Receiving a military award or two is definitely something that a soldier should be proud of. That’s a fact. The honor of being awarded one, whichever it is, does not only outwardly display the highlights of a soldier’s career but also speaks of the selfless service that the person rendered for a greater cause.

Brief History of the Ribbons

The use of what we might call the modern commemorative medal could be traced back to 1438 when the Italian painter Antonio Pisano invented the first medal ever that portrayed the Byzantine emperor John VIII Palaeologus. In the US, according to the US Army Center of History, “the first formal system for rewarding acts of individual gallantry by the nation’s fighting men was established by General George Washington on August 7, 1782. Designed to recognize ‘any singularly meritorious action,’ the award consisted of a purple cloth heart.”

There are differences between medals, decorations, and badges on a military uniform.

Medals are just that, they are metal discs attached to a ribbon. They are awarded to recognize service in battles, campaigns, and things related to the general non-combat record of accomplishments by the service member.