Long service medals and awards of a military nature are issued world wide. In the US military however there are no long service medals as such but several awards require specified periods of service to qualify for the award like the Good Conduct Medals for example. The civilian branches of the US government seem to have a system of lapel pins to recognize long service but these are so very small and cheaply made that it is not worth the effort it takes to pin them on a lapel and they are rarely seen being worn. Things get much more interesting at the state and local government levels. On the local level most awards that I have seen are for volunteer fire departments and are in badge form. Some may protest that these are only part time jobs but getting called out of a warm bed on a cold Wisconsin winter night to fight a fire would make it very evident that these awards are well earned. The badge illustrated below is from the Monroe Wisconsin Fire Department for 50 years service and this is not a retirement badge! More unusual is the Neosho Wisconsin Volunteer Fire Department medal for 41 years of service. This medal looks like a fairly modern item with the recipients name and years of service number on the back with a paper sticker rather than engraved! A classy medal issued on a budget too tight to afford the engraving fees. The medal design is the departmental shoulder patch with a rectangular bar hanging below that is engraved with the recipient’s years of service to the department. I am guessing that these medals were issued on the department’s centennial in 1987 to every member of the department. Some day I’ll have to research this one further.
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