How to wear medals

How to Choose Military Medals?

When it comes to selecting military medals, it's essential to understand that there are various types available, each serving a unique purpose. These medals are not just pieces of metal or enamel; they hold significant value and represent the bravery and dedication of our soldiers. Here, we will explore the three main types of military medals: full size military medals, enamel lapel pins, and miniature military medals. We'll also discuss the concept of custom medals, which can add a personalized touch to this honorable tradition.


  1. Full Size Military Medals

Full size military medals are the most traditional and formal of the three types. They are worn on special occasions, such as military parades, ceremonies, or official gatherings. These medals are designed to be displayed proudly on a soldier's uniform, often accompanied by their military dress attire. They represent a soldier's significant achievements and contributions to their country.


Choosing a full size military medal involves considering the soldier's accomplishments, such as acts of valor, service duration, or specific campaigns. It's essential to ensure that the medal selected accurately reflects the soldier's achievements and honors their dedication.


  1. Enamel Lapel Pins

Enamel lapel pins are a unique and highly symbolic way to represent military medals. These pins are often worn on civilian clothing, such as suits or business attire. They carry immense significance, as they symbolize the highest honors and recognition a soldier can receive. Enamel lapel pins are crafted with precision, featuring intricate designs and vibrant colors.


The versatility of enamel lapel pins makes them an excellent choice for various occasions. You can proudly display your support for a soldier's achievements by wearing these pins on your clothing or accessories. Custom medals in the form of enamel lapel pins offer a personalized touch to this tradition, allowing you to design a pin that reflects your sentiment and support for a specific soldier.


  1. Miniature Military Medals

For less formal military-themed events, such as evening dress parties or gatherings, miniature military medals are the perfect choice. These smaller versions of full size military medals create a sleek and less cluttered appearance. They allow soldiers to proudly display their achievements in a more subtle manner, suitable for more casual settings.


Miniature military medals are ideal for events where a complete uniform might be too formal or impractical. They offer a way to honor and celebrate a soldier's accomplishments without overwhelming the attire. Like full size medals, miniature military medals can also be customized to reflect the soldier's unique achievements and service history.


Custom Medals: Adding a Personal Touch

Custom medals have gained popularity as a way to add a personal touch to military medals. These unique medals can be tailored to specific preferences, ensuring that they accurately represent a soldier's accomplishments and the sentiment of the giver. Custom medals can be designed with special engravings, personalized messages, and even unique shapes and materials, making them a cherished keepsake.


How to Wear Military Awards Medals?

When it comes to wearing military awards medals, it's not just about displaying your achievements; it's a matter of pride, respect, and tradition. Properly wearing your medals is a way to honor the sacrifices and dedication that come with serving your country. Here, we'll walk you through the steps to ensure you wear your military awards medals with the respect they deserve.


  1. Placement Matters:

Military awards medals are typically worn on the left side of a formal jacket or coat, like a left chest pocket. This placement signifies the importance of these honors and the sacrifices made to earn them.


  1. Keep it Level:

Ensure that the holding bar is positioned in such a way that it's parallel to the ground. This helps maintain a neat and respectful appearance.


  1. Order of Significance:

The order in which you wear your medals is vital. The most senior medal should be placed furthest to the right, near your left shoulder. This reflects the highest level of recognition you've achieved. As you move from right to left, the medals should decrease in seniority, with the least senior medal closest to the left shoulder.


  1. Old vs. New:

If you have both older and newer military medals, place the older ones closest to the shoulder. This honors the history and tradition of your service.


  1. A Single Row:

Remember, you should wear military medals in a single row, with no overlapping. This ensures that each medal is visible and distinguishable.


  1. No Handkerchiefs:

When wearing your military medals, avoid wearing a handkerchief in the same pocket. This can detract from the significance of the medals and may appear disrespectful.


  1. Personal Achievements Only:

While it's an honor to wear your own award medals, it's essential to remember not to wear someone else's. Military medals hold a personal and unique significance, and wearing someone else's medals would not be appropriate.


  1. Nonofficial Awards:

If you have nonofficial or commemorative awards, these should be worn on the right side. This separates them from your official military awards and recognizes them as distinct from your service achievements.


  1. Custom Medals and Badges:

When it comes to custom medals, the guidelines remain the same. There is no strict limit on the number of custom medals you can wear, as long as they do not overlap. Typically, it's recommended not to wear more than five medals in total, custom or official. This ensures that each medal can be seen and appreciated for its unique significance.


When Do You Wear Military Medals?

Are you a retiree, veteran, or active service member wondering when it's appropriate to don your military medals on your civilian attire? We're here to provide you with some guidelines on when it's fitting to showcase your hard-earned honors. Custom medals and badges hold a special place in the hearts of those who have served their country, so knowing when and where to wear them is crucial.


  1. Commendation Conferences, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day

One of the most cherished occasions for displaying your military medals is during commendation conferences, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day events. These are moments when the nation comes together to honor those who have served and continue to serve. Wearing your medals on your military uniform during these events is a heartfelt way to show your pride in your service and your appreciation for your fellow service members.


  1. Parades, Exhibitions, and Funerals

Parades, exhibitions, and funerals are also suitable occasions for wearing your military medals. Parades often feature military units, and your presence, adorned with your medals, can serve as an inspiration to others. Exhibitions related to military history and culture provide a wonderful opportunity to showcase your achievements. Funerals, while solemn events, are occasions where your medals can pay tribute to a fallen comrade or loved one.


