Civilian Wear Quick Guide – Medals & Ribbon Racks on Non Uniform Articles

Civilian Wear Quick Guide – Medals & Ribbon Racks on Non Uniform Articles

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b medals1 r1 c2 Civilian Wear Quick Guide   Medals & Ribbon Racks on Non Uniform ArticlesAlthough medal displaying was encouraged in Great Britain and other allied countries after WWII, the U.S. did not develop the tradition early on. As medals have become more available and the services have improved on issuing and presenting them, Americans are starting up their own tradition of displaying their awards after service. The Armed Forces are now one of the most respected and admired institutions in the U.S. Since World War II over 28 million Americans have served their country in the Armed Forces and their pride and their families pride of their service is reflected in the enormous respect of their fellow countrymen.

Beginning with Veterans Day 2006, the Secretary of Veteran Affairs urged Veterans to show their pride of service by wearing their medals on Veterans Day. He expressed the hope this display of military decorations, which he called the “Veterans Pride Initiative,” would become a traditional part of Veterans Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and other patriotic observances.

For Civilian Wear:

For more formal occasions, it is correct and encouraged by the Veterans Administration to wear miniature decorations and medals. For a black or white tie occasion, the rule is quite simple: if the lapel is wide enough you wear the miniatures on the left lapel. In the case of a shawl lapel on a tuxedo, the miniature medals are worn over the left breast pocket. The center of the holding bar of the bottom row of medals should be parallel to the ground immediately above the pocket. Do not wear a pocket-handkerchief. Miniature medals really do make a handsome statement of patriotic service at weddings and other social events. Miniature ribbons and medals can also be worn on a civilian suit at Veterans’ functions, memorial events, formal occasions of ceremony and social functions of a military nature.

ARMY:

Army Regulation 670-1, paragraph 30-6, says that former members of the Army (including active duty, reserves, or Army National Guard) may wear medals on “appropriate” civilian clothing on Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, and Armed Forces Day, as well as at “formal occasions of ceremony and social functions of a military nature.” “Appropriate” civilian clothes include clothes designed for Veteran and patriotic organizations, such as VFW or American Legion uniforms. You can wear either the full-size or miniature-size medals. You should place the medals and decorations in approximately the same location and in the same manner as for the Army uniform, so they look similar to medals worn on the Army uniform.

AIR FORCE:

Air Force Instruction 36-2903, paragraph 4-4 says that honorably discharged and retired Air Force members may wear full-size or miniature medals on civilian suits on appropriate occasions such as Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day. Female members may wear full-size or miniature medals on equivalent dress. As with the Army, medals should be placed in the approximate same location and in the manner they are planned on the Air Force uniform.

NAVY:

The Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 6, paragraph 61002; subparagraph 7 includes the requirements for wearing Navy decorations on civilian clothes. The regulation authorizes the wear of miniature medals and miniature breast insignia on civilian evening dress (white tie) or civilian dinner dress (black tie) in the same manner as for dinner dress jackets. For non-dress-up-affairs, you may wear miniature replicas of ribbons made in the form of lapel buttons(written before mini-ribbon technology), or ribbons made in rosette form, on the left lapel of civilian clothes. You may also wear miniature-distinguished marksmanship and pistol shot badges as a lapel pin or as part of a tie clasp on civilian clothing.

MARINE CORPS:

The Marine Corps Uniform Regulation, MCO P1020.34G, says that decorations, medals, appropriate ribbon bars, or lapel buttons may be worn on civilian clothes at the individual’s discretion. Individuals should ensure that the occasion and the manner of wearing will not reflect discredit on the award. Miniature medals may be worn with civilian evening dress. For non-evening dress, miniature replicas of ribbons made in the form of enameled lapel buttons(written before mini-ribbon technology), or ribbons made in rosette form, may be worn on the left lapel of civilian clothes.

For more information on other uses like lapel pins and rosettes, check back with us later as we continue our work on the Medals of America Civilian Wear Guide for Military Ribbons and Medals.

Civilian Wear Quick Guide - Medals & Ribbon Racks on Non Uniform Articles, 10.0 out of 10 based on 8 ratings
There are 13 comments for this article
  1. h. young at 1:26 am
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    i was at bragg, going to purchase miniature medals for wear when i was aproached by an E7 and an E6 regular army personell. i was ridiculed and mocked by them saying, anyone can just come in here and purchase whatever they like. i was imbarrased by their harassing remarks and left post completly. i was wearing 82nd insig. and 505PIR insig on my cap. i really am tired of being harrassed by civilian population but now even by military personnel from my old unit in the nam. i wish sometimes that it could all be over for meme..iwouthank GOD medals of america is here so i can shop for medals in peace.

    • S. Sanchez at 8:32 am
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      Hang in there Mr. Young. Do what I do, carry your DD214 with you and have your VA ID with you. If they want to challenge and don't believe afterwords that is their problem. I personally thank you for your service, brother.
      Army, 86-90

  2. Michael T. Rizor at 2:34 pm
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    Just shows their ignorance, Long as you know you are right screw these people USNMCB472-75

  3. Mark T. at 8:40 am
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    One would think that an E6 and E7 would know better, not make assumptions and would be more respectful.

  4. WL Willis at 9:10 am
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    Nice, I just retired Coast Guard. Do you know if the same regulations apply as the Navy?
    We always seem to be left out, one of the major reasons I don't purchase from you anymore.

  5. Norman E. Hecimovich at 7:54 pm
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    I have order medals, ribbons, miniature medal from Medals of America. Plus I have ordered and given the fellow Veterans the Address. This helps all Veterans to Wear the correct medal and in the correct position and order. Thank you for doing such an excellent service to Veterans. NEH

  6. Bob Moss at 10:59 am
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    Sounds like an isolated incident to me. Hard to believe that active duty NCO's would, without any knowledge or reason, harass a former military person. Now on the subject of wearing ribbons or other decorations on civilian clothes: It just doesn't seem to be the American way. Many of the older Europeans who served in previous conflicts do it as a long standing custom, but Americans do not. George Washington was the last American President to appear in uniform in front of his troops. It just isn't our way of doing things. I understand the VFW and American Legion members who dress in uniform for ceremonies, etc and believe it is completely justified. However, if a person earned them while in the service of our country and he or she wants to wear them, you have my support.

  7. mrsnunetobe at 3:20 am
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    I HAVE NOT SERVICED OUR COUNTRY, my fiancé has, and so have his future groomsmen, usher and best man. (USAF) Are these gentlemen allowed to wear their ribbons/metals on regular wedding tuxedos….I hope I don't sound ignorant, but I'd like to get all the answers before approaching all the good service men in my future wedding, before requesting them to purchase anything from medalsofamerica.com (thank you for all the information) in advance. :)

  8. Mitch Stewart at 11:15 am
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    I'm a retired Master Sergeant and American Legion member. Can you wear regular ribbons instead of medals on civilian dress? such as suit jacket, or white shirt, etc. Honoray Awards i.e. Order of Military Medical Merit

  9. Ralph at 7:16 pm
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    I am a Vietnam veteran and I would like to know if I can wear my ribbons of medals I have earned on a ballcap, similar to ones that are available from Military.com and others.

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