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Commemorative / Jubliee / Memorial items


TacHel
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The different branches of the Russian Armed Forces often use commemorative medals or decorations (badges) to periodically (every 5, 10 or 25 years) reward their members for outstanding service, such awards are usually also awarded to eminent citizens such as politicians, the clergy, members of the defense industry, etc, who are friends of the service/branch. These have been in the form of Ministerial medals such as the medal for 300 Years of the Baltic Fleet, decoration for 300 Years of Naval Infantry, decoration for 100 Years of the Submarine Force, etc.

Not every service or sub department can get ministerial approval for their commemorative/jubilee/memorial medals/badges/decorations, one such example was when the minister, upon being shown the prototype commemorative decoration for 50 Years of Strategic Rocket Troops (see pic below), simply smiled, said "why?", and walked away without signing the Order to the amazement of all present.

Awards must be approved by the minister. Decorations and medals are considered awards. So how can a service branch or sub department get around this? By calling the "item" a commemorative/jubilee/memorial "badge". It looks like a medal, it simply isn't called a medal.

Below is such an example, the commemorative/jubilee/memorial "badge" for 70 Years of the Northern Fleet. This "badge" was bestowed under the authority of the fleet commander himself. It was bestowed to thousands of serving members of the fleet, veterans of the fleet, and like similar ministerial "items", to eminent personalities.

Since this award can be worn on the military uniform, an award document (attestation) was produced bearing the emblem of the Russian Navy on its cover and details of the fleet commander's Order on the inside.

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Since these "badges" are not considered awards, (eventhough their prerequisites are often more stringent), they are worn after all service awards. This young naval officer proudly wears the "Commemorative Badge 70 Years of the Northern Fleet" after his service awards as per regulations. His other medals are (L to R) the Medal for Military Valor 2nd class and the Medal for Distinguished Military Service 3rd class.

Such "badges" are not solely seen in the Navy, all branches of the Armed Forces and in fact, all military forces also from outside of the Defense Ministry bestow and wear such "commemorative/jubilee/memorial badges". Many were (and still are) originally produced by civilian or veterans' organizations such as the Russian Awards Committee and simply adopted by formation commanders (naval fleets, air wings, army divisions etc). These non military organizations actually go out of their way to include the authority of such military formation commanders into the initial award description to ease the process. Some badges are produced from the start under the authority of the formation commander.

A good way to spot these "badges" is by the absence of the inscription "Ministry of Defense - Russian Federation" from the reverse of the coin or the inside of the award document. The award document will bear the emblem of a particular branch or sub department vice the ministerial emblem, or be devoid of any such emblem. The presence of an official military (albeit non ministerial) stamp in the award document is usually there. A stamp from one of the civilian or veterans' organizations would mean a badge not bestowed by a military official.

Edited by TacHel
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All of which brings me to the following...

Commemorative/jubilee/memorial badge for 225 Years of the Black Sea Fleet 1783 - 2008. I have found 2 different examples.

I've searched and searched for months. I found 1/2 a dozen pictures of the fleet commander bestowing the "badge" but none show the darn thing! The angle of the camera never allows for a positive ID. I would be VERY GRATEFUL to anybody able to tell me which was given by the fleet commander in 2008.

I would also be VERY GRATEFUL to anybody able to give me a link to ANY page containing the Order of these fleet (formation) commanders concerning these badges. I've searched for months on Russian fleet web sites but most are too large and complex for my limited Russian.

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