Marine Dress Blues
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Thread: Marine Dress Blues

  1. Marine Dress Blues

    Hello everyone. My family and I laid to rest one of the greatest men that I have had the privilege to know, my uncle, on Saturday. He was a Vietnam veteran, and retired Master Sargeant in the USMC. Like most people probably say, I wish I would have spent more time with him when I had the chance, but unfortunately that is something I will never be able to get back. Sometime this summer we will make the trek to Virginia to help him start his next journey alongside other heroes. I would like to honor him by learning more of his accomplishments during his service. During the ceremony, his dress blues were on display, and I was wondering if someone could help my understand what the ribbons and medals mean? Thank you for any help that may be available.


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  3. #2
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    The only 2 I recognize are the ribbon dead center of the middle row green, gold, red with the 2 stars on it that's a Vietnam service ribbon and the stars are 2 consecutive awards. That means he did 3 tours in Vietnam. To the VIEWER's left red, white gold is a National Defense Service Ribbon. That signifies that he was in the service in time of war
    In an emergency individuals do not rise to the occasion, they fall to the level of their MASTERED training
    Barrett Tillman

  4. Quote Originally Posted by Eidolon View Post
    The only 2 I recognize are the ribbon dead center of the middle row green, gold, red with the 2 stars on it that's a Vietnam service ribbon and the stars are 2 consecutive awards. That means he did 3 tours in Vietnam. To the VIEWER's left red, white gold is a National Defense Service Ribbon. That signifies that he was in the service in time of war
    Thank you.

  5. #4
    JDIOWA:

    I was Army but some of the ribbons shown were also for Army personnel. A good source to reference would be here: United States Marine Corps Military Ribbons, United States Marine Corps Ribbons in order of precedence.

    From what I am able to make out, beginning at the top is the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal; 3d row, L to R, Combat Action Medal, Valorous Unit Citation, Marine Good Conduct Medal; 2d row, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal w/2 campaign stars, Unknown; `1st Row,RVN Cross of Gallantry w/palm Unit Citation, Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation, Vietnam Campaign Medal. Those are marksmanship medals below the ribbons.

    Unless the Marines have changed their regulations, the two stars in the Vietnam Service Medal do not indicate a separate tour in Vietnam, only two separate campaigns.

  6. #5
    The Marine Corps Dress Blue Uniform is the most beautiful in the world. Wish I could still get my fat caboose in mine.

    Your uncle qualified EXPERT, rifle. SHARP SHOOTER, pistol. There are 3 levels, MARKS MAN, SHARP SHOOTER, & EXPERT.
    ΥΣΜΧ SEMPER FIDELIS !!!

    54 AND COUNTING

  7. #6
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    Here's a link to pictures of the medals themselves: www.usmcmuseum.org/medal_chart.pdf
    Never argue with a red-haired witch. It wastes your breath and only delays the inevitable. --the collected sayings of Wiz Zumwalt

  8. Sorry for your loss, ribbons and medals tell a lot about a marine. Your uncle was a good man!!! Semper Fi to him!


    Sent from my iPhone using USA Carry

  9. The top ribbon (green with white stripes and V device) is the Marines Navy Commendation for Achievement the V device in its center signifies that it was for VALOR.

  10. #9
    I served in the Corps from 79 to 92. Your family member earned each and everyone of those medals as the Marine Corps is stingy when it comes to rewarding gallantry. The ribbons are as follows listed from the top down left to right:
    1.) Navy commendation with combat v; 2.) Combat action ribbon; 3.) unknown; 4.)Good conduct medal with 4 stars (each star is 3 or 4 years); 5.) National Defense medal; 6.) Vietnam Service medal; 7.) Sea service ribbon; 8.) Vietnam cross of gallantry; 9.) Vietnam civil actions medal; and 10.) Vietnam campaign medal.

    Look here for more Marine Corps Ribbon/Medal Order of Display

    good luck

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jake4242 View Post
    I served in the Corps from 79 to 92. Your family member earned each and everyone of those medals as the Marine Corps is stingy when it comes to rewarding gallantry. The ribbons are as follows listed from the top down left to right:
    1.) Navy commendation with combat v; 2.) Combat action ribbon; 3.) unknown; 4.)Good conduct medal with 4 stars (each star is 3 or 4 years); 5.) National Defense medal; 6.) Vietnam Service medal; 7.) Sea service ribbon; 8.) Vietnam cross of gallantry; 9.) Vietnam civil actions medal; and 10.) Vietnam campaign medal.

    Look here for more Marine Corps Ribbon/Medal Order of Display

    good luck
    I served in the Marine Corps from 1979-2010. and so obviously not a VietNam vet. However, I am reasonably certain that the #3 "unknown" ribbon you refer to is in fact the U.S. Army Valorous Unit Citation. It is/was awarded to units that exhibit gallantry in the face of the enemy equivalent to that which would warrant the award of a Silver Star to an individual. It was/is not uncommon for Marine units to be attached to higher command Army units and vice/versa periodically. Its equivalents are the NUC (Navy Unit Citation), JMUC (Joint Military Unit Citation), GUC (Air Force Gallantry Unit Citation) etc. The gold frame around the ribbon highlights its significance. Though awarded to the unit, it is an individual ribbon, meaning that only members of the unit involved in the specific action(s) during a specific timeframe are awarded the ribbon. What it also means is that your uncle was involved in some fairly serious fighting while he was in VietNam.

    My condolences to you and your family. Semper Fidelis.

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