Insigna de Ofițer Brevetat de Stat Major
Military High School Graduation Badge
The badge was instituted in 1931 and was issued to officers upon graduation from the Military High School (Şcoala Superioară de Război). The institution itself was founded much earlier, nearly half a century before, on August 08, 1889 according to a Royal Decree No. 2073/1889.
Having completed full course of training each graduate was issued with a certificate or a “license” (Brevet) of a General Staff officer that theoretically allowed him henceforth to serve in that structure. Nevertheless Fortune smiled on few only and the vast majority of officers continued service with various units of a Romanian Army.
The badge had a shape of a lesser coat of arms of the Kingdom of Romania, i.e. golden eagle (or Aquila) holding cross in a beak as well as sword and mace in its claws. A shield representing historical regions of Romania with a superimposed coat of arms of the reigning Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen family is placed on a chest of an eagle.
Aquila itself was framed by a wreath made of laurel (left side) and oak (right side) leaves and tied at its base by a ribbon tie. An eagle is topped by a royal crown.
Officers graduated with honors degree were decorated with a special version of the badge that was almost gilt except central escutcheon and inner details of a crown that remained red.
The badge measured 45-48x70-
As the Military High School Graduation Badge was manufactured in three countries – Romania itself, Czechoslovakia and Austrian Republic – it led to numerous varieties of the decoration. Therefore period badges differ in size as mentioned above; metal used for production (silver, bronze); design of various elements (e.g. location of a royal crown); type of reverse pin (hollow, wide and flat); presence or absence of hallmarks and serial numbers, etc.
The badge was worn attached by a pin and catching hook either on the right breast pocket of a tunic or above it. Sometimes it was attached extremely high nearly next to the shoulder strap. Nevertheless some officers preferred to wear the badge on the left side of tunic.
Military High School Graduation Badge was issued since 1931 until the abolishment of the monarchy on December 30, 1947.
Exact number of awards remains unknown to the author but during 1889-1939, i.e. since the foundation of the School in 1889 and until the WWII broke out 1,592 officers graduated from that institution including five foreigners, from Poland and Czechoslovakia.