Posted 06 November 2002 - 07:53 pm
Your first post on this thread, second sentence of the first paragraph, I think, is well put.
Official medals are issued / awarded for any number of reasons. For acts of bravery, campaign service, for long service accommpanied with good conduct - these are the main categories.
Decorations - awarded (not won) for an act or acts of bravery.
Campaign - from full blown wars to smaller conflicts.
Long Service - (which is an award) for Long Service and Good Conduct. Each service has its own qualifying criterea. This indicate the wearer served at least the qualifying length of time without committing any serious offence, such as twisted boot laces. (It also show the wearer was never caught out!).
These are the medals worn on the left breast by the person they were issued to, and only that person.
Commemorative medals have become popular in recent years, they are official "un-official" and fill a gap where the actual campaign medal has no clasp to denote a particular campaign. Best examples of this are the Dunkirk Commemorative (covered by the 1939-45 Star) and the Normandy Campaign (covered by the France and Germany Star). The commemorative medal for both campaigns may be worn by only those who took part in one or both campaigns. The commemorative medal is worn beneath the actual official campaign medal, individually, and must not form part of a bar.
The rules for wearing medals is simple, wear only those you are entitled to and wear them correctly.
Commemorative medals do have their place if used properly. Personally I would not buy or wear one, many of my friends do, I tell them they look like the local scrap yard. Jokingly of course.
If wearing large poppies say something about the person, I would suggest commemorative medals SHOUT out a message. If they must be worn then wear them properly, singly, on the right lapel, not joined to form a bar.
For members of the reserve forces I think they should be recognised with some sort of medal to show at least periods of service. There are official decorations for long service but the qualifying period is far too long.
I am sure that when you wear your father's medals you wear them with pride - as should be. But, please wear them correctly, on the right breast, not on the left just because you have a pocket on your blazer!!!
The Suez Commemorative Medal is an exception. It should never have got to the stage where veterans of that campaign had to "award" themselves a medal. Hopefully this will be resolved.
The case you outline is classic to this debate. It is not just facing muck and bullets - as the old soldiers will have you believe - but what happen around us every day. My son in law has just retired on pension from the fire service. He has two medals which he wear correctly on the left breast. Police are allowed to wear their official medals.
I would not consider you to be big headed for letting it be known publicly of your deeds and the what you have endured. I think you have earned your Hor's de Combat. Surely the whole point is why should it be necessary for you and people like you having to buy.
You then spoil it all by telling us you were RMP. (Sorry sarge)