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How to Apply for Military Service Medals: A Guide

 how to apply for military service medals row of 3 medals

The U.S. military is a massive bureaucracy that has employed millions of men and women since its inception in the 1700s. While the armed forces are ordinarily known for their structure and order, sometimes things happen and service members fall through the cracks.

It is common knowledge that some service members did not receive the service medals they earned while in service. Other veterans might have received them, but maybe a fire at their home or a natural disaster destroyed their military mementos.

That said, whatever the reason, you should know how to apply for military service medals. Knowing how to apply for military service medals can help you help other veterans, or yourself. At the very least, this blog post on how to apply for military service medals can be bookmarked and used as a reference in the future.

How to Apply for Military Service Medals from NPRC

It is important to note that the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) does not issue service medals. That is a function of each military service department.

Requests for the issuance or replacement of military service medals, decorations and awards should be directed to the specific branch of the military in which the veteran served. For cases involving U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army personnel, the NPRC will verify the awards to which a veteran is entitled and forward the request along with the records verification to the appropriate service department for issuance of the medals.

How to Apply for Military Service Medals from the Service Branches

How to apply for military service medals from the service branches is easy once you know where to send the request. Veterans can contact the military services which will work replacement medal requests for the veteran at no cost. Family members with the signed authorization of the veteran can also request medals.

For next-of-kin, the process of how to apply for military service medals differs among the service branches and is dependent upon who is requesting the medal, particularly if the request involves an archival record. Next-of-Kin (NOK) for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps & Coast Guard, the NOK is defined as the unremarried widow or widower, son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister. For the Army, the NOK is defined as the surviving spouse, eldest child, father or mother, eldest sibling or eldest grandchild. If you do not meet the definition of NOK, you are considered a member of the general public.

The general public can also learn how to apply for military service medals. If the service member separated from military service 62 or more years ago, the public may purchase a copy of the veteran's Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) to determine the awards due and obtain the medals from a commercial source.

how to apply for military service medals mini medals

If the service member separated less than 62 years ago, the public may request such information from the OMPF via the Freedom of Information Act.

How to Apply for Military Service Medals from the Army

Applicants can write the National Personnel Records Center, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138. They can also request the medals online.

How to Apply for Military Service Medals from the Air Force (including Army Air Corps and Army Air Forces)

Applicants can write the National Personnel Records Center, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138 or request the medals online.

How to Apply for Military Service Medals from the Navy

Applicants can write the National Personnel Record Center, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138. Like the other services, they can also request medals online.

How to Apply for Military Service Medals from the Marine Corps

Applicants requesting medals from the Marine Corps can write the National Personnel Record Center, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138. They can request medals online here.

How to Apply for Military Service Medals from the Coast Guard

Applicants requesting medals from the Coast Guard can write the Coast Guard Personnel Service Center, 4200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 900 (PSCPSD-MA) Stop 7200, Arlington, VA 20598-7200.

The OMPF is used to verify awards to which a veteran may be entitled. OMPFs are accessioned into the National Archives, and become archival, 62 years after the service member's separation from the military. Separation from service is defined as discharge, retirement or death in service based on a rolling date. To calculate this, take the current year and subtract 62.

Records with a discharge date 62 (or more) years ago are archival and are open to the public. Records with a discharge date less than 62 years ago are nonarchival and are maintained under the Federal Records Center program. Non-archival records are subject to access restrictions. As such, the veteran's date of separation (separation is defined as discharge, retirement or death in service) will affect how the request is processed.

how to apply for military service medals ribbons

How to Apply for Military Service Medals as NOK

If the veteran separated from military service 62 (or more) years ago requests are accepted at no cost. Applicants should write to the National Personnel Records Center, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138 or request the medals online.

The Air Force and the Coast Guard do not accept NOK archival requests. The NOK may purchase a copy of the veteran's OMPF to determine the awards due and obtain the medals from a commercial source.

If the veteran separated from military service less than 62 years ago, requests are accepted at no cost by writing to the National Personnel Records Center, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138 or applicants can also make an online request.

Remember, you are dealing with an organization that has a back log of requests due to the pandemic. The best way forward is to complete your forms, preferably online, accurately with as much information as possible. Be clear about what it is that you’re requesting and then sit back and wait. It might take a while, but the request will be processed and you will get the service medals you or your loved one earned.

The Best Military Hoodies Perfect for Cold Weather

military hoodies 1st cav 

As temperatures drop and the cold winds pick up, it's time to make sure you are properly prepared for a comfortable outdoor experience. Military hoodies are an essential part of any winter wardrobe for active service members, veterans and anyone who is an ardent supporter of the U.S. military.

Not only do they provide fashionable protection from the elements, but military hoodies also wrap wearers in casual warmth. Here at USAMM, we have put together a selection of some of our favorite military-inspired hoodies designed to provide classic style and superior comfort during the colder months.

Whether you’re looking for camo print designs or stylish zip-ups, read on to discover our top picks for perfect military hoodies this season.

Types of Military Hoodies

Military hoodies are a great way to show your patriotism and support for the U.S. armed forces. There are many different types of military-inspired hoodies to choose from, each with their own unique benefits.

For example, some styles feature camouflage patterns while others have built-in tactical pockets for carrying essentials on the go. Additionally, many military hoodies are made from durable materials designed to withstand inclement weather conditions and physical activity, making them perfect for outdoor adventures.

Of course, there are pullover or zippered military hoodies, and military hoodies that have a unit insignia or branch of service seal on them to show off your unit pride.

Popular Military Hoodies

Social scientists have stated that America’s prolonged war after 9/11 has influenced many things in the civilian sector, like fashion, for example. Military hoodies have become increasingly popular in recent years much like the op beard or the wear of shemagh scarves.

Military hoodies are designed to offer comfort and style, while also allowing you to show your support for the military. From camouflage patterns to military logos, there is a wide range of styles available to choose from.

