How to display your military medals

Updated March 23, 2017

The United States Military issues medals for heroic, noteworthy, meritorious and outstanding service. They are also issued for service during a military campaign. Medals can be worn on a uniform while a service member is serving actively in the military or medals can be displayed in a case. Choosing to display a medal will ensure that the award remains free from dust, debris, wear and tarnish while exhibiting the service member's honourable accomplishments.

Purchase a medal display case. You can buy a medal display case at the base exchange or online. Professional military medal display cases are specifically designed to hold medals and can be purchased in a variety of sizes to accommodate the number of medals you want to display. Display cases can also be engraved to include the name of the soldier who received the medals.

Clean the medals gently with a soft cloth to remove any dust or fingerprints before you display them. Dirt on medals can lead to tarnish and wear, which will damage the appearance of the medals.

Arrange the medals by Order of Precedence. Place the most honourable and important medals first, followed by less significant medals. Order of Precedence can be obtained from your military unit or on the U.S. Army Center of Military History website. Find link in Resources.

Place the medals inside the display case. Place the most important medals at the top of the case. Less significant medals should be placed below this and ordered from left to right. Each display case is different, but will contain something to hold the medal in place. Insert the medal and close the display case. Avoid placing the display case in direct sunlight or in a humid room, as this can cause wear and damage to the medals.

Things You'll Need

  • Display case or shadow box
  • Soft cloth
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