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American Legion



Department of Virginia
Grand du Virginia
17th District
Post 162

"Still Serving America" is the motto of The American Legion. Veterans who continue their service to America by still serving their communities. Veterans whose involvement in the community creates and supports the feeling of camaraderie which makes The American Legion the nation's largest and the most respected organization of wartime veterans. 

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* Updated Friday, 10 October 2014 11:38 AM -0400


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A few rules and nice-to-know items related to obtaining replacement medals are:

1. Award emblems pre-dating World War I are neither stocked nor issued any longer by the military. Examples are the Civil War Campaign Medal, Mexican Border Service Medal and Spanish War Service Medal.

2. The military services do not issue or replace insignia of rank, branch and organization as well as other "brass" items or cloth insignia patches; Foreign Individual awards such as the French Legion de Honneur, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with "1960" device, and the Israeli Parachutist Badge; Miniature suspension medals for U.S & and foreign decorations and service medals (except for Coast Guard decorations). Such items are normally used for formal wear. They must be purchased from private dealers who sell military Insignia and memorabilia, war surplus stores or uniform outlets.

3. Certificates of achievement and appreciation of local design cannot be replaced. Stocks of these and other certificates printed by battalion, squadron, group or corps command are not maintained.

4. Award emblems of deceased veterans are replaced for the legal next-of-kin - surviving spouse, eldest child, father or mother, eldest grandchild.

5. The Army will engrave, on a free-of-charge basis, the name of the veteran on the reverse of all suspension medals for personal decorations and the Good Conduct Medal. The Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force engrave only the Medal of Honor and some personal decorations awarded posthumously.

6. Replacement and "conversion" award emblems are sent via postal channels in boxes that are packaged and wrapped accordingly.

7. Lapel buttons depicting personal decorations are included in the same container as the suspension medal and bar ribbon device.

8. Except for the lapel buttons for WWI and WWII Victory Medals, which do not accompany suspension medals, there are no lapel buttons authorized or issued for service ribbons, campaign medals or unit awards.

9. With few exceptions, each military department will not issue or replace an emblem authorized or awarded by another military department. This usually occurs when a person switched from one service to another and received awards from both or was awarded a decoration or service medal by another service.

10. There is no individual emblem for persons whose unit was cited only once by the French government at the level of the Croix de Guerre. The same holds true for units cited once by the Belgian government. Members of units cited twice or more are authorized the French or Belgian Fourragere, a braided shoulder cord.

11. The sale and unauthorized wear of federal full-size suspension medals for personal decorations and service medals is illegal and violates the United States Code, Title 18~ It is punishable by a $250 fine, six-month imprisonment or both.

12. State National Guard organizations and Junior and Senior ROTC have unique systems of awards and decorations. Since most of these National Guard and ROTC awards are not permitted to be worn on the uniform while on federal status, they are not issued or replaced as outlined in this article.

13. The following awards consist of bar ribbon devices only.

(a) All unit awards -Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Award, and Navy and Meritorious Unit Commendations.

(b) Army Service Ribbon, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon.

(c) Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corp Overseas Service Ribbon, Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon, Navy "E" Ribbon, Fleet Marine Force Ribbon, Navy Arctic Service Ribbon and Naval Reserve Sea Service Ribbon.

(d) Outstanding Airman of the Year, Air Force Recognition Ribbon, Air Force Overseas Ribbons, Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon, Air Force NCO Professional Military Education Ribbon, Basic Military training Honor Graduate, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon and Air Force Training Ribbon.

[Source: NEW MEXICO e-VETERANS NEWS - Issue 15, 8 May 05]


The following sample application letter can be used to request replacement awards:

1. Submission by Veteran:

PLACE Address shown for appropriate military department

I request that I be issued all award emblems to which I am entitled. I have attached a copy of my separation document (DD Form 214). My social security number is: My former service numbers are: My VA claim number is: Date and place of birth: Full name, Phone number Street address (or P.O. Box), City, State and Zip Code

2. Submission by Next-of-Kin:

PLACE Address shown for appropriate military department

I request that I be issued all award emblems to which (Full name of veteran) was entitled. I am the (Relationship) and the legal next-of-kin of the deceased veteran. A copy of his or her separation document (DD Form 214) is enclosed.

His (or her) social security number was:
His (or her) former service numbers were:
His (or her) VA Claim number was:
His (or her) date of death was;
His (or her) date and place of birth were:

Full name of next of kin, Phone number
Street address (or P.O. Box), City, State and Zip Code

Note 1: Some of the above information may be omitted if it is shown on accompanying separation documents.
Note 2: The above letters may be modified to ask for only specific emblems rather than all to which a veteran is entitled.
Note 3: It is also helpful to add a paragraph if the veteran is entitled to such things as "conversion" awards or unit awards for specific organizational assignments. If new certificates for personal decorations are being requested, the letters should so state in an additional line or paragraph.

[Source: New Mexico e-Veterans News 8 May 05]



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