MARINE CORPS UNIFORM REGULATIONS
CHAPTER 5: AWARDS
SECTION 1: GENERAL
1. Marines may wear those awards described in the Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual (SECNAVINST 1650.1), but only when authorized by competent authority.
2. Marines who receive awards from other services, or departments of the United States Government; or from foreign governments or other agencies may wear such awards on the Marine Corps uniform only as authorized herein.
3. Marines who served in or were attached to another branch of the U.S. military services and received a decoration, unit award, or service award of comparable criteria to one issued by the naval service may wear the award on Marine Corps uniforms, unless otherwise prohibited by these regulations.
4. Examples of other U.S. service awards which are not authorized include: marksmanship medals/ribbons (Navy/Coast Guard/Air Force), USAF Outstanding Airman of the Year, USAF Recognition Ribbon, USAF Longevity Service Award, NCO Professional Development/Education ribbons (Army/Air Force), Army Service/USAF training ribbons.
5. The Combat Infantryman's Badge or the Combat Medical Badge is not authorized for wear on the Marine Corps uniform. Upon submission of evidence to their commanding officer, personnel who earned the Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat Medical Badge may be authorized to wear the Combat Action Ribbon.
6. Officers suspended from grade and command, and enlisted personnel serving sentence of confinement will not wear any awards.
7. Marines will not wear awards on the boatcloak, cape, tanker jacket, AWC, service or dress sweater, utility uniform or the maternity work uniform.
2. Decoration. An award bestowed on an individual for a specific individual act or acts of gallantry or for meritorious service.
3. Unit Award. An award made to an operating unit for outstanding heroism or achievement and worn only by members of that unit who participated in the cited action. Marines who were assigned to the cited unit while in a civilian status must be specifically included by name in the recommendation or citation to be eligible to wear the award on the uniform.
4. Service Award. An award issued to an individual to denote participation in a campaign, war, national emergency or expedition, or to denote service requirements fulfilled in a creditable manner.
5. Medal. An award issued to an individual for performance of certain duties, acts or services, consisting of a medallion hanging from a suspension ribbon of distinctive colors.
6. Miniature Medal. A replica of a standard size medal, made to one-half original scale. Foreign medal miniatures will not exceed the size of American miniatures. The Medal of Honor will NOT be worn in miniature.
7. Badge. An award to an individual for some special proficiency or skill, which consists of a medallion, or a medallion hung from a bar or bars.
8. Ribbon Bar. A portion of the suspension ribbon of a medal, worn in lieu of the medal. The dimensions of all ribbons shall be 1-3/8 by 3/8 inches, except as specified in subparagraph 5300.2. Ribbon bars are also authorized for certain awards which have no medals; e.g., Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, etc.
9. Rosette. Lapel device made by gathering the suspension ribbon of the medal into a circular shape.
10. Lapel Button. A miniature enameled replica of the ribbon bar.
11. Attachment. Any appurtenance such as a star, letter, clasp, or other device worn on the suspension ribbon of a medal or on the ribbon bar.
2. When Marines are entitled to similar awards from two or more services; e.g., good conduct awards, the Marine Corps award will take precedence. After the Marine Corps award, similar awards of other services will be worn in the following precedence: Navy, Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
3. All ribbons and medals must be mounted and worn according to the precedence listed herein.
4. Awards shall be worn in order of precedence from top down and from the wearer's right to left, unless otherwise specified herein.
5. Personal Decorations. (Listed in order of precedence)
6. Navy Unit Awards. (Listed in order of precedence and worn after all personal decorations) (No medals authorized)
7. U.S. Nonmilitary Decorations
8. Campaign and Service Awards. (Listed in order of precedence and worn after all U.S. nonmilitary decorations)
9. Nonmilitary Service Awards. (Listed in order of precedence and worn after all campaign and service awards)
10. Foreign Personal Decorations. Marines who have been specifically authorized by law to accept decorations from foreign governments may wear them after all U.S. campaign and service awards in the order of their receipt. When an individual is authorized to wear more than one award from the same country, the order of precedence of those particular awards will be determined by the rules of the country concerned.