  1. Special Occasions and Custom Medals

In some countries, wearing military medals on special occasions, such as weddings, is considered an honor. The custom medals and badges often hold deep personal meaning for the wearer and can symbolize their commitment to service. However, it's important to note that when wearing medals at a wedding, it's customary to wear military attire. This not only demonstrates respect for the occasion but also highlights the significance of the medals themselves.


  1. Avoid Casual Wear

While the pride in your service is commendable, it's essential to avoid wearing your military medals casually in your daily clothing. Medals are not fashion accessories or casual ornaments, but rather symbols of your dedication, sacrifice, and commitment to your country. Wearing them inappropriately can diminish their value and the respect they deserve.


What are the rules for wearing medals?

Are you the proud recipient of military honors and custom medals? If so, you should be well-versed in the rules and guidelines for wearing these prestigious decorations. Whether you're a military veteran, a family member honoring a loved one's service, or just someone with a keen interest in the topic, understanding the proper way to display medals is essential. Next, we'll delve into the rules and traditions associated with wearing medals, including custom medals and badges, and help you ensure your display is both respectful and correct.


Understanding the Correct Placement

When it comes to wearing your own medals, it's crucial to ensure they are mounted in the correct order of wear. The order of wear varies by country and, sometimes, even by specific service branches. For the United States, the most common order for military medals is as follows:

  1. The Medal of Honor: If you're a recipient of the Medal of Honor, this is always worn first, closest to the heart.


  1. Service Decorations: These include awards like the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star. They should be worn after the Medal of Honor.


  1. Campaign and Service Medals: These are medals awarded for participation in specific campaigns or extended service. They come next in line.


  1. Good Conduct Medals: These medals recognize exemplary behavior and discipline, and they are typically worn after campaign and service medals.


  1. Ribbon Bars: These bars represent the ribbons of other medals and awards you've earned, and they're worn above the left breast pocket.


  1. Badges: Next come the various badges, including pilot wings, airborne badges, and other occupational badges.


  1. Marksmanship Medals: These medals are usually worn last in the order.


It's important to note that this is a general guideline for the United States, and the order may vary depending on specific circumstances and regulations. If you have earned custom medals, they should be placed accordingly, taking into account the order of precedence.


Left and Right Breast Placement

When wearing your own medals, they should be attached to your garment on your left breast. This is the traditional location for displaying personal awards and recognitions, keeping them close to the heart and in line with military tradition.


However, if you're wearing medals that were awarded to a next of kin, like the custom medals or badges UK, they should be worn on the right breast. This serves as a symbol of honor and respect to the individual who originally earned those decorations.


Honoring Legacy with Custom Medals and Badges 

Custom medals and badges offer a unique way to honor the legacy of a loved one or commemorate significant service achievements. These personalized decorations can be designed to represent specific units, campaigns, or even personal accomplishments. When wearing custom medals or badges, it's essential to follow the same guidelines for proper placement as you would with standard military medals.


Can you wear medals on civilian clothing?

Have you ever wondered if it's appropriate to wear military medals on your civilian clothing? The answer is yes, you can! Whether you've earned some custom medals or you're interested in displaying your badges UK-style, wearing medals on civilian attire is a way to proudly showcase your accomplishments and achievements. Here, we'll dive into the details of wearing medals on civilian clothing and why it's important to do it with the same level of respect and precision as you would on your uniform.


Wearing Your Medals with Pride

Custom medals and badges UK represent a person's dedication, sacrifice, and achievements. Whether you received these honors for your military service, public service, or any other significant accomplishment, you have every right to display them on your civilian clothing.


How to Wear Medals on Civilian Clothing

When wearing medals on civilian clothes, it's essential to follow certain guidelines to ensure that they are displayed respectfully. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Placement: Personnel may wear either full-sized or miniature medals on civilian attire. The placement should be in approximately the same location and in the same manner as for the uniform. This means that medals should be positioned over the left breast, just as they are on a military uniform.


  1. Order of Precedence: If you have multiple medals, be sure to arrange them according to the proper order of precedence. The most prestigious medals should be worn closest to the center of your chest.


  1. Attachment: Medals should be securely attached to your clothing, either by a pin or a sewn-on device. You wouldn't want your precious honors to fall off accidentally.


  1. Maintain Cleanliness: Ensure that your medals are clean and free from tarnish. A well-maintained medal not only looks better but also reflects the respect you have for the award.


  1. Occasions: Choose appropriate occasions to wear your medals on civilian clothing. Events like parades, ceremonies, and other formal gatherings are suitable opportunities.


Why Wear Medals on Civilian Clothing?

Wearing your custom medals and badges UK-style on civilian clothing serves several important purposes:

  1. Pride and Recognition: It's a way to showcase your achievements and the dedication you've put into earning those medals.


  1. Respect and Honor: Displaying your medals respectfully on civilian attire demonstrates your respect for the awards and honors you've received.


  1. Conversations and Connections: It can lead to meaningful conversations and connections with others who share similar experiences or interests.


  1. Preservation of Tradition: Carrying over the tradition of wearing medals on civilian clothing helps maintain a sense of continuity with military customs.