (higher) (Group 3 badges)
Astronaut, EOD, Aviator, Flight Surgeon
Equivalent (Group 4 badges)
Pathfinder, Parachutist, Air Assault, Military Freefall Parachutist
Next (lower) (Group 5 badges)
Diving, Driver and Mechanic, Rigger, Weapons

U.S. Army Mountain Warfare School, Winter Ascend Training

The Ram's Head Device or Military Mountaineer Badge is a military special skill badge of the U.S. Army National Guard. The Ram's Head Device is awarded to any soldier after completion of the U.S. Army Mountain Warfare School, based at the Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vermont. The badge is authorized for wear on the uniform of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont National Guard soldiers --these states have units that are aligned with the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain)-- but is widely worn unofficially by other graduates of the Mountain Warfare School.[1][2][3]


The Ram’s Head Device, is derived from the 85th Infantry Regimental Crest which is topped by a ram’s head symbolizing a unit skilled in mountain activity. The 85th was one of three regiments comprising the 10th Light Division (Alpine) when it was activated in July, 1943. In the 1950s, the United States Army Mountain and Cold Weather Training Command at Fort Carson and Camp Hale, Colorado adopted the Ram’s Head Device as the badge worn by their cadre.[4]

In 1983, the Vermont Army National Guard Mountain Warfare School was established in Jericho, Vermont. The Ram’s Head Device was adopted as the Military Mountaineer Badge denoting successful completion of the Basic Military Mountaineer Course and awarding of the Skill Qualification Identifier – E "Military Mountaineer." In 2003 the Vermont Army Mountain Warfare School became the United States Army Mountain Warfare School.[4]

Wear of the Ram's Head Device

AR 670-1 paragraph 29-6 j discusses National Guard awards generally:[2]

State awards for ARNG soldiers. Army National Guard personnel are authorized to wear State awards under applicable State laws or regulations when assigned to the ARNG under the command and control of the Governor or Adjutant General, under the provisions of title 32, United States Code. The term “State” includes the 50 states, U.S. territories (which include Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. The following personnel statuses are included in this authorization: Active Guard Reserve (AGR); active duty for training (ADT), active duty for special work (ADSW); full-time National Guard duty (FTNGD) for special work or training, annual training; and inactive duty training (drill status), including periods when personnel may be attached to the active component or reserve of any service, whether paid or unpaid. Personnel will wear such awards in the State order of precedence, after Federal and foreign awards. Soldiers on active Federal Service, under the provisions of title 10, United States Code, are authorized to accept but not wear State or Territory awards.

Excerpt from the State of Vermont Adjutant General's Office Permanent Order 121-01 (1 May 2006):[1]

(a) The award will be authorized and issued by the Commander, Army Mountain Warfare School upon verification of eligibility. Eligibility criteria are successful completion of both the Summer and Winter Army Mountain Warfare School courses. Retroactive awards of the Ram's Head Device are authorized. This includes personnel who have retired and/or have been discharged under honorable conditions.
(b) Wear of the Ram's Head Device
(1) The Ram's Head Device will fall into the category of special skill badges (Group 4 as noted in paragraph 29-17a (4), AR 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia), and will not count against the total number of Group Four Badges. There is no precedence for special skill badges within groups; for example, personnel who are authorized to wear both the Parachutist Badge and the Ram's Head Device may determine the order of wear. Wear of the pin-on Ram's Head is covered in VT PAM 672-5, State of Vermont and Federal Awards, Decorations and Honors.
(2) The pin-on subdued Ram's Head Device is approved for wear with the ACU/BDU only.
(3) The Non-subdued Ram's Head Device is approved for wear with BDU's, Class A/B, and Dress Blues only.
(4) The pin-on Stabrite Ram's Head Device is approved for wear with the Class A/B and Dress Blues only.
(c) The Vermont National Guard Ram's Head Device has been established for wear by The Adjutant General of Vermont. Soldiers leaving the State of Vermont may be required to remove the Ram's Head Device for attendance at Department of the Army or other Schools.

Note: It is believed that the requirement to complete both the Summer and Winter phases of the Army Mountain Warfare School in order to earn the Ram’s Head Device may have changed. Some current and/or former Soldiers say that the school no longer requires the completion of both phases in order to graduate from the course. This would allow a special skill badge, such as the Ram's Head Device, to be awarded to graduates after only completing either the Summer or Winter training session.[5]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Vermont Permanent Order 121-01 posted on, Community Discussions page on 6 February 2009, last accessed 24 Nov 11
  2. 2.0 2.1 U.S. Army Regulation 670–1, Uniforms and Insignia, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, dated 3 Feb 05, last accessed 20 Nov 11
  3. U.S. Army Mountain Warfare School Homepage, U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, Infantry, last updated 16 Dec 11, last accessed 8 Jun 12
  4. 4.0 4.1 The History of the Ram's Read Device, U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, Infantry, Army Mountain Warfare School website, dated 17 Nov 11, last accessed 8 Jun 12
  5. blog postings by "8027398" & "Pumpkin Shrapnel", Forums, Army Discussions, Army Infantry, Ram's Head Device, posted 31 March 2009 & 3 April 2009

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