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How to attach medals onto uniforms

Updated July 19, 2017

Medals are accolades for showing bravery in times of need, and are usually given to military personnel. Some medals are awarded due to superiority of service; that is, the amount of time you have spent in the military service. Other medals are awarded to represent a certain post within the force.

When awarded medals, military personnel are often required to wear them as part of their uniforms. When this is the case, attaching the medal onto the uniform requires some technicalities. Another point to note is these medals need to be removed and attached every time the uniform is washed.

Determine the order in which the medals and ribbons need to be worn. There is always a certain order of appearance, and usually the order of precedence rule applies.

Thread the attachment which comes with the medals onto a ribbon bar from the bottom up. You must start with the first medal in the order of precedence.

Line the bar above the pocket by pushing the pinpoints into the jacket or shirt. The studs are then used to secure the pinpoints.

The correct place to wear a ribbon on a uniform is along the centre quarter-inch above the pocket. Ribbons and medals also have a bar which serves as two pinpoints with studs.

If you are a woman, measure from the shoulder seam and put the ribbon bar centred and level. Once this is done, the medal or ribbon needs to be pushed into place using the studs, similar to the way it is done on a man's uniform.

Women are required to wear ribbons and medals on their shirt centred on the left side. The placement of ribbons on women's shirts should fall 6 1/4 inches down the front seam of the shirt.

A higher-grade officer must wear his medal above the left breast pocket. The medal needs to be centred a quarter-inch above the jacket pocket. For officers, the rules are the same for men and women.

Arrange the medals in descending order of importance. You can choose to wear the top three ribbons, or all ribbons you've earned in your military career.

Ribbons and medals should ideally be displayed on a blue military coat, which is considered the dress blues.

Things You'll Need

  • Uniforms
  • Medals
  • Ribbons
  • Ribbon bar
  • Fasteners
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About the Author

Erin Webb began her writing career in 2002. She writes for various website such as eHow on subjects ranging from health and fitness to parenting and relationships. She obtained her associate degree in journalism from San Jacinto College.