Some of the most popular military hoodies include those featuring the logos of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Other designs incorporate symbols like the American flag, patriotic sayings, and military emblems. Whether you're an active-duty service member or simply someone who wants to show your appreciation for the armed forces, a military hoodie is a great way to do it. With so many different options available, you're sure to find a design that suits your taste.

military hoodies navy

Military Hoodies for Cold Weather

When the temperatures start to cool down, it's important to stay warm and cozy. But why settle for an ordinary hoodie when you can take it to the next level with military hoodies? Not only will they keep you warm, but they also have the added benefit of showing off your patriotism.

Military hoodies come in a variety of styles and designs, making it easy to find one that suits your personal taste. Plus, they are made with high-quality materials that are designed to withstand even the toughest of weather conditions.

But remember, these are military hoodies, not snow parkas, so while military hoodies are great for fall and even winter weather, they are not the best choice if you’re going on a lengthy outdoor expedition in a snowy environment, unless of course you're wearing layers and have some extreme cold weather long johns.

How to Choose Military Hoodies

When looking for military hoodies, it's important to consider factors such as the material, fit, and features such as pockets and hoods. You should also think about the environment you'll be wearing it in and any specialized needs you may have.

Depending on where you live, military hoodies might be perfect for the fall and winter activities. Camouflage pattern military hoodies can be used for camping, hiking, bird watching, hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities.

Military hoodies with military insignia on them can be worn for physical training and in some cases, some of the aforementioned activities. Mostly though, they are great for keeping warm as temps drop and showing the pride you have in your unit, the military or in supporting a military veteran in your life.

military hoodies infantry

Where to Find Military Hoodies

Whether you're someone who appreciates military-inspired fashion or a member of the military yourself, a high-quality military hoodie is a must-have item that you should definitely add to your wardrobe. Finding one that's both affordable and made of durable, long-lasting material doesn’t have to be a challenge.

To save yourself time and money, we recommend checking out USAMM. They have a wide selection of military hoodies at budget-friendly prices. Ensure you take your time and go through the many types of military hoodies available at USAMM.

You can also consider getting something customized. By doing a little bit of research and shopping around at USAMM, you're sure to find the perfect military hoodie to suit your style and budget.


All in all, military hoodies are a great way to showcase one's service pride while still maintaining comfort and warmth. There are styles of military hoodies out there that will work for everyone - no matter what their budget or taste may be.

military hoodies OIF

Whether sporty zip-ups, tactical pullovers, or a traditional crewneck fit - these military hoodies come with plenty of advantages such as superior quality materials, lightweight designs, and alternative closures that help ensure maximum protection against wind and rain. Plus, it's always important to remember - choose a hoodie that displays both the right feel for you and your personal style.

Remember, you can easily find your new favorite military hoodies at an affordable price when shopping around at USAMM. So why wait? Start shopping for your perfect military hoodie now.

MOLLE Pouches: A Complete Tactical Guide

MOLLE pouches pack 

What are MOLLE pouches?

Are you a military member or veteran looking for versatile and reliable tactical storage solutions? Look no further than tactical MOLLE pouches. These lightweight, durable bags are great for carrying all types of supplies — from first aid kits to digital technology cases — ensuring easy access to whatever you need at any given moment.

MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (MOLLE). It is a personal carrying system used for packing and carrying gear and equipment that was introduced to the U.S. military in the late 1990s. It enables the user to fasten things to a MOLLE backpack and bags. Using an attachment system that is, in essence, rows of reinforced nylon (the MOLLE grid), it is a modular load bearing system that is lightweight and compartmentalized.

With the right strap adjustments and load planning skills, these handy tools can help keep your gear organized while also giving you secure peace of mind in unpredictable conditions. In this complete guide to MOLLE pouches, we'll give you an overview on how they work, look at various pouch styles and features available on the market today as well as provide some tips on finding the perfect type of bag for your needs.

MOLLE Pouches and the Benefits of Using Them

MOLLE pouches are an innovative solution for those who need tactical gear for their outdoor adventures or for the service member who needs durability, but lightweight carrying equipment to lug his or her gear. These pouches are made with a modular design that allows you to attach them to any MOLLE compatible equipment.

What this means is that you can easily customize your gear for each mission without having to purchase new equipment entirely. Aside from their versatility, MOLLE pouches also offer excellent durability, keeping your essential gear safe and secure while you're out exploring or on a mission.

With MOLLE pouches, you can ensure that everything you need is within reach and each load can be customized based on your needs, making your outdoor experience or mission more efficient. Using MOLLE pouches actually creates space inside of your backpack and it keeps those things you usually need handy and within reach.

MOLLE pouches magazine pouch

MOLLE Pouches and Their Uses

MOLLE pouches come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each designed to accommodate specific gear needs. These pouches provide an easy and secure way to carry critical gear in the field. Some are designed to hold medical supplies, like first aid kits, while others are ideal for ammunition and magazines. MOLLE pouches are also great for storing flashlights, multi-tools, and other essential pieces of equipment that you might need access to immediately.

With their versatile designs and durable construction, MOLLE pouches make an excellent addition to any tactical loadout or outdoor adventure. Whether you're a hiker or a first responder, the right MOLLE pouch can help keep all your gear organized and easily accessible, ensuring you're always ready for whatever comes your way.

Some of the known types of MOLLE pouches are pouches for water bottles, maps, tools or knives, EMT kits, weapon magazines, miscellaneous items, cell phone or communication devices, firearms, hydration bladders, flashlight, and others.

How to Choose the Right MOLLE Pouches

MOLLE pouches have become increasingly popular thanks to their versatility and durability. However, with so many options on the market, it can be challenging to decide which pouch is right for your needs.

Consider what you'll be using the pouch for, how much space you'll need, and how frequently you'll be using it. Will you be carrying tools, medical supplies, or extra ammunition? Do you need a pouch that can fit on a backpack, or do you prefer a standalone option that can be worn on a belt?

These are all important factors to consider when choosing the right MOLLE pouch for your needs. With a little research and careful consideration, you'll be able to find the perfect pouch to fit your needs and keep your gear organized and secure.

