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Does US medals confer post-nominals?


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I was busy cataloguing my medal collection when I suddenly wondered if the US allow soldiers the use of post nominal letters for any of their medals/orders. I'm referring to among others the British medals such as Victoria Cross (VC), George Cross (GC) and the South African Honoris Crux 1975 (HC) etc.

I have a National Defense Service Medal and I'm waiting for my order of a Legion of Merit and Purple Heart.

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  • 2 months later...

I had heard a story that General Patton had learned of an American officer affecting the use of post-nominal letters signifying his combat medals and told him to stop that. Probably in a not very polite way of handling the matter. However, award abbreviations appear on DD 214 (discharge papers), so that is as close to post-nominal usage as can be expected.

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  • 1 year later...

Hiya,

 

Found this on Wikipedia:

 

Order of post-nominals in the United States

In the United States, standard protocol is to list post-nominal letters in the following order:[20]

  1. Religious institutions
  2. Theological degrees
  3. Military decorations
  4. Academic degrees
  5. Honorary degrees, honors, decorations
  6. Professional licenses, certifications and affiliations
  7. Retired uniformed service.

Active duty services personnel do not use any post-nominals other than, if applicable, Staff Corps affiliation (Navy only) followed by a comma and then their branch of service. Names are bracketed by the appropriate pre-nominal and post-nominal, e.g. LCDR John Q Public, MC, USN.[20]

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My almost completely uninformed view on this - shaped by 40 years of reading US news and collecting/studying militaria - is that postnomials are uncommon in the US.  Not banned, not ordered, just not often used.

 

One has to distinguish between what the 'rules' say, whoever compiles those, and what the 'average Joe' or average Josephine tends to do.  Brits, and their colonial offspring - Canadian, Indians, etc - have a long history of using postnominals.  OTOH, I suspect that many Americans regard this as an affectation and in truly republican [small 'r'] fashion choose not to use titles or postnominals.

 

If one looks at Europe, the use of 'Doctor', 'Engineer', 'Lawyer' in place of Mr. or Mrs. or their equivalents is a whole 'nuther story.  My father loved to tell of a German academic, in the 1970s,  who insisted on being addressed as 'Fraulein Doktor Doktor Schmidt'.  Which I suspect would sound pretentious even in Germany these days. 

 

'When in Rome...' and, pace Audie Murphy, Americans using postnominals seems odd and unusual to me. 

My two dollars and change worth.  Standing by for agreement, correction and chastisement. ;)

 

Peter

 

 

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Judging by the number of awards made, for apparently everything, in the USA, post-noms for all of them would be a nightmare and would probably double the length of one's name......and would require re-printing of ID cards etc on a semi-annual basis.....

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Yes, but on the government issued headstones, such as we see above, for military/naval personnel it is the common practice to note major conflicts and decorations unless you tell them not to do so.  But as for appending abbreviations of decorations after one's name in print . . .  in US service that would be greatly frowned upon in some quarters, ridiculed in others and probably both for the rest.

Edited by RAL
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