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    Placement of the MOH on a ribbon bar

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    Recently I bought two lots totaling 18 US miniatures besides the 6 I already owned.

    I have a copy of the MOH with a brooch pin at the back and before buying the two lots I bought the ribbons of the 5 other medals I have. I inquired from the company that I bought the ribbons from about buying a 23 or 24 ribbon rack plus the ribbons of the medals that has yet to arrive. They advised me that the MOH is in a class all of it's own and that the ribbon is usually displayed separately.

    My question to the US experts is two-fold: was that statement about it being displayed separately true and would it look odd if the MOH ribbon is spaced above the 23 others with a slight gap between them?



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    Generally, the ribbon is placed on the rack, but on a row by itself at the top. Here are some examples from different services and different eras:








    There are exceptions, where it was worn like a normal ribbon.  See, for example, the various pictures of Jimmy Doolittle: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:James_Harold_Doolittle




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    So in practice it depends on the wearer's preference but it's ''unofficially'' understood that it should take pride of place above all others disregarding the fact that there may be 1, 2 or 3 other ribbons directly below it?

    These images also begs another question: is it the only US medal that is worn together with it's ribbon as some of these pictures illustrate or is it once again personal preference?




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    It depends on how many ribbons are worn. The MOH is always the top ribbon in precedence on the bar.

    so, if the lower rows are full then the MOH is on a row alone atop the others. If there’s an odd amount, like the Navy Seal, then the MOH will be worn on same row as another ribbon but in higher precedence.

    the staggered bars are just arranged so all can be seen.

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    Thanks. Since no other medal outranks it it makes sense that the MOH ribbon should always be worn at the end of the top row or on top of the row beneath it if that row is already full according to the various branches' regulations.


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    So just to let me get this straight in my mind; there's 3 basic rules with the placement of a MOH ribbon:

    1. Full row of three under it: MOH ribbon centered above the middle ribbon;

    2. Top row with two other medals: MOH ribbon to the right;

    3. Row with 2 ribbons: MOH worn to the right of the other ribbon.

    Thanks for all the help.

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    MOH minis, of varying quality, seem to be private purchase.   At least Gemsco and BB&B [Gemsco marks on  pinback plate, BB&B on the medal reverse] and unmarked minis exist.    

    MOH ribbon should be placed to right of [of wearer's] other award ribbons with exception of above all others if no row of 3.

    Why does Roberts [image 2 above] wear Chief Commander degree, Legion of Merit?  

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    I didn't even notice the Legion of Merit till you pointed it out. His ribbon rack isn't very clear but the uppermost ribbon does look like that of an MOH, so why he chose to wear a ''lower degree'' medal is anyone's guess besides his. The strange thing is: I enlarged the photo till all his ribbons was clear...the top-most ribbon is definitely a MOH but there seems to be no ribbon for a Legion of Merit...could it be that he just received the Legion of Merit which explains it not being on the ribbon bar?

    As to miniatures of the MOH I have seen 1/16th size versions for sale on E-Bay but they look so small that they'll cover the tip of my little finger. I would like to have a miniature but not one that I basically need intense magnification to see properly.


    Edited by Wessel Gordon
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    I question Roberts' wear of Chief Commander grade insignia because, according to regulations,  U.S. personnel may be granted only insignia equivalent to Legionnaire badges without any reference to award degree.  See:  https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2008-title32-vol3/xml/CFR-2008-title32-vol3-sec578-13.xml


    A few awards of Officer rank were made to U.S. officers in error early in the North African campaign but none following that "administrative error".    The perhaps 60 U.S. officers so decorated were allowed to keep the decoration. 

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    How does Roberts' receipt of a retirement Legion of Merit to correlate with regulatory description of insignia available to U.S. military personnel?  Have the regulations changed?   

    After reviewing all 5 images of Roberts' retirement ceremony that Dave provided above, it certainly seems that Maj. Gen. Kenneth S. Dowd actually pinned a Chief Commander insignia on Roberts!  Especially note image 4 at [https://www.dvidshub.net/image/585362/medal-honor-recipient-retires-after-44-years-service] with Dowd standing beside Roberts after the ceremony.   If accurate, were did the insignia come from and who authorized it?   



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    • 1 month later...


    Interesting that the Colonel, 3rd picture looks like he volunteered to serve in the Canadian Army before the US got into the war as he is wearing Canadian ribbons, backwards but he is still wearing them......



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    In the Wikipedia article about Roberts in 922F's post if you look at his list of awards the Legion of Merit ribbon is that of the ''ordinary'' Legion of Merit. So either Wikipedia's wrong (which it's prone to be) but then again as 922F remarked only a few recipients was made ''Officers of the Legion of Merit'' in error and although President Rooseveldt apparently threw a fit when he found out he didn't bump them down to ordinary Legion of Merits so to my knowledge too, that's the only time Officers of the Legion of Merit was ever bestowed, albeit in error.

    Also, in the picture in the Wikipedia article there is no Legion of Merit ribbon visible on his ribbon bar although you can see ribbons for the other awards listed so that picture must have been taken before he received the Legion of Honor and although I had a long, hard look at his ribbon bar there doesn't seem to be any ribbons hidden by his lapel.

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