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Medals and Evening Dress

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Medals and Evening Dress

Old 9th Jun 2014, 19:04
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Medals and Evening Dress

At the RAF Club at the mo (and for the next three nights if anyones around), and I spotted several younger guys outside in civil formal (not mess) dress but with medals - some of them a lot of medals.

What's the protocol for serving officers wearing miniatures with civil evening dress?

Devastated by the loss of Flash - funniest sketch I ever saw..

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Old 9th Jun 2014, 19:20
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Any good?

Black Tie Guide | Supplemental: Decorations

http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/medi...iquettefaq.pdf
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Old 9th Jun 2014, 19:27
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NL Thanks for that - very interesting, but these are clearly serving members. BS.
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Old 9th Jun 2014, 19:31
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Just link gives a current link, but it take it it's in the intranet.
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Old 9th Jun 2014, 19:39
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AP1358 available on-line from MOD RAF

RAF - AP 1358

Hope this helps (Chaps 8 and 10) ...
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Old 9th Jun 2014, 20:04
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I'm very hesitant to ask this, though I'm not sure why, but supposing BSweeper had
spotted several younger women outside in civil formal (not mess) dress
that were entitled to wear medals, some of them a lot of medals. Could they? Would they?
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Old 9th Jun 2014, 20:08
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Thanks Coff for the more than comprehensive answer which I will précis for the benefit of others.

It appears to be OK (I think)
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Old 9th Jun 2014, 21:46
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I often wonder why folk sometimes get excited about people that are proud to wear their uniform or medals in public. Common sense must sometimes apply. Smart, well behaved people in uniform and/or displaying medals are ambassadors.

I attended a military wedding soon after I left the RAF and, at the request of the "sponsor" wore my No 1 SD. I was approached by an Army major who was clearly intent on having a go. The first (and usual) issue was how terrible "Transport Command" (his words) are at getting people out of theatre for their R&R. He then asked which unit I was with. I said I was retired. There then followed a tirade of abuse about why I was wearing my uniform. I couldn't remember the wording of the regulation so resorted to explaining that I still hold the Queens Commission. Thankfully that shut him up.
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Old 9th Jun 2014, 21:47
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some of them a lot of medals.
I can't see whether they have one, two or a dozen medals has any bearing on the matter.

Courtney - as far as I know a military wedding certainly falls into the category of occasions when it is permissible for retired officers to wear uniform. What an ignorant major
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Old 9th Jun 2014, 23:01
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Basil

p.s Attended a 'do' tonight
By coincidence, I also attended a 'do' at the RAF Club tonight where were people wearing miniatures with black tie.

Did we meet?
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Old 9th Jun 2014, 23:12
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Courtney - I was not getting "excited" - and at my age far from it - I was just interested in the protocol of which I was not familiar. If they have got medals then they certainly deserve to wear them proudly, even in pyjamas if they so wish as far as I am concerned.

I just thought it unusual for serving officers wearing medals not to be wearing uniform -nothing more complicated than that. But then, as I originally said, what do I know.


Last edited by BSweeper; 9th Jun 2014 at 23:41.
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Old 10th Jun 2014, 07:15
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I once had a black tie ball organiser ask me remove my miniatures, even though the invitation specifically stated "Black Tie - Decorations".

The chap who had insisted that the event (nursing graduation ball) be "Black Tie - Decorations" hadn't counted on anyone other than he and the (ex-QARANC) Head of the School of Nursing having dangling tin and it seems he had done it purely as a way to brown nose the boss. Why he was so keen to show he had a pulse when the Queen's Golden Jubilee happened is anyone's guess.
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Old 10th Jun 2014, 07:17
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This thread raised a question in my mind that has not yet been addressed but has now got me wondering. Like Basil I am an ex Cold War Warrior, and my solitary GSM got put away in a drawer in 1973 together with its miniature chum. It was much much later that I attended my first formal dinner of my Squadron Association, having been persuaded to do so by a fellow retiree. The present members of course attended in mess kit and were certainly wearing medals, some of them a lot of medals, TTN! Among them of course were female squadron members and one day they will be retirees, wearing civilian evening wear instead.