MOLLE pouches holster

Installing Your MOLLE Pouches

If you're someone who is always on the go and needs to keep all your essentials organized and easily accessible, then MOLLE pouches are your best bet. But simply owning one isn't enough; you need to know how to install it correctly for maximum convenience.

Fortunately, the process is quite simple and straightforward. The first step is to identify the platform you'll be attaching it to - be it a backpack, vest or belt. Next, weave the MOLLE strips through the platform's webbing until the pouch is firmly secured.

It's essential to make sure that there's no excess slack or looseness, as it might compromise your movements or comfort. Additionally, it's always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the pouch's functionality and adjust it to a comfortable distance from your body before venturing out on your next adventure or mission.

Remember, consider things like comfort, balance, and accessibility when placing them on your carrying system.

Keeping Your MOLLE Pouches in Good Condition

MOLLE pouches are a vital piece of gear for any outdoor adventurer or military professional. To ensure your MOLLE pouches stay in good condition and serves you well over time, it's crucial to follow proper maintenance tips.

Like care for other types of gear, preventative maintenance and regular checks to ensure all MOLLE straps and buckles are in good shape will help avoid any snags or loose connections during use. Additionally, cleaning the MOLLE pouches regularly will help remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated over time.

When not in use, storing your MOLLE pouches in a dry and cool area will help protect it from the elements. So, whether you're packing camping essentials or carrying essential supplies while on duty, keeping your MOLLE pouches in top condition is key to ensuring a comfortable and smooth experience.

MOLLE pouches hydration

Recommended Brands and Models of MOLLE Pouches

When it comes to tactical gear, selecting the right brand and model can make all the difference. Whether you're a law enforcement professional, EMT, paramilitary professional, soldier, or outdoor enthusiast, having reliable equipment can mean life or death in critical situations.

We have some top brands and recommended models. With brands like Tactical Tailor leading the way in quality and innovation, you can rest assured that you're investing in gear that will serve you well when it matters most.

MOLLE Pouches Conclusion

All in all, it is clear that MOLLE pouches are an invaluable tactical gear accessory. If you are serious about having the right equipment for your needs, investing in the best model possible is essential.

USAMM offers some of the highest quality models on the market and provides outstanding customer service which makes them a trusted provider of MOLLE pouches. USAMM carries everything from single-pouch systems to complete sets of assorted pouches.

Whether you’re replacing an old item or just looking to ramp up your gear system, MOLLE pouches are a great way to do so and will ensure that you have the right equipment when needed. So don't wait - shop now and get your MOLLE pouches today.

Military Flag Order: Best Practices to Follow

military flag order army

Displaying a flag outside of your home or place of business is an excellent way to show your patriotism and appreciation for the nation and the U.S. military. Whether it's to recognize active-duty members of the armed forces or those who have served honorably their country, a military flag symbolizes bravery and courage.

But flying one isn't as simple as just hanging any old banner from your front porch; there are protocols—known as the military flag order—that must be followed when displaying these flags of pride.

In this blog post, we will discuss what you need to know about these orders, so that you can proudly display your military flag and comply with the military flag order with all due respect for its significance.

The Top of the Military Flag Order

The U.S. flag is more than just a collection of stars and stripes; it is a symbol of the nation's identity, unity, and freedom. Therefore, it is essential to understand the U.S. Code that governs the U.S. flag.

The code is a set of guidelines that govern how the flag should be treated and displayed. The Code lays out instructions on how to present the national flag in various situations and also provides guidance on how to handle the military flag order, which is used to denote the order of precedence among the different military branches.

military flag order usa flag

Following the U.S. Code and displaying the national flag in a respectful way is based on understanding how it should be respected and how it can best demonstrate the symbols that so many respect. In short, all flags flying on the same pole with the U.S. flag will be subordinate to the U.S. flag.

POW/MIA Flag in the Military Flag Order

The question frequently arises about what flag has precedence to be flown directly beneath the U.S. flag and above any other flag in the military flag order. There is no precise answer or established protocol codified in law to address this issue.

The POW/MIA flag is considered a federal banner and some, not all, veteran groups, fly the POW/MIA flag under the U.S. flag on a pole given its status as a federal flag. They believe it has precedence over all other flags flying on the same pole beneath the U.S. flag. Therefore, in a line of march, the POW/MIA flag is carried to the immediate left of the U.S. flag.

State/Other Flags in the Military Flag Order

Other veteran groups believe that state flags are next in the order of precedence in the military flag order since the U.S. Code specifically identifies state flags as next in the military flag order and not the POW/MIA flag. Remember, the flag’s U.S. Code is a set of guidelines not enforceable law.

After state flags are city/county/or local flags that are next in order of precedence per U.S. Flag Code. Following those are organizational flags. The U.S. Flag Code does not offer precedence of display for organizational flags.

After state, local and organizational flags, there is guidance (there’s that word again) from the National Security Commission that states that the POW/MIA flag, considered an organizational flag, be given status as the first organizational flag of precedence due to the symbolism it represents.

military flag order pow mia

Military Flag Order for Service Flags

Normally, when military branch flags are displayed, their order of precedence is Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard. These are in order of precedence based on the year that the service branch was founded. All service flags are considered organizational flags by the U.S. Flag Code.

Therefore, the military flag order according to the U.S. Code is the U.S. flag, state flags, organizational flags including the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force, and the U.S. Coast Guard flags. While the Coast Guard is technically a part of the U.S. military, it is under the command and control of the Department of Homeland Security and falls under U.S. Navy control only when mobilized for Defense Department missions. That is why the U.S. Space Force flag comes before the Coast Guard flag.

The flags are displayed in the military flag order listed above, when facing the flags, from left to right.

Military Flag Order Conclusion

military flag order dont tread on me

Many of us have a special connection to the American flag and what it represents. It's a symbol of freedom, bravery, and democracy and the American flag is a powerful symbol of our country and those who have sacrificed to protect it.

