How Air Force Medals are Worn and Displayed

How Air Force Medals are Worn and Displayed

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Wear of Air Force Service Ribbons

Ribbons may be worn on service dress and blue shirt. Ribbons are normally worn in rows of three with the bottom bar centered and resting on the top edge of the pocket. Ribbons may be worn four-in-a-row with the left edge of the ribbons aligned with the left edge of the pocket to keep the lapel from covering ribbons. There is no space between rows of ribbons. Current regulations stipulate that members may choose which ribbons to wear, if any.

Wear of Full Size Air Force Medals

Normally worn three to a row, but may be overlapped up to five medals on a 2-3/4 inch holding bar. No medal should be overlapped more than 50% and the full sized medal nearest the lapel should be fully exposed. Six medals should be displayed in two rows, three over three. Regular size medals are worn on the service dress and ceremonial dress uniforms with the medal portion of the bottom row immediately above the top of the pocket button.

Wear of Air Force Mini Medals

Miniature medals are worn on the blue mess dress or on formal dress. The miniatures are centered between lapel and arm seam and midway between top shoulder seam and top button of jacket. If more than four miniatures, the wearer has the option of mounting up to seven by overlapping or going to a second bar. Seven is the maximum on one bar, however, many in the Air Force prefer only a maximum of four to a bar.

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There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Christopher at 10:02 am
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    As per AFI 36-2903, full-size medals are only authorized for the US Air Force Honor Guard. All other USAF personnel wear either ribbons or miniature medals.

    • Sean at 12:50 pm
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      AFI 26-2903

      para 11.4. Wear of Awards and Decorations by Retirees and Honorably Discharged
      Veterans. Retired and honorably discharged Air Force members may wear full -size or miniature
      medals on civilian suits on the appropriate occasions such as Memorial Day and Armed Forces
      Day. Female members may wear full-size or miniature medals on equivalent dress.

  2. Chuck at 7:29 pm
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    Can I get a reference for this? I’m trying to find it in the latest edition of 36-2903 and can’t find it. I’m not doubting it, but I need to be able to have it handy.

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