What Is the Order of Precedence for Military Ribbons?


Quick Answer

The order of precedence for military ribbons is topped by the Medal of Honor, followed by the Distinguished Service Cross, with the Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon at the end. The Navy Cross, Air Force Cross and Coast Guard Cross follow the Distinguished Service Cross in order of precedence, all of which are for the specific branches of the military.

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Full Answer

The Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal and Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal are next in line, respectively, followed by the Silver Star. The order of precedence for an individual in the Navy or Marine Corps starts with the Medal of Honor and Navy Cross Medal, and it continues with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Defense Superior Service and Legion of Merit.

The Medal of Honor, a blue ribbon with white stars, was created by George Washington in 1782 to recognize individuals demonstrating conspicuous valor. The original ribbon was blue with red and white stripes with an eagle over a five-pointed star containing the goddess Minerva. It changed in 1896 and again in 1904 to the current eagle over a bar containing the word "Valor" attached to a five-pointed star featuring Minerva's head surrounded by laurel leaves.

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