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  1. #1
    Join Date
    23rd August 09
    Springfield, Missouri

    Proper wearing of Military Medals

    I have my opinion on this matter but I would like to see yours. In a recent thread about the chap asking opinions about his dress at the Navy Ball I noticed some comments on his medals.

    Many US military guys as well as Scottie Thompson(So You Are Going to Wear the Kilt) suggest the proper place to wear medals is stacked and over the breast pocket of the evening jacket(Argyle, PC etc for Scottish Dress). I think they give the reason that a evening jacket is not a uniform. However, in the UK I have noticed the Royals as well as others wearing their medals in the more striking manner on their lapel in a straight line on their standard civilliian dinner jackets and tailcoats (Princes Charles and Philip as well as Sir Winston Churchill's go well off the lapel).

    I did serve in both the US Army and US Navy for a time and earned a modest amount of medals. So I am wondering if one way is the US style and one way the UK style and if so does it really matter unless you are still under the UCMJ(Uniform Code of Military Justice) and even then.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    22nd January 07
    Morganton, North Carolina
    I'm not sure about the other branches of service, but the Marine Corps uniform regulations describe the proper wearing of miniature medals on formal civilian attire. Obviously, once you out of the service you are not subject to enforcement of these regulations, but I abide by them because I think it is the right thing to do. I see no mention in the regs of wearing full-size medals on civilian attire and I do not wear my full-size medals. I believe this is a Commonwealth practice.

    See link below for full uniform regs, I have pasted the applicable sections.



    5. Wear on Civilian Evening Clothes

    a. Males. Miniature medals may be worn on the left lapel of the civilian evening coat on ceremonial occasions, but only when strictly appropriate to the occasion. On the full dress and tuxedo coats, miniatures will be worn centered on the wearer's left lapel, placed horizontally and one inch below the end of the collar gorge. The top edge of the holding bar will completely cover the buttonhole. If current styles preclude wearing on the lapel, miniatures will be placed in the same relative position as if there was a lapel.

    b. Females. Miniature medals may be worn on civilian evening attire on ceremonial occasions, but only when strictly appropriate to the occasion. Miniatures will be worn in approximately the same position where they would be worn on the uniform. If current styles preclude the wearing of miniatures in a place approximating the position where they would be worn on the uniform, miniatures will not be worn.

    c. If a second row of miniatures is worn, it will be placed 1 inch below the first row. In no case will more than two rows of miniatures be worn on civilian attire.

    It would be worth checking the Army and Navy regs to see if they are as explicit.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    5th August 08
    Lancashire, England
    Post withdrawn by English Bloke who has no desire to rake the ashes of previous heated discussions... The original thread can be found here. I didn't contribute to it at the time. I now recall why!
    Last edited by English Bloke; 23rd October 09 at 05:15 PM.
    "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts".
    Daniel Patrick Moynihan (March 16, 1927 March 26, 2003)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    19th May 08
    San Diego
    If I am not mistaken we just had a very lengthy and somewhat heated discussion of this matter in the not too distant past. I doubt we need to resurrect this very sticky subject.
    If you can avoid it never get into a fair fight.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    17th December 07
    Staunton, Va

    Mr. Thompson was wrong.

    Generally speaking, in the United States, the wearing of medals with civilian attire follows the same guidelines as those used in the United Kingdom. The definitive guide to the wearing of medals with civilian attire was written by Stephen Connelly, in 1986, when he was with Spink & Sons, Ltd. Mr. Connelly is now a director of Cleve & Co. Ltd, the premier supplier of orders, medals, and decorations in the United Kingdom.

    Referring to both white tie and black tie occasions in civilian attire, Mr. Connelly has this to say:

    "Miniature badges of all Orders, Decorations, and Medals are worn from a medal bar on the left lapel."

    This is the way that miniature medals are worn with Highland attire, as well as with a tuxedo or white tie and tails. It doesn't matter if you are in Dublin, Ireland, or Detroit, Michigan, that's how it's done-- it's called "correct form".

    Now, for those of you about to wrap yourself in red, white and blue bunting and shout "I don't care, I'm and American and I'll do what I please," let me point out two things:

    1) The US military practice of wearing medals was adopted by the United States, virtually intact, from the British at the turn of the 20th century.

    2) Of course, you may do as you wish but, by those who know better, you will be regarded as ignorant of "correct form".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    23rd August 09
    Springfield, Missouri
    Thanks MacMillan for the PM, it was very helpful.

    To the rest of the lads, I am still a bit of a newbie around here and must have missed all the excitment in the heated discussion that went on earlier.

    Cheers for now

Closed Thread

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