11. Foreign Unit Awards. (Listed in order of precedence and worn after all foreign personal decorations)
12. Non-U.S. Service Awards. (Listed in order of precedence and worn after all foreign unit awards)
13. Foreign Service Awards. Listed below in order of precedence are the only foreign service awards authorized for wear on the Marine Corps uniform without individual legislative authority. These awards are worn after all non-U.S. service awards.
1. Miscellaneous awards and badges may be worn on the Marine Corps uniform at the holder's option, unless otherwise ordered, and provided no awards, decorations, badges, or breast insignia are worn at the same time.
2. Those organizations which issue awards and badges recognized by the Department of the Navy for wear under conditions noted above, include the following:
3. Medals, ribbons, and badges adopted by these societies may be worn only while actually attending meetings or conventions or while participating in parades or other ceremonies as a member of these organizations.
1. Based on heraldry, blue, the senior color, will be uppermost and/or to the wearer's right.
2. Awards which do not have a symmetrical color design, or which have stars as part of the design, will be worn as follows:
1. Decorations, medals, appropriate ribbon bars, or lapel buttons may be worn on civilian clothes at the individual's discretion. Individuals should ensure that the occasion and the manner of wearing will not reflect discredit on the award.
2. Miniature medals may be worn with civilian evening dress (See paragraph 5203).
3. The Medal of Honor may be worn with civilian evening dress. It will be worn around the neck with the ribbon under the coat jacket and the medallion hanging one inch below the bow tie.
4. Miniature replicas of ribbons made in the form of enameled lapel buttons, or ribbons made in rosette form, may be worn on the left lapel of civilian clothes except civilian evening dress.
5. Honorable discharge, retirement, and FMCR buttons may be worn on
the left lapel of civilian clothes except civilian evening dress. Those
buttons manufactured with prong and clutch fasteners may be worn as tie
2. Hamilton Wash large and miniature medals, also known as "anodized," may be worn at the individual's option. Marines who exercise this option will have their own medals anodized at the individual's expense. Anodized medals will not be worn together with nonanodized medals by the same individual; however, Marines with anodized medals may wear them in formation with Marines who have standard nonanodized medals.
3. Medals with suspension ribbons bonded to a plastic backing instead of a metal bar are approved for wear at the option of the individual. These medals lie flatter than the standard medals and may include magnetic fasteners in lieu of clutches for attaching to the uniform. These medals will bear Marine Corps approval identification.
4. Marines will wear all large medals to which they are entitled on dress "A" coats.
5. Miniatures of all medals entitled are required for officers/SNCO's when evening dress uniforms are worn. The Medal of Honor will NOT be mounted nor reproduced in miniature.
6. A person in receipt of an award from a foreign government which includes stars, sashes, orders, or devices (except the fourragere) dissimilar to, or required to be worn differently than United States awards, may wear the medal or ribbon bar as a courtesy to that country only when attending a public function in the country, or in the house of or in honor of a public official or other distinguished citizen of that foreign country. Foreign medals and ribbon bars will be worn as similar to the foreign country's regulations as is practicable; however, at least one U.S. award must be worn when a foreign award is worn. Marines awarded a foreign medal which, under the rules of the country concerned, is required to be worn at the neck will so wear it. A Marine awarded both the Medal of Honor and a foreign medal worn at the neck, will wear the foreign award so that it shows below the Medal of Honor.
2. When more than one medal is worn, they will be suspended from a
holding bar of sufficient stiffness to support the weight of the medals.
4. For men, the maximum width of the holding bar for large medals will be 5-1/2 inches, and the length of the medals from top of holding bar to bottom of medallions will be 3-1/4 inches. A maximum of four large medals side by side will fit on the maximum width of holding bar; however, a maximum of seven medals will fit on the holding bar if overlapped. The overlapping on each row will be equal (not to exceed 50 percent). The right or inboard medal will show in full.
5. Women will wear no more than three large medals side by side on a single holding bar not to exceed 4-1/8 inches; however, a maximum of five medals will fit on the holding bar if overlapped.
