How to Correctly Wear Military Ribbons in Order

by Eva Talent

Military ribbons are awarded to service members for accomplishments during service. Overseas campaign medals, unit citations and awards are worn as ribbons on military dress uniforms; these ribbons are placed on a ribbon rack and worn in a specific order according to each branch's uniform regulations. Some ribbons, like the Army Commendation Medal ribbon, take precedence over ribbons like the Army Service ribbon. Ribbons are never worn without being placed on a ribbon rack.

Purchase each ribbon you are authorized to wear. Ribbons that meet military specifications are available at Military Clothing and Sales stores on most military installations.

Purchase a ribbon rack that holds the exact number of ribbons you are authorized to wear. Do not purchase a nine-ribbon rack if you are authorized onlyseven ribbons; regardless of branch, empty spaces are never authorized on a ribbon rack.

Visit EZRackBuilder.com. EZRackBuilder adheres to the uniform regulations of each branch and helps service members determine the correct order of precedence for military ribbons.

Select your first ribbon. You do not need to choose your ribbons in any particular order. Watch the right side of your screen as the ribbon appears in the box below the text "Rack Builds Here."

Select your second ribbon. The ribbon will appear in the appropriate place beside your first ribbon according to your branch's uniform regulation. For example, if the first ribbon you chose was the Afghanistan Campaign Medal ribbon, and the second was the Iraqi Campaign Medal ribbon, they appear in that order on your ribbon rack from left to right. If you then select the Army Service ribbon, it will appear to the right of both campaign ribbons because ribbons are worn in order of importance.

Select every ribbon you are authorized to wear. When you have finished selecting your ribbons, evaluate their order on the rack displayed.

Place your own ribbons on your ribbon rack according to the online ribbon rack. Ribbons are placed left to right in order of precedence, and as you build your rack make sure it looks identical to the one online. This will ensure each ribbon is in its proper place and is not out of order.

Items you will need

  • Ribbon rack

About the Author

A professional writer since 1994, Eva Talent was trained as a journalist by the U.S. Army. She received two Army Commendation Medals and an Army Achievement Medal for journalistic excellence. Her press releases are frequently featured on the websites of the Department of Defense and the Army. Talent holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Michigan.

Photo Credits

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