Remember, the military flag order, based on guidance in the U.S. Code, states that at the top of any flag pole in the United States, or on American sovereign soil overseas, the U.S. flag must be at the top. All other flags, as outlined in this blog post, must be second and then follow the military flag order.

If the flags are positioned in flag stands, on a stage, for example, the U.S. flag will be to the far left, and all other flags, according to the military flag order, will be to the right of the U.S. flag if the viewer is looking at the stage head-on. In other words, all other flags will be to the U.S. flag’s left in military flag order.

Many veterans are well-versed in the military flag order. If you see a mistake, point it out to someone responsible for posting the colors. Mistakes happen and as veterans we should ensure we educate the public about the military flag order.

Lastly, remember, even though instructions on how to show the U.S. flag are included in a U.S. Code, those stipulations are guidelines, so be flexible and remember, most people are simply trying to be patriotic and any unintentional violation of protocol should be managed accordingly. It is better that Americans want to fly the flag, than not.

5 Custom Military Gifts to Ring in the Holidays

 custom military gifts hat

It's the start of a new holiday season, and with it comes the joys of holidays and gift-giving. Whether you're a veteran, current military member, or someone related to or friends with a veteran, this is a great time to show your appreciation for those closest to you – especially those who've also served their country.

Giving custom military gifts is an excellent way to commemorate all that has been sacrificed in the name of duty while marking this joyous holiday season. To help you out, we’ve compiled five unique gifts perfect for this holiday season – read on to see what they are, presented in no particular order.

Personalized Dog Tags

Personalized dog tags make great custom military gifts for a few reasons. First, because they are small, they can be given as a stocking stuffer or even placed on another gift and secured to the gift box using holiday ribbon. It is a nice decorative touch.

Personalized dog tags are easy to order and shipping is usually superfast. The best part is that you can show your gratitude for a service member's service by personalizing a set of dog tags.

custom military gifts canvas

You can keep it simple by getting some that are replicas of what a person wore while in uniform, or you can get them customized using USAMM’s USwag tool which puts just about anything on products sold by USAMM.

You can also get these powerful mementos customized with words of inspiration that will remind your beloved service members of your love and support. Whether you want to commemorate a special moment or offer words of encouragement, personalized dog tags are the perfect gift for any occasion. And odds are great that if you take a moment to honor your service member by purchasing these custom military gifts, they will cherish for years to come.

Custom Military Mug

Custom military mugs make awesome custom military gifts because military personnel love their coffee and tea, and let’s face it, they drink a lot of it especially on deployment and when a mission needs to be achieved.

Giving these as custom military gifts enables the gift giver to get creative and design a mug featuring the service member's branch of name, service, rank, or unit insignia, if they like. You can purchase something printed or go for something with a little more flair.  

Consider the Battle Mug when you’re thinking about giving custom military gifts. This awesome mug is machined from 10.5 pounds of 6061 T6 billet aluminum into a two-pound sculpted American-made work of art.

The Battle Mug’s M1913 picatinny rails allow optional M4 carry handles, one of which can be fitted with an optional lid, and other tactical gear to be attached like a tactical light, laser device, holographic sight, or any tactical device imaginable for your operations. Battle Mug is more than a drinking device, it is an heirloom that travels with its owner through every aspect of life and can be passed on to future generations. And you can get up to three lines of laser engraved text.

custom military gifts mug

Customizable Wrapped Canvas

Some great custom military gifts for Navy personnel and veterans is the customizable Navy ship class wrapped canvas. These things are sized just right for any office, barracks or home room.

Each high-quality print has a great printed image of the ship of your choice and it is professionally hand-stretched over wooden 1.5” stretcher bars and back stapled for a classic gallery look. Sold exclusively at USAMM, they use archival grade, white-satin, 19 mil canvas so that your artwork will always look as good as the day you open the package.

These are 12" x 16" x 1.5" in size. They are sold and come ready to hang.

And if you didn't serve in the Navy, no problem, you can buy these wrapped canvas prints and get just about anything printed on them.

Custom Navy Caps

When it comes to finding unique and meaningful custom military gifts for those who serve, one item that fits the bill perfectly is a Navy cap. These caps are not only stylish and practical, but they also allow service members to proudly display their affiliation with the Navy.

These are made and embroidered in the United States and USAMM has a large list of ships, insignia, and badges that are offered on the Navy Cap Builder with many more on the way. In fact, if they don’t have a ship, you can reach out to customer service and they just might create the ship for you.

USAMM offers regular caps, Captain Scrambled Eggs, and Admiral Scrambled Eggs in both navy and coyote colors. Ordering is easy. Simply go to the Cap Builder, chose the U.S. Navy ship class, add the ship name, hull number and optional text on the back of the cap. Ships and text are professionally embroidered directly onto your cap.

custom military gifts

U.S. Navy Custom Ship 3D Laser Engraved Plaque

Great custom military gifts are the ones that are cherished and remembered for years to come. When shopping for custom military gifts, consider giving something that can be shared with others by the recipient and has the durability to stand the test of time.

They can commemorate their favorite ship with a 3D laser engraved plaque. USAMM uses high-quality American Red Alder and it is easy to complete an order. Simply choose the ship class and add the ship name and hull number (or whatever text you'd like engraved).

The plaque is ¾ inch thick and has a hole for easy wall mounting. It measures 12" x 9" and it is 100 percent made in America.

These are great reminders for veterans of their time in the military. A personalized engraved wooden plaque is a timeless way to honor and acknowledge your loved one's military success.

Showing appreciation for a service member's dedication and commitment is something we can all do. Give your service member the recognition they deserve with these gifts that represent their hard work and service. From personalized dog tags to engraved wooden plaques, there's sure to be something special that your loved one will cherish forever.

Shop now to find the perfect way to let your service member know they're appreciated.

5 Veteran T-Shirts That Make Thoughtful Gifts

veteran t-shirts vietnam 

As a veteran, there is nothing quite like receiving a gift that uniquely celebrates your service. It can be the perfect reminder of all that you have accomplished and what it actually took to get there. Whether for yourself or a fellow veteran in your life, veteran t-shirts are particularly special when they not only highlight the branch of service but also serve as an outward display of honor and pride.

