Whether you are currently serving in the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard, there is a correct military ribbons order of placement that should be adhered to when assembling your military ribbons rack. While few may notice any discrepancies in a mild error in your military ribbon placement, on your uniform, others may be especially attuned to this. In order to maintain the same professionalism that all servicemen, and women, should continually strive for, it is important that you follow the guidelines of your service branch. Even though correct U.S. military uniform assembly goes way beyond adhering to the correct military ribbons order, your military ribbons rack is essentially one of the largest, most visually appealing elements of your uniform. While resting comfortably on the left side of any military dress uniform, you should do your very best to ensure that your ribbons are all in the correct order of precedence throughout your military career.
Things You Will Need
- a Computer
- a Print-Out of Your Currently Authorized Military Ribbons, Medals, and Award
- a Military Ribbons Rack Builder, which is a FREE srvice offered by the below Companies!
Step 1If you do not currently own an already assembled military ribbons rack, I have several other Info Barrel articles that I have written about this process. Obtainment of a military ribbons rack can be done through a variety of online military awards, decorations, and medals stores that will, not only have the particular item(s) you are looking for, but most have an online military rack builder. Typically, you will be offered an opportunity to purchase either all of your ribbons separated, or most companies will charge an extra dollar for each row that you would like for their company to assemble for you. Most likely, you will want for your entire military ribbons rack to be assembled in its entirety, prior to shipping, so that you don't have to do any manpower or physical labor when it finally arrives to you.
Step 2As I have mentioned in my several other Info Barrel articles about how to correctly assemble one's hard earned military ribbons rack, you should strongly consider obtaining a print-out, from your military unit, of all your awards and decorations. When determining your military ribbons order on your rack, you can simply take this print-out, and align it in accordance with an online store's ribbon rack builder service.
Among this various United States' military service branches, it would be very difficult to detail the many intricacies of each unique service uniform. In the Army alone, one can expect to encounter many different uniforms that will require the placement of actual military ribbons and/or military medals in the correct order of precedence in accordance with how each award in viewed in relation to other awards. For example, the Medal of Honor is essentially the Holy Grail of military awards and will automatically take precedence over any other award across the various military service branches.
Step 3Even if you don't intend on purchasing your military ribbons rack from one of these online companies, their ribbon rack builder services are really quite awesome and can be used in order to determine your military ribbons order. Once you have clicked on a small check-box next to all the ribbons that you are entitled to, and submit those data entries to their website, most websites that I have explored will direct you immediately to an assembled visual picture of what your military ribbons rack will look like, had you assembled it yourself.
Although the purposes of these ribbon rack builder services are to ultimately lead to a sale for the company providing them, you shouldn't feel bad about using them. Besides, if you are pleased with your experience, whether you purchase your military ribbons rack through that company, or not, I am sure that they won't mind a little word of mouth advertisement about their great service.
The degree of effort you put into ensuring that your military ribbons rack is assembled properly will be noticeable to others. It is imperative that you go the extra mile to make your dress uniform(s) look as pristine and squared away as you possibly can. As mentioned above, accomplishing this goes way beyond your military ribbons rack assembly, as well. You should also strongly consider having your uniform dry-cleaned, as well, prior to whatever military event that you may have to attend, whether it be a formal military dining-in or ball, or it is your own military themed wedding.
Tips & Warnings
As mentioned in previous articles of mine, it is imperative that you take the necessary time to assemble your military ribbons rack. Having an online company do it for you can really simplify this step, however, you may just want to go to your local base's military clothing and sales shop and purchase each individual item, just like I did prior to my commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. While I had previously used an online service that I was more than pleased with, an advantage of purchasing your medals through clothing and sales is that you can be directly involved in the process.
Purchasing online does require you to trust that the company will do the right thing and ship you all of your requested items correctly, and in a timely manner. With increasing deployment tempo, many servicemen and women have quite a few military medals and ribbons to their name, and this may inherently require quite an extensive order request on your part to the company. When so many ribbons, and devices are involved in your purchase, even the most squared away company may miss something.
Unfortunately, if even one item is missing, whether it be a ribbon or a device, your military ribbons rack won't exactly align with your achievements. Had the company you purchased from forgotten just one ribbon in your entire order, that would already put you at a disadvantage because your amount of ribbons won't accurately meet the allotted ribbon placement slots on your military ribbons rack. While you can wear less ribbons that what are authorized to you, you, by no means, can wear more than you are authorized. This has been done by many military personnel over the years, for a variety of reasons, and they have suffered recourse accordingly.
Always adhere to the standard, in everything you do, whether you are conducting physical training, qualifying with your rifle, or correctly assembling your military ribbons order on your military ribbons rack.
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