None of the ladies that attend our dinners wear medals on their dresses. Now that may well be because they have none to wear of course. My query is if they did would they wear them? That is the question I tried to raise in my previous post. I know that it is supposed to be a question of choice, but do the ladies see it that way, or do they feel that evening dresses and medals don't mix?

Do I wear my GSM at such do's? Well I didn't on that first evening but I do now. I feel that it tells the dramatic difference between my time and those who serve today. I'm proud of what we did, but I'm in awe of what has been done since by the men and women who took our place. I hope that when they in turn attend in civilian evening wear instead of uniform they too will wear their medals with pride, be they male or female.
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Old 10th Jun 2014, 07:32
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Chug - The department I work in has regular black tie events which are always stated as "- Decorations" and as far as I'm aware all the ex-servicewomen in the department wear miniatures.

This could be though due to a large presence of serving/ex-serving personnel in the department (emergency medicine attracts us it seems),but the wider hospital trust has a very pro-military stance, with wearing of uniform to work positively encouraged on Armed Forces Day.

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Old 10th Jun 2014, 07:35
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In the '60s I once accidentally stumbled into a function (took the wrong door) being attended by what I assume were female WW II veterans - no males that I noticed. They were all wearing evening dress and medals.
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Old 10th Jun 2014, 08:24
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Prior to attending a service reunion last year, I asked whether 'black tie' was to be taken as 'with medals'. I didn't get a reply, so left them at home.

Others were proudly sporting miniatures on their DJs though - including one chap who'd included the Saudi and Kuwaiti medals we'd been banned from wearing after GW1. Not that anyone seemed particularly concerned....
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Old 10th Jun 2014, 08:38
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I've never worn my miniatures, but I do wear the full size ones on Remembrance Day. The only time they come out!
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Old 10th Jun 2014, 09:13
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Chugalug - my comment about number of medals was merely to state that whether or not you have a long row, you should stick to the rules. These days I feel a little conspicuous with my solitary GSM alongside young chaps (son included) with half a dozen or more, but I still wear it, and risk the amused glances from the youngsters!

Re ladies in evening dress - there were many ladies from the generation before mine with WW2 medals, but I have never seen one wearing miniatures in (civilian) evening dress. Whether that convention will change is another matter.

I understand that some men now wear an ordinary tie (or even no tie!) with a DJ, so things do change
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Old 10th Jun 2014, 09:16
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I understand that some men now wear an ordinary tie (or even no tie!) with a DJ
Or worse still a clip on / pre-tied bow tie with a wing collar shirt.
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Old 10th Jun 2014, 18:21
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THS, Hydromet, thank you gentlemen for confirming that the ladies do indeed sport their medals though not necessarily always the miniatures at civilian dress do's . Like TTN I don't recall ever seeing ladies in evening dresses so attired, but they obviously do if so encouraged (by the other ladies attending perhaps).

As TTN states, times change, and with men and women operating side by side with equal roles and status these days any ideas of one rule for one and another rule for the other should be swiftly stepped on. If I, like TTN, am prepared to face amused looks from the younger generation then it is beholden on them to proudly display their far more impressive arrays.

Perhaps my attitude is patronising. It isn't supposed to be but if so I apologise. Perhaps as a mere man I do not understand any practical problems involved, such as spearing an expensive dress with the pin of a medal brooch. Perhaps I ought to get out more and then I would see plenty of miniatures being worn by plenty of ladies, but if not then I for one say what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!

Wear your medals for us please ladies or mine for one will go back in its drawer, and then think of the amusement you will be denied! If any ladies wish to break cover then please let us know your thoughts about this apparent inequity, if indeed it exists at all.
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