In this blog post we will explore 5 fantastic veteran t-shirts that make thoughtful gifts for any proud American servicemember. From classic camouflage to creative original drawings, these unique shirts will put some fresh style on your back!

Service Pride Veteran T-shirts

Wearing a t-shirt that shows support for our nation's veterans is a great way to express your gratitude. There are countless designs out there, but most veterans are big fans of service specific veteran t-shirts.

For example, at online retailers like USAMM you can purchase Navy Veteran t-shirts, Army Veteran t-shirts, Air Force Veteran t-shirts, Marine Corps Veteran t-shirts, Coast Guard Veteran t-shirts and Space Force Veteran t-shirts.

Campaign Specific Veteran T-shirts

The U.S. military is a team of teams and often chunks of that team is split up and sent to places to do their duty. During the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), U.S. forces were sent to multiple places around the globe, but most deployed in support of operations in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Operation Enduring Freedom veteran t-shirts and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran t-shirts are wonderful gifts for GWOT veterans. In addition, Vietnam Veterans and veterans of other operations, like Desert Shield or Desert Storm, would also appreciate veteran t-shirts to show their pride in service.

veteran t-shirts desert storm

Patriotic Veteran T-shirts

Wearing patriotic veteran t-shirts is more than just a fashion statement – it's a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by our brave veterans to ensure our liberties. These veteran t-shirts allow us to honor those who have fought for our country and to convey that living in a free society comes at a price.

Veteran t-shirts of this variety can be worn by veterans and military supporters alike. They can be worn for July 4th, Memorial Day, Veterans’ Day, and other patriotic occasions, and they are a fantastic way to show your pride for veterans, or show your pride as a veteran.

Custom Veteran T-shirts

Custom veteran t-shirts are probably the most desired of all veteran t-shirts and that’s because these t-shirts can be personalized to make the garment more personal. For example, USAMM’s custom Navy t-shirts are beloved by the Navy veteran community. Those are routinely ordered for ship reunions and other related events.

Veteran t-shirts can also have custom embroidery using personalization and customization widgets like USAMM’s USwag tool. This tool enables the customer to put just about anything onto multiple items, including t-shirts.

Random Veteran T-shirts

In addition to the aforementioned veteran t-shirts, there are loads of random veteran t-shirts that don’t necessarily have a category. Some are funny, some might be considered inappropriate, but all of them are awesome.

Some of these veteran t-shirts might display military units, while others might highlight military occupational skills. Others might celebrate state pride while others might showcase military awards, badges, or medals.

Our favorites are some of the saltier veteran t-shirts that express simple thoughts in a rather, ahem, direct manner. Just be sure to only wear those around your friends.

veterans t-shirts flag


In conclusion, veteran t-shirts make for the most thoughtful gifts for these brave men and women who have tirelessly served their country. These shirts are not only comfortable and stylish but also serve as reminders of the sacrifices that veterans have made for our freedom.

Giving veteran t-shirts with a patriotic design or a meaningful message shows gratitude and appreciation. It tells them that we recognize their service, and we honor them for their bravery. Plus, wearing the shirt lets them share their pride in their service with the world.

To recap, there are five types of veteran t-shirts that you can get for the veteran in your life, or that you can get if you are a veteran. First, service pride veteran t-shirts help the veteran show their pride in the military branch that they served in. Second, if the veteran in your life was involved in a campaign or conflict, they would certainly be proud to wear a campaign or war specific shirt that let’s everyone know of their combat service.

Third, patriotic veteran t-shirts are always popular because it allows the veteran to wear something that shows their love of America. They can rock these shirts on patriotic days. Fourth, and most importantly, custom veteran t-shirts are wonderful because it allows the veteran to wear something full customizable. Lastly, selecting something random is great because usually these random veteran t-shirts are colorful (in an off -color kind of way) and are a little more risqué than average veteran t-shirts.

Whatever type of veteran t-shirts you chose to give or buy for yourself, USAMM’s got a great collection for you to explore and we make it super easy to browse, purchase and receive your item in no time. In fact, we even have an entire storefront devoted to veteran t-shirts.

So, whether it's for a birthday, anniversary, the holidays, just to say thank you, or whatever the occasion, veteran t-shirts are an excellent way to show how much you care. And we can make it easy. Just click here and shop now.

What is a Morale Patch? Everything You Need to Know

what is a morale patch 

What is a Morale Patch?

A morale patch is a small, usually embroidered patch that is typically worn on military uniforms or gear, but they can also be collected and put on display. Morale patches are often humorous or lighthearted in nature, and they are designed to boost morale and esprit de corps. Some morale patches may also serve as a way for military members to identify themselves with a particular unit or group.

A morale patch offers a unique way for military personnel to show their pride in the job they do, express shared experiences within the community, provide recognition for accomplishments, and emphasize terms of endearment.

In this blog post we will discuss what exactly a morale patch is, why they are meaningful to veterans and military members, and where you can find them. Read on to learn more.

What is a Morale Patch and Where Did They Come From?

If you're unfamiliar with the world of patches, you might be wondering what is a morale patch? Simply put, a morale patch is a type of embroidered, rubber or PVC patch that is typically more playful or irreverent than the standard-issue patches you might find on a military uniform. These patches often feature silly slogans, cartoon characters, or inside jokes that are meant to boost the morale of the group wearing them.

The history of morale patches can be traced back to World War II, when pilots began sewing their own patches onto their flight jackets. These patches often featured humorous or ironic designs, such as cartoons or jokes. Over time, morale patches became more sophisticated and were mass-produced by commercial companies.

Today, they're found on everything from military uniforms to paintball gear, and are a fun way to show off your personality and sense of humor.

Different Types of Patches and Their Meanings

If you ask a military member, what is a morale patch, you will likely get answers that talk about morale, fun, camaraderie. What the patches mean to individuals will vary because everyone is different, but the morale patches serve a very important role in a military unit. They help establish unit cohesion and they lighten the mood in a very serious profession.

