How to Properly Mount a Military Uniform in a Shadow Box

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Displaying a military uniform holds a sense of honor and achievement. Displaying the uniform entails displaying all the ribbons, badges, medals and rank reached by the service member. Taking the time to properly display the uniform will keep it in pristine condition for years to come. You can also include other items in the shadowbox such as a photo, a burial flag or dog tags. Try to keep it organized and neat.

Things You'll Need

  • Shadowbox
  • Branch insignia
  • Rust-resistant pins
  • Service uniform jacket
  • Ribbons
  • Medals
  • Badges
  • Rank pin
  • Burial flag (if applicable)
  • Purchase a shadowbox frame big enough to house the service member's jacket and other included ornaments. The felt or velvet lining should match the service member's branch of military, but it is not required. The color for the Army is black; the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard are blue; and the Marine Corps is red. If you have a burial flag you would like to include in this case, there are shadowboxes that have a spot for the flag. You can also purchase a flag box separately to attach to the main shadowbox.

  • Display the branch insignia at the top of the shadowbox in the center.

  • Attach the uniform jacket--which should be neatly pressed--to the lining with rust-resistant pins. You will need to use a large amount of pins to hold the weight of the jacket.

  • Lay out the ribbons, badges, medals and rank pins on the uniform as if the service member were wearing it. There are strict guidelines dictating how the uniform should be laid out. You can also perform this step before attaching the jacket to the box. Each branch will have a different set of guidelines to put together the uniform jacket.

  • Mount the dog tags to the liner over the shoulder of the uniform jacket using the rust-resistant pins.

  • Order a plate to mount at the bottom of the shadowbox to include the service member's name, branch, and final rank.

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