Medals are awarded to soldiers as a mark of honour for military heroism, outstanding service or achievements.
The Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and the Marines are awarded medals for outstanding work. In some cases, this honour is extended to the members of the Reserves and National Guards.
The medals awarded are to be worn only on the left side of the chest by the recipient.
Coming to the big question; can family members wear medals of an Army soldier?
Spouses, children and parents of gallantry or service award winners can wear the medals on their chest as a mark of respect after the original recipient has passed away.
On 11th July, 2019, an order was passed by the Ceremonial and Welfare Adjutant General’s Branch and it was concluded by the Army that the medals can be worn by the family members while “attending homage ceremonies at war memorials, cemeteries and funerals.”
Also Check: Wartime And Peacetime Gallantry Awards [Full List]
The next of kin can wear the medals of the right side of the chest. Serving Army personnel in uniform, however, cannot wear the medals of their spouse, parent, forefather or children.
A next of kin, civilian or serving personnel, can wear these medals in formal civil attire and on select occasions only after the achiever of the medal(s) has passed.
This decision ensures that the legacy of the medal awardee continues even after their death. It allows their family to honour them in the best way possible.
In other instances, the members of the family are not allowed to wear the medals.
Medals are to be worn only by persons on whom these are conferred, while serving or by ex-servicemen as laid down in regulations for the Army, 1978, revised edition.
Also Check: 21 Param Vir Chakra Awardees Every Indian Should Know
In conclusion, medals can be worn by family members of an Army soldier provided it is only during the occasion of paying homage at war memorials, cemeteries or funerals.
In other instances, the family members cannot wear the medals.
Serving personnel in uniform are also not allowed to wear medals of their family. They can, however, be worn with formal civil attire and on select occasions.
I hope this article was informative.
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