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accepting and wearing foreign medals for the commonwealth

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I am a collector of foreign medals and orders. As I stumbled over the Korean order of military merit, I got stuck with a question. I have seen medal groups from all of the 16 UN contributing countries having a grade of the order of military merit from th Republic of Korea in them, but the British ones. There is an Australian who has the Korean award, and there are some Canadians too. Where the Uk soldiers not allowed to accept them? But if they where...maybe not allowed to wear? I have never seen a UK group holding a Korean military merit, or even a group with a not mounted one next to them. I am pretty sure they could/must have earned some during the Korean war!

Who can enlight this question for me?



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Hi Peter,

I have checked out that list, but it is far from complete. I think the only foreign order allowed to wear cannot be the French Legion D'Honneur. I guess most foreign royal orders should be in there. I hope ther is someone ou there who can help me with the commonwealth accepting and wearing policy.

I was not aware of this site at all, and it does come in handy for other questions, thanks Peter.


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Sorry I am a late entry to this topic, I have just joined recently.  The situation currently for Australian Military is that they can accept awards from foreign countries, but are not permitted to wear them on uniform unless the award is officially approved and appears on their personnel record. 

There is a list of medals which have been authorised after formal offer to the Australian Government, for which there is basically automatic approval for members who receive it after the authorisation - MFO, UN, NATO and others.  More information can be found at following location:


This policy is much relaxed on the policy in the past, for the Korea/Malaya/Vietnam era where foreign awards were generally not accepted.  There have been quite a number of Australian military personnel, long since retired, who are now being allowed to accept and wear awards that they were offered decades ago and at the time were refused permission to accept.

Attached pic is of the medal group of a RAAF member who served during that era, as a fixed wing pilot in Korea and then as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam.  He was offered the US Air Medal for I believe rescuing some US Marines who were under fire in Vietnam, but was not allowed to accept the medal.  Then 40+ years later when the policy was relaxed he was authorised to accept and now wears the medal. 



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