This is a proper tribute piece to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces

RAM’s penchant for rolling out special edition trucks has paved the way for the truck brand to introduce a new run of special edition models that pay tribute to the five branches of the United States military. The special edition trucks fall under the RAM 1500 Built To Serve Edition name. Each of the five armed services — Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines — will receive their own special edition treatment. It’s unclear which of the five will get rolled out first, but the specific launches will take place every three months, beginning next week when the truck brand hosts its own Veterans Day celebration on November 11.

2020 Ram 1500 Built to Serve Exterior Design

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On the surface, the RAM 1500 Built To Serve Edition will be offered in two different colors, specifically Gator Green and Black Diamond. The latter is what you see in the press photos provided by RAM. It’s a muted look, but it does fit in with the identity of the armed forces. There’s nothing outwardly flashy about the color, but it gets the job done in creating an exclusive look for the special edition RAM 1500. The Gator Green color isn’t flashy, either. It looks more like the Military Green color that we see in the uniforms of some of our soldiers. There’s more color to it, and as far as personal preferences go, this is the color I prefer if I am going to buy a RAM 1500 Built To Serve Edition.

2020 Ram 1500 Built to Serve Edition
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In addition to the exclusive colors, the special edition RAM 150 also comes with blacked-out elements, including

  • The grille
  • Front and rear bumpers
  • Headlight surrounds
  • Dual four-inch exhaust tips
More vanity touches come by way of the U.S. flag decals located on the truck’s quarter panels.

Likewise, Built To Serve badging is also included in several places outside, further emphasizing the truck’s special edition identity. Even the truck’s 20-inch aluminum wheels come with a package-specific shade of grey that looks good with either of the two exclusive body colors.

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Here’s where it gets interesting.

Each of the five branches of the armed services — Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines — will be honored with their own versions of the RAM 1500 Built To Serve Edition.

Ram hasn’t specified the extent of the branch-specific exclusivity that each version of the special edition truck will get, but we do know that each version will be offered in two different colors. Not counting the Gator Green and Black Diamond colors of the first version — I’m guessing this is for the Army — the other color combinations include Ceramic Gray and Patriot Blue, Anvil and Billet Silver, Tank and Flame Red, and Spitfire and Bright White.

2020 Ram 1500 Built to Serve Interior Upgrades

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The RAM 1500 Built To Serve Edition has a lot of exclusive features, none more noticeable than the velcro surfaces that are scattered throughout the truck’s cabin.

The idea behind the velcro surfaces is to have space for future owners to personalize the interior with their own patches

. The aforementioned seats also come with branch-specific contrast stitching:

  • Light Frost
  • Light Ambassador Blue
  • Light Diesel Gray
  • Core Green
  • Orange

A Molle strip panel will also be available, though it won’t be part of the first wave of releases of the special edition truck. Black Onyx Chrome interior trim and all-weather rubber slush mats complete the exclusive touches.

2020 Ram 1500 Built to Serve Edition
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The rest of the interior appears to be stock, though, once again, don’t be surprised if RAM adds more exclusive touches once it releases the five branch-specific special edition models in 2020. The good news is that even with these details, a lot of what makes the RAM 1500’s cabin impressive will still be there. That includes the comfortable seats, the spacious rear legroom, and the handsome and very well-equipped layout. This is one of the best things about the RAM 1500. The dashboard, while featuring a lot of buttons, is neatly laid out so there’s no confusion on their respective functions. RAM also offers a prime selection of materials, including

  • Fine leather
  • Wood
  • Metal trims
  • Various accents.
2020 Ram 1500 Built to Serve Edition
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You’ll have to buy the upper-spec versions of 1500 to have some of these materials.

The Ram 1500 is available with a 6-foot-4-inch bed or a 5-foot-7-inch bed depending on the cab style. Inside, you can store additional items if you fold the rear seats. Other compartments are optional, including the RamBins that are found underneath the rear-seat floor. The center console also comes with several storage areas, including an oversized bin that can hold something as big as a laptop computer.

A lot of these features will be available in the RAM 1500 Built To Serve Edition. They could come standard if you buy a high-spec trim or you can add them as options if you buy a low-spec version of the truck.

2020 Ram 1500 Built to Serve Drivetrain and Performance

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The RAM 1500 Built To Serve Edition is available on all body styles and can be had will all available powertrains. While most trims of 1500 are powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that produces 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque.

There's also the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 that's good for 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque output.

The same engine can be had with the eTorque mild-hybrid system that doesn’t add power but does improve fuel economy. 2020 Models are also available with a 3.0-liter diesel engine that cranks out an impressive 260 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque.

2020 Ram 1500 specifications
ENGINE 3.6-­LITER PENTASTAR V-­6 WITH eTORQUE 5.7-­LITER HEMI® V-­8 5.7-­LITER HEMI® V-­8 eTORQUE
Type and Description 60-­degree V-­type, liquid-­cooled 90-­degree V-­8, liquid-­cooled 90-­degree V-­8, liquid-­cooled
Displacement 220 cu. in. (3,604 cu. cm) 345 cu. in. (5,654 cu. cm) 345 cu. in. (5,654 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 3.78 x 3.27 (96.0 x 83.0) 3.92 x 3.58 (99.5 x 90.9) 3.92 x 3.58 (99.5 x 90.9)
Compression Ratio 11.3:1 10.5:1 10.5:1
Power 305 HP @ 6,400 RPM 395 HP @ 5,600 RPM 395 HP @ 5,600 RPM
Torque 269 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM 410 LB-FT @ 3,950 RPM 410 LB-FT @ 3,950 RPM
Max. Engine Speed 6,400 RPM (electronically limited) 5,800 RPM 5,800 RPM

Each RAM 1500 Built To Serve Edition comes with

  • All-terrain tires
  • Hill-descent control
  • Four skid plates
  • Tow hooks
  • Heavy-duty front, rear shock absorbers
  • Electronic-locking rear axle.

Stardard towing for the Ram 1500 is ranged between 1,210 pounds and 2,100 pounds. Maximum towing capacity depends on the model.

  • Tradesman: 12,750 lbs
  • Tradesman HFE: 6,730 lbs
  • Big Horn & Lone Stare: 11,610 lbs
  • Laramie: 11,610 lbs

Ram 1500 Built to Serve Production and Availability

2020 Ram 1500 Built to Serve Edition
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All told, RAM plans to build 9,000 units of the RAM 1500 Built To Serve Edition. Four of the five versions will have a volume of 1,000 units per color finish while the other — the Spitfire and Bright White — special edition pickup will be limited to just 500 units per color finish. The first of these five special edition models will debut at the “Stars and Strings” concert, a massive gig that celebrates our nation’s military heroes and their families at the Fox Theater in Detroit, Michigan on Wednesday, November 6, 2019. Once these models are out, expect to pay an extra $2,795 on top of the price of the pickup to get the special edition Built To Serve treatment.

Final Thoughts

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I’m always a fan of special edition vehicles that pay homage to the U.S. Armed Forces. I think it’s cool that we get to honor these brave men and women for their service to our country. RAM has been at the forefront of this movement, and it’s nice to see that the truck brand hasn’t lost touch of this part of its identity. The RAM 1500 Built To Serve Edition is a proper tribute to all five branches of our armed forces.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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