A few rules
and nice-to-know items related to obtaining replacement medals are:
1. Award emblems pre-dating World War I are neither stocked nor issued any
longer by the military. Examples are the Civil War Campaign Medal, Mexican
Border Service Medal and Spanish War Service Medal.
2. The military services do not issue or replace insignia of rank, branch
and organization as well as other "brass" items or cloth insignia patches;
Foreign Individual awards such as the French Legion de Honneur, the
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with "1960" device, and the Israeli
Parachutist Badge; Miniature suspension medals for U.S & and foreign
decorations and service medals (except for Coast Guard decorations). Such
items are normally used for formal wear. They must be purchased from
private dealers who sell military Insignia and memorabilia, war surplus
stores or uniform outlets.
3. Certificates of achievement and appreciation of local design cannot be
replaced. Stocks of these and other certificates printed by battalion,
squadron, group or corps command are not maintained.
4. Award emblems of deceased veterans are replaced for the legal
next-of-kin - surviving spouse, eldest child, father or mother, eldest
5. The Army will engrave, on a free-of-charge basis, the name of the
veteran on the reverse of all suspension medals for personal decorations
and the Good Conduct Medal. The Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force engrave
only the Medal of Honor and some personal decorations awarded
6. Replacement and "conversion" award emblems are sent via postal channels
in boxes that are packaged and wrapped accordingly.
7. Lapel buttons depicting personal decorations are included in the same
container as the suspension medal and bar ribbon device.
8. Except for the lapel buttons for WWI and WWII Victory Medals, which do
not accompany suspension medals, there are no lapel buttons authorized or
issued for service ribbons, campaign medals or unit awards.
9. With few exceptions, each military department will not issue or replace
an emblem authorized or awarded by another military department. This
usually occurs when a person switched from one service to another and
received awards from both or was awarded a decoration or service medal by
10. There is no individual emblem for persons whose unit was cited only
once by the French government at the level of the Croix de Guerre. The
same holds true for units cited once by the Belgian government. Members of
units cited twice or more are authorized the French or Belgian Fourragere,
a braided shoulder cord.
11. The sale and unauthorized wear of federal full-size suspension medals
for personal decorations and service medals is illegal and violates the
United States Code, Title 18~ It is punishable by a $250 fine, six-month
imprisonment or both.
12. State National Guard organizations and Junior and Senior ROTC have
unique systems of awards and decorations. Since most of these National
Guard and ROTC awards are not permitted to be worn on the uniform while on
federal status, they are not issued or replaced as outlined in this
13. The following awards consist of bar ribbon devices only.
(a) All unit awards -Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Award,
and Navy and Meritorious Unit Commendations.
(b) Army Service Ribbon, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Overseas
Service Ribbon and Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon.
(c) Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corp Overseas
Service Ribbon, Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon, Navy "E" Ribbon, Fleet
Marine Force Ribbon, Navy Arctic Service Ribbon and Naval Reserve Sea
(d) Outstanding Airman of the Year, Air Force Recognition Ribbon, Air
Force Overseas Ribbons, Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon, Air Force
NCO Professional Military Education Ribbon, Basic Military training
Honor Graduate, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon and Air Force
[Source: NEW MEXICO e-VETERANS NEWS - Issue 15, 8 May 05]
AWARDS REPLACEMENT UPDATE 02:
following sample application letter can be used to request replacement
1. Submission by Veteran:
PLACE Address shown for appropriate military department
I request that I be issued all award emblems to which I am entitled. I
have attached a copy of my separation document (DD Form 214). My
social security number is: My former service numbers are: My VA claim
number is: Date and place of birth: Full name, Phone number Street
address (or P.O. Box), City, State and Zip Code
Submission by Next-of-Kin:
PLACE Address shown for appropriate military department
I request that I be issued all award emblems to which (Full name of
veteran) was entitled. I am the (Relationship) and the legal
next-of-kin of the deceased veteran. A copy of his or her separation
document (DD Form 214) is enclosed.
His (or her) social security number was:
His (or her) former service numbers were:
His (or her) VA Claim number was:
His (or her) date of death was;
His (or her) date and place of birth were:
Full name of next of kin, Phone number
Street address (or P.O. Box), City, State and Zip Code
Note 1: Some of the above information may be omitted if it is shown on
accompanying separation documents.
Note 2: The above letters may be modified to ask for only specific
emblems rather than all to which a veteran is entitled.
Note 3: It is also helpful to add a paragraph if the veteran is entitled
to such things as "conversion" awards or unit awards for specific
organizational assignments. If new certificates for personal decorations
are being requested, the letters should so state in an additional line
[Source: New Mexico e-Veterans News 8 May 05]