6. For men, the maximum width of the holding bar for miniature medals will be 4 inches [corrected from previous typo], and the length of the medals from the top of the holding bar to the bottom of medals will be 2-1/4 inches. A maximum of five miniature medals side by side will fit on a 3-3/8 inch holding bar; however, a maximum of ten medals will fit on the holding bar if overlapped. The overlapping on each row will be equal (not to exceed 50 percent). The right or inboard medal will show in full.
7. For women, the holding bar for miniature medals will be no wider than 3-1/4 inches [corrected from previous typo]. A maximum of four medals side by side will fit on this width holding bar; however, a maximum of eight medals will fit on the holding bar if overlapped.
5202. WEARING LARGE MEDALS. (See fig. 5-3.)
2. Large Medals
3. Wearing Ribbon Bars With Large Medals. When large medals are worn, all unit citations and other ribbons with no medal authorized will be worn centered over the right breast pocket, the bottom edge of the lower row 1/8 inch above the top of the pocket. Women will wear these ribbons on the right side of the coat front in about the same vertical position as worn with dress "B" and service "A" uniforms. Ribbon bars are normally worn in rows of three in the order of precedence from the wearer's right to left and from top down (for example: top row, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation; bottom row, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation). Marines who have not been awarded large medals, but who are entitled to wear a ribbon(s) for which no medal is authorized will wear such ribbon(s) over the right breast pocket as described above.
2. On male officers' evening dress jackets, miniature medals will be centered on the left front panel of the jacket midway between the inner edge and the left armhole seam, with the top of the holding bar on line with the second blind buttonhole.
3. On the male SNCO's evening dress jacket, the miniature medals will be centered on the left lapel with the top of the holding bar approximately one inch below the left lapel notch. If regulation size holding bars will not fit on the lapel, medals may extend beyond the lapel edge onto the jacket's left breast.
4. On the women's evening dress jacket, miniature medals will be
placed centered on the left lapel with the top of the holding bar at the
lapel's widest part. If regulation size holding bars will not fit
centered on the lapel, medals may extend beyond the lapel's edge onto
the jacket's left breast.
2. Each U.S. ribbon bar will be 3/8 inch high and 1-3/8 inch wide (same as the width of the medal's suspension ribbon). Foreign ribbon bars (including those with devices) which have been authorized by law may be worn only if they can be adapted to meet regulation height requirement and do not exceed twice the width of the standard U.S. ribbon bar.
3. Ribbon bars will not be impregnated with preservatives which change the appearance of the ribbon, nor will they be worn with any type of transparent coverings.
4. Ribbons bonded to a plastic backing instead of a metal bar are approved for wear at the option of the individual. These ribbon bars lie flatter than the standard ribbon bars and may include magnetic fasteners in lieu of clutches for attaching to the uniform. These ribbon bars will bear Marine Corps approval identification.
5. Stars and other attachments will be worn as prescribed in section 4 of this chapter.
1. Marines will wear all ribbons to which they are entitled on service and dress "B" coats. Ribbons will be worn on the dress "A" coats only as authorized in paragraph 5202.
2. When the blue dress "C"/"D" or service "B"/"C" uniforms are worn the wearing of ribbons on khaki shirts is at the individual's option unless the commander prescribes that ribbons be worn. If ribbons are worn on these uniforms, either all ribbons, or personal U.S. decorations with U.S. unit awards and the Good Conduct Medal, may be worn at the individual's option.
3. Ribbon bars will be worn on a bar or bars and pinned to the coat or shirt. No portion of the bar or pin will be visible.
4. Ribbon bars are normally worn in rows of three; however, rows of
four may be worn when displaying a large number of awards. Two-ribbon
rows may be worn when ribbon bars are worn in successively decreasing
rows per subparagraph 5301.5. Two-ribbon
rows may also be worn by female Marines when a three-
5. When more than one row of ribbon bars is worn, all rows except the uppermost will contain the same number of ribbons. If the number of ribbons worn causes the ribbons to be concealed by the service coat lapel (one-third or more of a ribbon concealed), ribbon bars will be placed in successively decreasing rows; e.g., 4-ribbon rows, 3-ribbon rows, 2-ribbon rows, single ribbon. The left (outer) edge of all decreasing rows will be in line vertically; except that when the top row presents an unsatisfactory appearance when so aligned, it will be placed in the position presenting the neatest appearance (usually centered over the row immediately below it).
