Military Decorations

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 1st May 2008.

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Photo of Don Touhig Don Touhig Labour, Islwyn

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many countries award medals to British service (a) personnel and (b) veterans; and whether their recipients in each instance are permitted to wear the medal.

Photo of Meg Munn Meg Munn Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Two countries (the US and Canada) have recently awarded medals to British service personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unrestricted permission to accept and wear foreign awards can be granted to British service personnel on exchange, attachment or loan to a foreign state, who are involved in a military operation or emergency on behalf of that state. The same applies to British service personnel serving in a UK unit in a bilateral force under the command of another country, who render special service to that country's forces in a military operation or emergency. This is consistent with both the five-year rule and the double-medalling rule, which are important in the British honours system.

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Andy Nicoll
Posted on 2 May 2008 8:13 pm (Report this annotation)

How can you say that the award of a medal by the USA and Canada for Iraq and Afghanistan is consistent with the five year rule and the double medal rule when a). both conflicts are still on-going. b) military personnel and not British citizens are recipients, and c) if a British medal is issued then the double medal rule applies for any other medal issued for the same conflict so how can this be consistent.

Perhaps you are confusing your consistent with inconsistent.

David Dilley
Posted on 2 May 2008 8:17 pm (Report this annotation)

Oh dear (again). We have it on good authority that in fact double-medalling and the year rule are,indeed, so important that they are arbitrarily implemented at the whim of the HD Committee. Yes, their implementation is arbitrary. Ms Munn should consult the Ceremonial Officer of the Cabinet Office, who, incidentally, is secretary of the HD Committee, to confirm the information that is held by the Fight4thepjm Campaigners and received by us from the Cabinet Office regarding the arbitrariness of those rules is a fact.

The Cabinet Office and the FCO really should get their act together.