Morale patches are a popular accessory in today's society, and it's easy to see why. There are a multitude of different types of patches, each with its own unique meaning and significance. From military patches that display a soldier's rank and accomplishments to humorous patches that make a statement or convey a quirky sense of humor, there is truly a patch for everyone.

what is a morale patch too old

Whether you prefer subtle, subdued patches or bold, eye-catching ones, there is no denying the impact that a well-placed morale patch can have on your attire and overall demeanor.

In Iraq, for example, a door gunner in a Black Hawk helicopter was seen wearing a small patch on the back of his helmet that was a meter. It said “Fun” in the middle of the meter and the gauge was pegged to the maximum of the meter’s range. Meaning, his fun meter was pegged. Certainly that Army aviator likely put that patch in his shadow box to preserve it.

How to Choose the Right Patch for You

Morale patches are a popular way to add some personality and flair to your gear, whether it's a backpack, jacket, or hat. But with so many different patches out there, how do you choose the right one for you?

Consider your interests and personality when choosing a patch - do you want something funny, trendy, or related to your favorite hobby or profession?

It's also important to think about the quality and size of the patch, as well as the type of backing it has (hook and loop or sew-on). We highly recommend hook and loop because then the patches can easily be removed from uniforms when needed.

Ultimately, the right patch for you comes down to your personal style and what brings you joy. You can even get a patch that says What is a Morale Patch? It is really up to you.

What is a Morale Patch Retailer?

Morale patches are a popular accessory among military members, law enforcement officers, and paramilitary professionals. There are millions of them out there. On helmets, uniforms, bags, backpacks, you name it. So where do all of these morale patches come from? From retailers like USAMM.

Finding high quality morale patches at an affordable price doesn’t have to be challenging if you shop with USAMM. We’ve got hundreds that will instantly put a smile on every unit member’s face and immediately improve morale.

What is a Morale Patch’s Legality?

There are just a few things to consider before you spend money on a morale patch. First, the military environment has changed drastically from the days when shapely women were placed on aircraft noses as nose art and men dominated the military landscape. And culturally, the military tends to respect cultural diversity, even when it is a foe.

That said, be sensitive to the fact that some designs may be seen as offensive or inappropriate. Be mindful of creating and using such a patch. When in doubt, it is always a good idea to check with the first sergeant or senior enlisted personnel in a unit before you go spending your hard-earned cash. Remember, morale patches are created and used to boost the morale of all unit members, not just some of them.

Most morale patches are not authorized by regulation, so check with the head shed.

Two Types of Morale Patches

Official morale patches are authorized by the military or other organizations and are typically worn on uniforms. Official morale patches may feature unit insignia, symbols, or other identifying marks.

Unofficial morale patches are not authorized by the military or other organizations and may be worn on uniforms or personal belongings. Unofficial morale patches are often humorous or lighthearted in nature.

What is a morale patch for your unit? Much depends on your unit’s mission and whether or not your unit leadership approves. In branches like the U.S. Air Force or military aviation units, where historians state morale patches got their start, morale patches serve a huge purpose in building esprit de corps and they are more plentiful.

what is a morale patch fur missile

Conclusion of What is a Morale Patch?

Morale patches are a fun and unique way to boost morale and esprit de corps. They are also a popular way for people to express their individuality and sense of humor. Whether you are a member of the military, a first responder, or simply a civilian who appreciates a good laugh, there is a morale patch out there for you.

So shop now and check out USAMM’s arsenal of morale patches. You can use them on your uniform or gear, or put them on display as part of your collection of military memorabilia. 

How to Mount Military Medals in a Shadow Box

how to mount military medals shadow boxes 

If you've served your country, and you’ve done it well, odds are good that you have some medals and ribbons that were presented to you for a job well done. Preserving and displaying your military medals in a shadow box is one way to keep your trinkets of service for others to see, but also preserve them for years to come.

Mounting those awards also serves as an opportunity for the members of your family, present and future generations alike, to understand where their heritage has been rooted. In this blog post, we'll explain how to mount military medals correctly so that they look both beautiful and respectful when on display.

Select a Shadow Box

Choosing the perfect shadow box size to display all of your prized awards and decorations can be a challenging task. To ensure that everything fits perfectly, take the time to properly measure all of your items beforehand.

How to mount military medals becomes less of a concern if there is no room to actually mount everything you’ve earned, so be sure to purchase a large enough box to house your prized medals, coins, badges, etc. Also, keep in mind that you may want to arrange the display in a visually pleasing manner, so factor in extra space for design elements.

Once you have selected the right size, the next step is to figure out how to mount military medals. There are several techniques and materials you can use for a secure and lasting display. From pinning, taping, hook and loop, or sewing, whatever method you choose, be sure to handle your awards with care to preserve their value and significance. With some careful planning and creative flair, you can showcase your achievements in a shadow box that is sure to impress.

Tip: Another option is to simply go with a professional, seasoned company like USAMM which has years of experience helping veterans select the right shadow box and saving them the hassle of learning how to mount military medals.

How to Mount Military Medals on an Appropriate Background

When it comes to showcasing military medals, choosing the right background can make a big difference. Something like felt or velvet can help elevate the display, making the medals stand out even more. Some folks even cut a section of their uniform and use it as a background.

But what's the best way to mount these medals? There are a few different methods, including sewing them onto the background or using special clips designed specifically for this purpose. Whichever method you choose, just make sure to take your time and handle the medals with care. After all, these medals represent important achievements and deserve to be displayed with the respect they deserve.

Tip: Retailers like USAMM specialize in building shadow boxes and you can use your own medals, ribbons and other items and the professionals at USAMM will assemble it for you. No worries. No hassles.

how to mount military medals medal builder

How to Mount Military Medals with Pins, Hook and Loop, or Other Materials

Mounting military medals is an important task that requires the right materials. It's essential to secure the medals to the background as it ensures their safety and longevity. Pinning, using hook and loop, or other materials are popular ways to mount military medals. The key here is to make sure that the medals remain in place, but ensure they are easy to remove if necessary.

