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My dad passed away, and I'm helping his wife write an obituary. He had a long Navy career which included service in World War II and Vietnam. He has a case full of fancy medals (I count 13).

His widow, who knows even less than I do about military medals, wants to mention his Joint Service Commendation Medal in the obituary. It seems odd to me to just single out that one. Or maybe it's the extra special one? What do you think?

RDW
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His widow, who knows even less than I do about military medals, wants to mention his Joint Service Commendation Medal in the obituary. It seems odd to me to just single out that one. Or maybe it's the extra special one? What do you think?

If he was enlisted, that is likely to be one of his highest on the chart of decorations' relative merit. Especially since he served in a time when medals weren't given out just for doing your job...every single time you do it.

That being said, does his wife have a reason for singling that one out? Maybe he talked about it? Anyway, you could use the phrase "his military decorations include the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and..." here I would probably put his campaign ribbons.

There is a big color chart available online if you want to see where they all fit (wikipedia seems to be accurate to me...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awards_and_decorations_of_the_U...). Only thing I don't like is the term "obsolete" that they use for older medals.

Here is a site specific to the Navy, though in my brief run through it I didn't find it particularly user friendly. https://awards.navy.mil/awards/webbas01.nsf/(vwWebPage)/home...

Maybe more information that you wanted.

v/r
Tom
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And I should have started off with "I'm really sorry to hear that."

I'm a socially inept most of the time.

v/r
Tom
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As Jacket indicated, Commendation Medals, especially Joint Service, were rather rare 'back in the day.' It is very likely that he was extremely proud of whatever it took to be recognized for that medal. Hopefully somewhere is the actual written order that awarded it. That document would contain the details of what he did to be recognized with such.

These days, I think most get one for simply serving four years. It was common in the 90s to see every soldier get either one of these (branch specific) or an AAM (Army Achievement Medal - one step lower than the Army Commendation Medal) for simply staying out of trouble during their enlistment.

IIRC, every officer in my unit (and enlisted E7 and above) got a Bronze Star upon returning from the 1st Gulf War - and no one fired a shot. Rediculous.

I (and about 15 others) got one (Commendation Medal) as an E3 during a Brigade field training exercise.
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Thanks for your help. We'll be mentioning his Joint Service Commendation Medal, and his medals for WWII and Vietnam.

RDW
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Hi RDW. Sorry for your loss.

People rarely have the original descriptive paperwork submitted when our Warriors are submitted for recognition.

I think it was Tom Brokaw who said and aired a program where in he noted that these American Warriors of that period were our "Greatest Generation".

The rows of all of his and all our ribbons are symbolic of all involved within that time period, where he and we all swore and pledged to do whatever we were called to do.

I don't know if he saved any of his military paperwork, but, if you find any and need any definitive words to sort out some verbage, I'm sure many here would help.

Take care, and please pass on my good thoughts and prayers for him at the service.

Thanks.
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