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Additions to my collection - any suggestions?

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I ordered ribbons for the medals in my collection plus 4 ribbon mounts that mount 9 ribbons each. Since I have 33 different medals I need only 3 more to complete the fourth ribbon rack. Here's a list of my collection...any suggestions to which medals to add to complete the ribbon bar will be appreciated:

 Congressional Medal of Honor
 Air Force Cross
 Silver Star
 Defense Superior Service Medal
 Legion of Merit
 Airman's Medal for Heroism
 Soldier’s  Medal
 Navy & Marine Corps Medal
 Bronze Star
 Purple Heart
 Defense Meritous Service Medal
 Air Medal
 Air Force Commendation Medal
 Army Commendation Medal
 Air Force Achievement Medal
 Joint Service Achievement Medal
 Prisoner of War Medal
 Air Force Good Conduct Medal
 Army Good Conduct
 Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
 Air Reserve Meritious Service Medal
 Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal
 Army of Occupation Medal
 American Defense Service Medal
 Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal.
 National Defense Service Medal
 Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
 Vietnam Service Medal
 Afghanistan Campaign Medal
 Southwest Asia Service Medal
 Korea Defense Service Medal
 Humanitarian Service Medal
 Armed Forces Reserve Medal

 Philippines Liberation Medal


Kind regards,



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That's quite an eclectic collection.  I'd suggest that you start by sorting ribbons into groups to represent one service and a period of time.  For example, World War 2, Naval aviator.  That could include your Silver Star, Air Medal, Purple Heart, Asia Pacific campaign medal, Korean Defense Service Medal.  You might add the Atlantic campaign medal and the UN Korean medal to this group.  A Distinguished Flying Cross wouldn't be out of place.  If your hypothetical recipient continued to serve for a full career, he might have picked up a Legion of Merit toward the end of his career.  There are many foreign awards which would logically fit into these racks:  French Croix de Guerre, etc.  Since you have already decided on racks of 9, you could fill up empty spaces with these foreigners appropriate to the time and campaign.  

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Thanks for the suggestions. There's quite a few things for me to think about.

My original idea was stop at 30 medals (one nice rack of 30 medals) but I got a few offers from sellers I couldn't resist so added 3 more medals...and the biggest single ribbon/medal rack available is 30 so I opted for the next best thing of 9 per rack which leaves me with 3 extra spaces right now.

And you are right: I made the classic mistake of going ''oh that's a nice medal, I'll buy it'' instead of focusing on a single branch of the military. The only services I actively tried to exclude was the navy and coast guard since it seemed I had to draw the line somewhere but even so a navy medal or two have slipped in.





The other natural option is to split the collection into: army, air force and marine which will involve 3 hypothetical soldiers.

The obvious first point in all 3 cases is to decide when the soldier enlisted because that would impact the campaign medals and the natural progression of medals thereafter. The enlistment date will also obviously affect the date of retirement for each soldier as, for example, a naval aviator that was a hot-shot  pilot in WWII, was probably either dead or very well into retirement when 9/11 rolled around.  


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Sorry for rambling on in this thread but I post as I think of stuff.

The danger of splitting my collection into 3 parallel collections (army, air force, marines) is the obvious: there will always be that one medal I'm missing for one particular branch and them notice a medal from another branch I want and so the cycle continues and I keep buying medals.

So as Hugh rightly remarked my collection is quite eclectic (and certainly not practically achievable for a fictitious soldier) I'm still sure it's the right thing to add three more medals and then stop.

Having said that: any suggestions/remarks are always welcomed even if they are critical.



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Having another critical look at my medals it seems like a better split would be four-ways: pilot, soldier, marine and reserve.

Considering my medals so far what do other collectors think of that idea?

And with the addition of the Army Distinguished Service Cross I have two empty spaces left on my ribbon bars which is due to arrive any day...any suggestions?


Edited by Wessel Gordon
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