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Inscribing Your Decorations?


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I have never purchased any decorations from any era awarded to someone else.  No particular reason why, I just have not, but that may soon change.  I found a numbered U.S. / Mexico service medal from 1911 - 1917, but it’s not inscribed with the owners name. I have never thought about that particular issue before, but it’s a real shame that the campaign medal is not inscribed with his name.  If it was, I’d have researched all available information on the owner, kept it with the medal going forward to preserve his history, then handed it off to the next collector at some point.  Then that really got me to thinking, that none of the medals I received (nothing significant) are inscribed either.  Have any of you ever pondered this issue, then inscribed your awards to preserve your history going forward?  Has it ever occurred to you to do so?

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  • 3 weeks later...
Cobra 6 Actual

Interesting question, Bryan. For myself all of the medals I received on active duty were issued to me without engraving.

Several years ago I requested a free “replacement set” from ‘Uncle Whiskers’. They all came nicely engraved.

Since I have two sons, I decided to take the engraved medals and equally distribute them with the un-engraved ones. So, I ended up with two sets of medals with an equal mix of each type. That’s as far as I’ve taken it. I’m interested to hear what others have done, too.

Thanks for bringing this up.

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  • 1 month later...

I have my father's Bronze Star medal for his service in South Vietnam which was not engraved and I've kept since his death in 1992.   It is in a case and one day I decided to take it to the local trophy shop and have his name engraved on the back so generations after me would know who this once belonged to.   The guy did a good job and as I recall had to borrow a smaller engraving bit from the jeweler next door as there isn't much room to engrave anything on the back of a Bronze Star medal.

 

 

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@BryanJ - If you have a numbered U.S. / Mexico service medal from 1911 - 1917 and you post the number on here there are some forum members that have book/s that will give you the name of the person to whom it belonged, that is in most cases.  -- Matt

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My dad commented the other day about taking his medals out of his shadow box to get engraved. I don’t know if he will though.

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I always said I would never get mine engraved, but I've actually thought about getting my retirement award engraved. For the money, it would be nice to at least have it mean something when my kids sell it at yard sale after I'm gone. 😄

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I'm pretty sure that for Army awards you can still mail your unengraved officially awarded decorations to the Commander, U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, Clothing and Heraldry Product Support Integration  Directorate, Post Office Box 57997, Philadelphia, PA 19111–7997 with the documentation and they will be officially engraved at Government expense (AR 600-8-22, June 2015, para 1-34). They don't do service/campaign medals as I recall except for the POW Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal.

 

The other services probably have similar policies.

 

Dennis

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Straight from the Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual. SECNAV 1650.1H (22 Aug 2006). No other awards, except for the MOH, will be engraved at gov’t expense.

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However that was superseded by 1650.1J, but I didn’t find any mention of engraving in that version. It’s likely that the policy of no engraving still stands.

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