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Origin of Navy service medals

Service Medals and Campaign Credits (header)

SPECIAL ORDER NAVY DEPARTMENT, No. 81. Washington, June 27, 1908

1. By authority of the President, campaign badges with ribbons will be issued to officers and enlisted men of the Navy who are now or may hereafter be in the naval service, to commemorate services that have been or may hereafter be rendered in campaign.

2. Upon announcement that service in a campaign is to be rewarded by a badge, commanding officers will forward direct to the Bureau of Navigation lists of officers and enlisted men of their commands who are entitled to a badge, with a statement in the case of each individual, showing the rank or rate, vessel, time and place of service.

3. Badges for each campaign will be numbered serially, and a record kept by the Bureau of Navigation, showing the name, rank or rate, vessel, and for what service each badge was issued.

4. Campaign badges shall be worn on occasion of ceremony as prescribed by the Regulations Governing Uniforms.

5. Hereafter a section of the ribbon of badges and medals awarded to officers by the Government, five-sixteenths inch long and of the full width of the ribbon, may be worn with the frock coat and evening dress coat upon occasions when medals and badges may not be worn; to be worn in a horizontal line in the position prescribed for badges; the ribbon either to be sewn on or to be pinned on, provided no part of the metal bar or pin be visible.

6. Campaign badge will be issued by the Bureau of Navigation to officers and enlisted men of the Navy who served in the Navy between the dates mentioned, and attached to the ships named in the appended list. Commanding officers shall forward to the Bureau of Navigation lists of officers and men entitled to these badges, as prescribed in paragraph 2 of this order.

J.E. PILLSBURY, 60233-10 Acting Secretary.

[Historical note: Authorized along with this order were "badges" for service in the Civil WarSpanish CampaignWest Indies CampaignPhilippine Campaign and the China Relief Expedition (Boxer Rebellion).]

22 June 1998

Published: Fri Feb 26 07:58:15 EST 2016