How to mount military medals is easy when you consider one of the many surefire ways we’ve previously mentioned. For example, using hook and look strips is a great way to mount medals. Simply get some adhesive-backed hook and loop material and place a small strip (hook) on the back of the medal’s ribbon. Then take a same sized strip of hook and loop material (loop) and place it on the spot where you want the medal in your shadow box.

In addition, many medals have pins and you can simply drive the pin through the fabric-lined cardboard and attach the medals in that manner. We do not recommend hot glue or anything with severe adhesives because it will damage the medals with residue that will never come off.

Remember to distribute the weight and measure before putting things into your box. It is always a good idea to sketch out how things are going to be placed in the box, and then place them into the box without attaching them to the box backing to ensure it is visually appealing. Take a picture of it with your phone and then if you like the way it looks you can proceed to attach the medals.

Tip: If you want to avoid all of that work and possibly even damaging your hard-earned medals let USAMM do the work for you. We can turn it around in no time and we make it easy and that is probably the best method on how to mount military medals.

how to mount military medals single boxes

How to Mount Military Medals with USAMM

If you don’t feel like organizing your medals, ordering them from the federal government (if you have some missing medals) and then waiting months for them to arrive because COVID-19 created a massive federal backlog, then maybe you should navigate to USAMM’s website and look for the EZR logo at the top of the page. Click it.

You will then click on the Shadow Box Builder. At that page you will have the option to login if you are a current customer or simply select Start New Shadow Box. That will then ask you to select the type of shadow box that you want. We have a wide assortment of sizes, types, colors.

Once you select the type of shadow box you want, then you can select what goes into it by selecting the Items button on the next page. There are options to build a rack, select badges, and other items to include in the shadow box.

You don’t have to know how to mount military medals in order to create an awesome shadow box. Remember, USAMM is here to help and you can always order your shadow box online and let USAMM do the rest. How to mount military medals is not a question we ask regularly because we’re old pros at this and we know what we’re doing.

Tip: So, if you’re not sure on how to mount military medals and you simply don’t want to go through all that work, navigate to USAMM and shop shadow boxes today. 

Military Veteran Hats: The Ultimate Guide

 military veteran hats navy

Different Types of Military Veteran Hats

Military veteran hats come in a variety of styles that represent different branches of the military and various conflicts and eras. Some are trucker-style military veteran hats, some are skater-style, while others can be more traditional in nature or have an operator feel to them. They can be purchased in a one-size fits all format, or they can be adjustable.

These hats are not only a symbol of a veteran's service but also a way to honor and remember those who have served. Each hat tells a unique story of sacrifice, duty, and patriotism.

No matter which of the military veteran hats you choose to wear, it is a powerful visual statement of respect and service and positively reflects on the brave men and women who serve our country.

Guide to Choosing Military Veteran Hats

Whether you're a military veteran or shopping for one, finding the right hat doesn’t have to be a challenge if you do a little research. There are countless military veteran hats on the market, but don’t let it become overwhelming to determine which hat is right for you. Luckily USAMM has a one-stop shop which can satisfy all of your needs for military veteran hats.

Military veteran hats like the ones at USAMM can offer unique and stylish options for those looking to make a bold statement. These hats often feature a classic, structured design with a wide, sturdy brim that provides ample sun protection. Some of the selections can also be formed quite easily and are easily washed in a washing machine when dirty.

Whether you opt for a subtle camo print or go all-out with a bold insignia, USAMM military veteran hats can infuse any outfit with a touch of rugged charm.

military veteran hats campaigns

Popular Military Veteran Hats

Customized military veteran hats are a great way to show your service pride. Custom hats, especially for Navy veterans, show not only service pride, but ship pride. You can not only get ship-specific hats, but also aircraft specific hats if you worked in aviation units. Wearing these military veteran hats, especially in public, increases the chances of another veteran coming up to you and stating that he too served on the same ship as you and that you are shipmates. These military veteran hats can not only start a conversation, but a relationship.

Some of the more popular military veteran hats are those that show recent American conflicts. Specifically, military veteran hats that show a veteran served in the Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, and Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom are some of the more popular hats veterans choose to wear today.

Customizing Military Veteran Hats

Every veteran is different. Some veterans love to show their service pride, all the time, on their vehicles, one their bodies and in the case of military veteran hats, on their heads. Other veterans prefer to share their service pride on select days like Memorial Day, Veterans Day, July 4th, 9/11, or other patriotic days. We all show our service pride differently because we are all different.

Military veteran hats reflect a lot for the veterans that wear them. That said, besides perfectly forming the hat to fit your head, there are numerous ways to customize and personalize military veteran hats.

military veteran hats navy 2

Customizing your hat is a great way to make a statement and show off your personality. Whether it's adding patches, tiny badges, pinning a tiny ribbon or medal rack to them, the possibilities are endless. You can embroider your rank, name, flags, dates of service, awards and all sorts of customized items to military veteran hats.  

Don’t forget, many of these hats have strong fronts, so pinning ranks, lapel pins from medal sets, unit insignia, professional qualification badges (regular size or tiny ones) are all great add-ons to military veteran hats and it lets people know not only that you’re a veteran, but what you’ve done and seen. Of course, you can get some of these things embroidered onto your hat.

And you can also buy military veteran hats that have space reserved on the hat for hook and loop patches that can be attached to the front, back or sides of the hat. So if you purchase a nice subdued olive drab hat, you can find a patch to put on your hat that customizes it. The nice thing about this option is that you can buy multiple patches to put on the hat which enables you to customize it for particular events.

For example, if you are attending a Memorial Day event, maybe you prefer to place a U.S. flag patch on your hat that day. For a service specific birthday, maybe you decide to that you prefer to place your service’s flag on the hat. The point is, there really is no wrong answer on how you can customize these hats.

