How to wear your family war medals

The Defence Force has released some tips around the wearing of medals on Anzac Day.

It comes the same week former Otaki RSA president Don Moselen was disgraced for wearing three medals he hadn't earned. He was the first New Zealander to be charged under the Military and Distinctive Badges Act 1918 and pleaded guilty.

The Defence Force says relatives of soldiers are allowed to wear their medals on their right chest for national days of memorial like Anzac Day and Remembrance Day. Ex-service people should wear them on the left side of their chest.

Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones says he is delighted to observe a large number of people wearing their relatives' medals to Anzac Day services.

"By doing so they are reinforcing their relative's mana and honouring their memory by wearing these medals 'on parade with their mates' again. We encourage this practice within the dress conventions agreed to."

* People should only wear one set of medals and they should be directly related to their family, for example should have belonged to a brother or sister, dad or mum, grandfather or grandmother.

* In all cases these are worn on the right chest

* Only service medals and decorations mounted on a medal bar (full-size or miniature) can be worn by a relative. It is ok for people to wear miniature medals mounted on a medal bar as the weight is far easier to handle.

* Royal Honours insignia such as neck badges, sashes, sash badges or breast stars can't be worn by anyone other than the original recipient. The same rule applies to any Unit and Personal Commendations that the deceased wore on their right chest.

* The occasions on which wearing of relatives medals is permitted are limited to Anzac Day and Remembrance Day (November 11). In addition, it may be appropriate for next-of-kin and other relatives to wear relatives' medals on an occasion where either the relative's service or the unit in which they served is being commemorated.

For more details see the Defence site section on medals here.

- The Aucklander

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