Award / Medal Ceremonies

Award Ceremonies

An award ceremony affords an opportunity to recognize a member’s accomplishments. The commander or other official determines whether to present an award at a formal ceremony or to present it informally. Many units present awards during commander’s call.

Medal/Decoration Ceremony

Decoration ceremonies formally recognize service members for meritorious service, outstanding achievement, or heroism. A formal and dignified ceremony is necessary to preserve the integrity and value of decorations. When possible, the commander should personally present the decoration.

Although decoration ceremonies may differ slightly from one unit to another, they normally begin by the announcement of “Attention to Orders.” Upon this, everyone in attendance should stand.

The citation will be read and the commander and recipient will be standing at attention facing the attendees. After the citation is read, the commander and recipient face each other, and the commander affixes the medal on the individual’s uniform. The commander next extends personal congratulations and a handshake while presenting the decoration certificate. The recipient salutes the commander to conclude the formal part of the ceremony.

In many cases, several medals may be presented in the same ceremony.