6. Parallel rows of ribbon bars will either be spaced 1/8 inch apart or placed together without spacing at the individual's option.
7. Ribbon bars will be centered 1/8 inch above and parallel to the top edge of the upper left pocket of dress "B" coats, service coats, and men's khaki shirts. When marksmanship badges are worn, ribbon bars will be centered over the pocket with the bottom edge of the ribbon bar 1/8 inch above the widest holding bar of the marksmanship badge(s).
8. On women's coats with horizontal pockets, ribbons will be worn as prescribed above. On women's coats with slanted upper pockets, a horizontal line tangent to the highest point of the pocket will be considered the top of the pocket (See fig. 4-3). On women's khaki shirts, ribbon bars will be placed even with or up to two inches above the first visible button and centered so that they are in about the same position as when worn on the coat. On the maternity tunic, ribbon bars will be placed so that they are in about the same position as when worn on the service coats. On the khaki maternity shirt, when worn as an outer garment, ribbon bars will be worn in the same manner as on the standard khaki shirt, except they will be placed 1/2 to one inch above the horizontal yoke seam stitching and may be adjusted to the individual to present a military appearance.
1. The Fourragere was awarded by the French Ministry of War to those units which were cited two or more times in the French Orders of the Army, and when awarded became part of the cited unit's uniform.
3. Marines entitled to wear the Fourragere will wear it on all uniform service and dress coats/jackets when medals or ribbons are prescribed. The Fourragere will not be worn on the tanker jacket or the AWC.
4. The Fourragere will have a pencil attachment with a polished brass or black tip, will be of the same shades as the ribbon of the Croix de Guerre Medal, and will conform to applicable military specifications per direction from CMC (MMAA).
5. The Fourragere will be worn over the left shoulder with the left
arm passing through the large loop of the cord; the small loop will
engage the button under the shoulder strap, except on the enlisted men's
blue dress coat when it will engage the button above the strap, and the
metal pencil attachment will hang naturally to the front.
1. Stars, clasps, numerals, letter devices, and other miscellaneous devices will be worn on the suspension ribbon of large and miniature medals, and on the ribbon bars prescribed herein.
2. Hamilton Wash (gold-plated) ribbon attachments (stars, clasps, numerals, letter/miscellaneous devices) and ribbon frames are authorized for optional purchase and wear.
3. Multiple Attachments
2. Gold Stars. A gold star is worn on suspension ribbons of large/miniature medals and on the ribbon bars for all personal decorations in lieu of a second or subsequent award, except for strike/flight awards of the Air Medal (see paragraphs 5402.4 and 5402.5). The gold star worn on the suspension ribbons of large medals and ribbon bars will be 5/16 inch in diameter. Those worn on suspension ribbons of miniature medals will be 1/8 inch in diameter. For regulations on wearing oak leaf clusters in lieu of gold stars see subparagraph 5404.1.
3. Silver Stars. A silver star is worn on suspension ribbons of large/ miniature medals and on ribbon bars in lieu of five gold stars, or in lieu of five bronze stars, except for strike/flight awards of the Air Medal (see paragraphs 5402.4 and 5402.5). The 5/16-inch silver star will replace five 5/16-inch gold stars. The 3/16-inch silver star will replace the five 3/16-inch bronze stars. The silver star worn on suspension ribbons of miniature medals will be 1/8 inch in diameter.
4. Bronze Stars
1. Manner of Wearing. A letter device is worn centered on the ribbon. These devices are block letters 1/4 inch high for suspension ribbons of large medals or ribbon bars, and 1/8 inch high for suspension ribbons of miniature medals.