Military Veteran Hats Conclusion

Throughout our exploration of military veteran hats, we have seen that there is something special about wearing a hat to show pride in your service and patriotism. Whether you are intergenerational or newly enlisted, having the right hat shows your commitment and enthusiasm.

military veteran hats camo

As a veteran, you should take quality and care into consideration when choosing a hat—the ideal hat should be comfortable and last for years. Remember, you have many customization options, from embroidering to patches, ribbon racks, badges and pins, so you can make yours stand out in style.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for an eye-catching way to recognize your service, the right hat will find you. While there are a lot of military veteran hats to choose from, with a little patience you will find the one that looks the best, and fits just right.

So don’t wait – shop now and make a statement and check out our full line of military veteran hats.

The Pyramid of Honor in the U.S. Military: What Is It?

pyramid of honor army medal rack


What is the Pyramid of Honor in the U.S. Military

The Pyramid of Honor is a hierarchy of military awards with the Medal of Honor at the peak. The military awards are presented to American veterans of military service. The awards are ranked in order of precedence.

It is a way to recognize those who have dedicated their lives to protecting and defending our nation. The highest level of respect for service members in the United States is earned through this recognition system (Pyramid of Honor). But what exactly does that mean?

In this blog post, we'll explore not only what it means to achieve this distinction and we'll look at what separates honorable service members from the pack and discuss why such strong commendations are so important among U.S. Armed Forces. Regardless if you're an active-duty member, reservist, veteran or family member—we hope you will continue to read on as we share information about one of America's proudest traditions: the Pyramid of Honor.

The Different Levels of the Pyramid of Honor

The Pyramid of Honor is a distinguished ranking system in the U.S. military that honors service members who have performed outstanding achievements and provided exceptional service. Unlike other ranking systems, the Pyramid of Honor recognizes and rewards the character, leadership, and dedication of the individual, not just their performance in battle or during missions.

The Pyramid of Honor stands as a testament to the courage and valor of those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, and it serves as a reminder to all service members of the values that define the U.S. military. This prestigious ranking system reflects the highest ideals of what it means to serve one's country and inspires all those who strive to ascend its tiers.

pyramid of honor army ribbon rack

The Pyramid of Honor is a symbol of recognition and achievement, with different levels of accomplishment represented by each tier. At the base of the pyramid are the most fundamental levels, representing the foundational values and principles. As you move up the pyramid, you'll find increasingly advanced levels of mastery and achievement.

For example, a hard-working airman can graduate from Air Force Basic Military Training (BMT) as an Honor Graduate and earn a special recognition ribbon for finishing at the top of his or her BMT class. Thus, the extra work that the airman put in is recognized. Similarly, but at a higher level, a company commander can receive a Meritorious Service Medal for effectively commanding a transportation company for three years. Both accomplishments are at different levels, but both accomplishments are recognized by appropriate awards, at the appropriate level.

Each level comes with greater significance, and signifies a deeper understanding of the principles that the pyramid represents. Ultimately, the top of the pyramid represents complete mastery and understanding of the values that are enshrined within the Pyramid of Honor. Whether you're just starting out on your journey of self-improvement or you've already attained advanced levels of success, understanding the different levels of the Pyramid of Honor is essential to achieving your goals.

The Pyramid of Honor is a system that recognizes excellence and achievement in various disciplines. From receiving a certificate of achievement to being listed in the organization's newsletter, each reward celebrates the individual's progress on their journey to the top of the pyramid. Achieving these levels not only showcases an individual's abilities, but it also inspires others to strive for greatness. The Pyramid of Honor serves as a reminder that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

Notable Service Members of the Pyramid of Honor

The Pyramid of Honor is a symbol of recognition for individuals who have achieved excellence in their field. It consists of multiple levels, each representing a different tier of accomplishment. The rewards for reaching these levels vary, but they all serve as a testament to hard work and dedication.

Throughout history, there have been countless service members who have worked tirelessly to achieve the highest levels in the Pyramid of Honor. These individuals have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their country and have made significant contributions to preserve the freedoms we enjoy today.

From Gen. George S. Patton to Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, these individuals have paved the way for future generations of service members to continue their legacy of bravery and sacrifice. Their stories are not only inspiring, but they serve as a reminder of the selfless acts that have helped shape our nation.

pyramid of honor regular and thin ribbon racks

Pyramid of Honor is a Monument

The Pyramid of Honor is an embodiment of all the awards and accolades that military personnel can receive for their service. It is incepted to motivate and inspire the brave warriors who put their lives on the line to safeguard their country and people.

These awards serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement for the military members to perform better and push beyond their limits. They signify the willingness to sacrifice, the audacity to serve, and the relentless commitment to duty.

For example, a service member might attend Ranger School, considered the toughest military leadership school in the U.S. military, and earn the coveted Ranger tab for his or her uniform. The tab represents completion of the course, but it also represents toughness and resiliency that makes the wearer command a level of respect within the ranks. 

Likewise, awards presented for bravery or for combat are held in high regard by the military community and recipients are given a lot of respect for what they have done under fire.

These medals and badges of honor elevate military personnel to a higher pedestal in the eyes of their colleagues, family, and community. They bring pride not just to the individuals who receive them, but to the entire nation. The Pyramid of Honor is thus a monument to the bravery, selflessness, and commitment of the men and women who serve their country with unfaltering dedication.

Pyramid of Honor Conclusion

As we have seen, the Pyramid of Honor in the U.S. Military is a meaningful indication of achievement and service to our country. Those who ascend these ranks by reaching each level not only receive recognition for their efforts, but also gain powerful motivation to rise even higher within the pyramid.

From the Medal of Honor to a service specific Achievement Medal, the awards granted to high achievers and performers gives us an opportunity to thank and recognize them for their valued contribution to our nation’s defense and safety. We honor and praise those who serve the United States willingly and accept roles in protecting it with dedication and courage.

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Now that you understand the Pyramid of Honor, maybe you will look at a service members ribbons and medals a little differently. Those uniform items are hard earned and come at a sacrifice.

If you have a veteran in your life that you’d like to thank, consider shopping our medal and ribbon shop and buying them a gift that honors their service.