MRA Tartan

tartanTartanThe MRA Tartan design was completed in July 2004 for the Honor Guard Unit, and was expanded to be available to all MRA members. It is the first and only official tartan of the Mountain Rescue Association ( The MRA Honor Guard holds the copyright under the guardianship of the Commander, and humbly invites any founding organization or mountain rescue organization to use the tartan.

tartan-2 The Mountain Rescue Association traces its roots to the 1930s and its organizational life was given directly or indirectly by the following organizations and its members: the American Alpine Club; The Mountaineers (Seattle, Washington); the National Ski Patrol (U.S.); the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division; the National Park Service (U.S.); the Mountain Rescue Council (Seattle); the Bavarian Mountain Rescue Service and the International Commission for Alpine Rescue. The Scottish and Irish Mountain Rescue Services and their members heavily influenced the early formation and development of the MRA.

The tartan is recorded with the Scottish Tartans Authority ( as the “Mountain Rescue Association Tartan” ITI# 006311. It is the only known listed or recorded search and rescue or mountain rescue related tartan in the world. It is woven by Fraser and Kirkbright in 14 oz Scottish wool.

The tartan was designed in the primary colors of the MRA and 10th Mountain Division; White and Royal Blue – representing the alpine environment and the sky – and the colors of the MRA Honor Guard uniform, Black, Grey, Royal Blue and White – representing the rock climber-mountaineer’s environment or rock, snow and ice.

The design team was;

  1. Tim Kovacs, MRA Tartan Project Manager. MRA President, 1998-2000; Commander & Co-Founder of the Honor Guard; member of the MRA unit, Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association/ Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Mountain Rescue. Critical design and color consultation was provided by the keen design eye of Caitlin Kovacs, Tim’s daughter.
  2. Dave Moore (Clan Campbell), MRA President, 1970-1972; Co-Founder of the Honor Guard; 10th Mountain Division, C87; Alpine Rescue Team, Colorado.
  3. Neal Jeffers (Clan Gunn), Founding member of the Honor Guard; Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association/ Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Mountain Rescue, AZ, propelled the idea of an MRA tartan into a real committee.
  4. Generous and critical assistance from Tartan Scholar Dr. Phil Smith who donated his knowledge, his time and his computer-based tartan design program in honor of his father, Phil Smith, Sr., one of the first National Park Service Search and Rescue Rangers in the United States, and a now retired ranger from Grand Teton National Park.

tartan-3MRA members can order a kilt in any length from 5 yards to “the whole 9 yards”, as well as other men’s and women’s tartan items such as;

  • Straight (4 in hand) Tie
  • 12′ x 12′ swatch for framing, etc.
  • Scarf
  • Sash
  • Kilted Skirt
  • Vest
  • Full and Fly Plaids
  • Throw Blanket
  • Bow Tie, Cummerbund, Trousers

Contact Tim at for a current price list.

Honor Guard Kilt Uniform Specifications

Honor Guard members wearing the tartan will be approved by the Event Commander.

Event commander will determine which of these configurations will be the uniform of the day;

Full Dress “A”:

  • MRA Kilt
  • Beret
  • Black Prince Charlie Jacket
  • Plaid
  • Tux shirt
  • Black cummerbund & bow tie
  • Grey Fur Sporran
  • Off White Hose with Black flashes
  • Black Brogues

Dress “A”:
Same as above but with white broadcloth shirt and black or tartan tie. No cummerbund.

Standard Dress and Parade “B”:

  • Same Beret, belt, kilt, pin
  • Standard Grey Honor Guard uniform Shirt
  • White ascot or black tie
  • Black Leather Sporran
  • Standard HG Grey Knickers hose
  • Option: Black V Neck commando sweater with Patches on left or both shoulder(s)

Casual “C”:

  • Black Honor Guard Polo Shirt
  • Black Leather Sporran
  • Grey Knickers Hose

Pipes and Drums
Minimum of Standard “B”, plus the Beret or Black Glengarry
Sporran: White Military with dual black tassels or Grey Fur or Black Leather.