2. Bronze Letter "V" (Combat Distinguishing Device)
3. Silver Letter "E." Individuals awarded the Navy "E" Ribbon will wear a silver block letter "E," 1/8 inch high, centered on the ribbon. Subsequent awards are indicated by an additional silver "E" attachment for each award. When more than one "E" attachment is worn, they are placed in a horizontal line evenly spaced, centered on the ribbon. For four or more awards, only one 1/8 inch silver-wreathed "E" attachment centered on the ribbon is worn.
4. Strike/Flight Numerals. Personnel receiving Strike/Flight awards of the Air Medal will wear a bronze Arabic numeral 3/16 inch in diameter to indicate the total number of awards of this type after 9 April 1962. Numerals are placed on the ribbon bar as far to the wearer's left as possible without overlapping the edge of the ribbon. On the suspension ribbons of the large and miniature medals, the numerals are placed symmetrically immediately below the center of the suspension ribbon.
5. Single Mission/Individual Numerals. By order of the Secretary of the Navy, the use of numerals to represent single mission/individual awards of the Air Medal was discontinued effective 22 November 1989. However, personnel who received single mission/individual awards of the Air Medal prior to that date will continue to wear 3/16 inch gold Arabic numerals to indicate the total number of awards of this type received. If any subsequent awards are received after the effective date, stars will be used to indicate all awards received before and after 22 November 1989.
1. General. Clasps or bars are worn on suspension ribbons only. A single clasp is worn in the center with additional clasps equally spaced according to dates during which earned, earliest date uppermost. If worn with other attachments, however, clasps are worn below such attachments. Miniature clasps or bars, when available are similarly worn with appropriate miniature medals.
2. Navy Occupation Service Medal. Appropriate clasps marked "EUROPE" and "ASIA" are worn on suspension ribbons of large and miniature medals to denote service in Europe and Asia, respectively.
3. Antarctica Service Medal. Personnel who stay or have stayed on the Antarctic continent during the winter months are eligible to wear a bronze clasp with the words "Wintered Over" on the suspension ribbon of the large medal. A gold clasp is authorized for the second wintering over period, and a silver clasp is worn for the third or subsequent wintering over period. Only one clasp is worn on the suspension ribbon of the medal.
4. Gold/Silver Life Saving Medals. Gold or silver bars awarded in lieu of a second or subsequent award are worn at the bottom of the suspension ribbon, the first award uppermost.
1. Oak Leaf Cluster. If a second or subsequent award of a personal military decoration or the Joint Meritorious Unit Award is bestowed upon a Marine by the Department of Defense, Army, or Air Force, a bronze (or silver) twig of four oak leaves with three acorns on the stem, 13/32 inch in length is worn on the suspension ribbon of the large medal, and a 5/16-inch twig is worn on the ribbon bar. A 7/32" inch twig is worn on miniature medals. Oak Leaf Clusters are worn with the stem of the oak leaves toward the wearer's right, stem down. A silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze Oak Leaf Clusters for the same decoration.
2. Gold Compass Rose. A gold compass rose is authorized for the suspension ribbon of the medal and ribbon bar of the National Security Medal to denote each subsequent award earned.
3. Planet Symbol. A ball-shaped object symbolizing a planet, with wing configuration is authorized for the suspension ribbon of the medal and ribbon bar of the NASA Distinguished Service Medal to denote each subsequent award earned.
4. Space Oak Leaf Cluster. An oak leaf cluster will be worn on the suspension ribbon of the medal and ribbon bar of the NASA Space Flight Medal to denote subsequent awards. A silver cluster will denote each subsequent award for the second through the fourth awards. A gold oak leaf cluster will denote the fifth award.
5. Hour Glass. Marines are awarded the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with the bronze Hour Glass device upon completion of 10 years of service. A silver Hour Glass device is awarded upon completion of the second 10 year period, a gold device upon completion of the third 10 year period, and a gold Hour Glass device followed by a bronze Hour Glass device will be awarded upon completion of the fourth 10 year period of service. This device represents an hour glass with the Roman numeral X superimposed thereon. It is worn centered on the suspension ribbon and the ribbon bar. The device for the suspension ribbon of the large medal and the ribbon bar will be 3/8 inch high. The device for the suspension ribbon of the miniature medal will be 1/8 inch high.
