Navy medals are symbols of awards given to Navy officers and enlisted sailors. They consist of a metal coin hanging from a ribbon and are worn on a variety of dress uniforms. There are regular-size medals as well as miniature medals. Regular and miniature medals are worn in conjunction with ribbons and sometimes stand alone on a uniform. Rules for how and when medals are worn are found in chapter five of the U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic or metal mounting rack
Purchase the medals, for which you qualify, from your nearest Navy Exchange. Determine how many medals you have total and buy the corresponding mounting bar. For instance, three medals will need a triple mounting bar.
Slide the medals onto the bar in order of precedence, from the Medal of Honor to the Pistol Markmanship Medal, from left to right. The most prestigious medal should appear on the top left while the medal of lowest precedence should be on the bottom right. Look at the medals addendum in the Uniform Regulations to determine the specific order of all the medals (see References).
If a device is necessary, pin it onto the corresponding medal. For instance, if you have two air medals, a star is placed on the top portion of the medal, which is the part that was inserted into the bar. Push the device onto the medal after it is on the bar. Turn the bar over and spread the prongs of the device to secure it.
Pin the bar onto the left chest of the uniform jacket. The lowest row of medals should be in line with the lowest row of ribbons.
Tips & Warnings
- If you wish to overlap each medal, the ribbon will need to be taken off of the medal attachment with which it comes. This style is best accomplished by a professional medal mounter.
- Medals are only to be worn by service members on the prescribed uniform. Miniature medals and lapel versions of some of the medals are available for service members to wear with civilian clothes. However, civilians should never wear a ribbon nor medal not awarded to them.
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