US Decorations worn by British Soldier


Probably not the right forum, but I would like some feedback. A WO2 in my Mess is wearing a US Medal, which he says he can wear as he was presented with it in Kosovo. I thought you could only wear US Gallantry medals (Bronze Star etc) if any, and like the GW1 Saudi and Kuwaiti medals, it could be kept as a keep-sake. Would love to get a bottle off him at the Mess dinner!

Medal buffs please scan QR's and Mat Regs accordingly!
I think that campaign medals awarded by a foreign nation can be worn on the right if permission is granted, but not on the left. there are some instances of medals being worn on the left, but an inch below the ribbon such as the National Service medal.
I think we had the law pretty well laid down on this one after GW1. All the lads from 3 reg that went out were told by the CO upon presentation that the foreign medals could only ever be worn when a visiting dignitary from the presenting state was in attendance.

We were told in no uncertain terms that the saudi and kuwaiti medals were not officially recognised by Brit Mil and we would be shot at dawn if anyone was presumptuous enough to wear them ;D
Most US medals (apart from the Congressional Medal of Honor (no medals for spelling though)), are pretty meaningless.

You know the sort of thing - they get a medal for finishing recruit training, flying over NI, cycling proficiency, reading without moving  lips etc etc.
The US make 2 types of awards, ribbons and medals. The ribbons are awarded for proficiencies (like reading without moving lips), and generally medals are awarded either for campaigns or for valour. The campaign medals are generally awarded on a much less stringent basis than we award them. For example a staff officer in an HQ that was working on issues surrounding an operational deployment will usually also be awarded yhe campaign medal even if their feet never touched the ground in-theatre. They do also sometimes award campaign medals to the whole unit even if they were only partially deployed.

The valour medals are not so easily won, and indeed if you see someone wearing a CMoH you can be failry sure that that individual has walked the fine line between bravery and stupidity as well as an MC winner.
To wear any decoration or medal from a foreign nation requires the Queen's approval (via the appropriate office).  Any request has one of three possible replies:

  • No chance
  • Yes, but only on official occasions with representatives from that nation.
  • Yes, add to the rest of your gongs.

If you get a "yes", I think they are worn after every British Medal - possible exceptions for Legion of Honeur and the like.

A number of my colleagues have two sets of medals.  One set for official BritMil type functions and one that has everything for any non BritMil functions - (Proper & Poser).  

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