6. Antarctica Continental Disc. Personnel who stay or have stayed on the Antarctic continent during the winter months will be eligible to wear a bronze disc 5/16 inch in diameter with the outline of the Antarctic continent, on the suspension ribbon of the miniature medal and on the ribbon bar of the Antarctica Service Medal. A gold disc is authorized for a second wintering over period and a silver disc for three or more wintering over periods. The disc is worn with peninsula pointing up. Only one disc will be worn on the ribbon.
7. Vietnam "60" Device. Marines authorized to wear the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal will wear the silver banner device with the numerals "60" on the suspension ribbons and ribbon bar. The device for the suspension ribbon of the large medal will be 1-1/4 inches in length; the device for the suspension ribbon of the miniature medal and ribbon bar will be 5/8 inch in length.
8. Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Devices. Marines authorized to wear
the Gallantry Cross as a personal decoration will wear the award with
appropriate devices designating the level for which the award was
presented. A palm
9. Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation with Gallantry Cross Color and Civil Actions Color. The ribbon bars for the Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Gallantry Cross Color and Civil Actions Color are worn with the palm and gold frame by authorized personnel. No medals are authorized for these citations. The palm is 5/32 inch high and 9/16 inch wide, lightly oxidized with a satin finish. The stem of the palm will be worn to the wearer's right. No device is worn on the ribbon bar to indicate a subsequent award.
10. Gold Frame. A gold frame is worn on ribbon bars for foreign unit awards. The frame is 7/16 inch high by 1-7/16 inches wide, gold-plated matte finish with polished highlights. Unless otherwise specified by the awarding authority/nation, the frame is worn so that the leaves at either end will form a "V."
25. Rifle Qualification Badges
26. Pistol Qualification Badges
1. Marksmanship badges will not be worn with the evening dress, blue dress "A," white dress "A," blue-white dress "A," utility, and camouflage maternity work uniforms. Commanders may prescribe marksmanship badges for wear on all other uniforms. Unless otherwise prescribed by the commander, wearing marksmanship badges is at the option of the individual.
2. Badges are worn, according to seniority, centered above the left breast pocket, with the bottom edge of the highest holding bar 1/8 inch above the pocket's top edge (See fig. 5-5). The top edges of all badges will be aligned.
3. When men wear two badges, they are symmetrically placed on a line with about 3/4 inch space between holding bars, but in no case will they span more than 4 1/4 inches. When three marksmanship badges are worn, they are symmetrically placed above the left pocket with 1/4 inch spacing between the holding bars of each badge.
4. When women wear two badges, they are symmetrically placed on a line so that their outermost edges are approximately even with the pocket edges. However, there must be at least a 1/4 inch space between holding bars; in no case will the space exceed 1/2 inch. When three marksmanship badges are worn, they are symmetrically placed above the left pocket with 1/8 inch spacing between the holding bar of each badge.
5. On women's coats with horizontal pockets, ribbons will be worn as prescribed above. To determine the proper location for marksmanship badges on women's coats with slanted upper pockets, a horizontal line tangent to the highest point of the pocket is considered the top of the pocket. On women's khaki shirts, badges are placed even with or up to two inches above the first visible button and centered so that they are in about the same position as on the coat. On the maternity tunic, badges are placed so that they are in about the same position as on the service coat. On the khaki maternity shirt, badges are worn in the same manner as on the standard khaki shirt, except they are placed 1/2 to one inch above the horizontal yoke seam stitching and may be adjusted to the individual to present a military appearance.
6. Only one qualification badge for a specific type of weapon may be worn at any time except that two competition badges for the same weapon may be worn. No more than three marksmanship badges will be worn at any time. Marines entitled to more than three awards may select the three to be worn.
7. When ribbon bars are worn with the badges, the lowest row of ribbons is 1/8 inch above the top edge of the marksmanship badges. If only marksmanship badges and breast insignia are worn, the insignia is centered 1/8 inch above the top edge of the marksmanship badge(s).