While going through some of my books trying to save shelf space I ran across my copy of “LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF THE MINNESOTA NATIONAL GUARD 1904”.
There is a section in the book containing regulations pertaining to medals and decorations which is very interesting. For example there is a Faithful Service Medal awarded for 10 years. For 15 years a bar is added between the medal and broach. For 20 years another bar is added. Most interesting is that before the guardsman can get his 15 or 20 year version he must turn in his earlier medal. The same thing holds true for the marksmanship awards. To qualify for a Distinguished Rifleman award or a Distinguished Gunner award one had to shoot Expert for five years and for which each year has the proper (2,3 or 4) year bar added to the badge. On the 5th year the Distinguished award was earned requiring that the hard earned Expert badge had to be turned in. Now I know that many of the European orders required the return of a lower class badge when a higher class was awarded and some even want the order back when the recipient dies but to my collector’s mind this practice seems highly un-American especially when a state wants to recycle it’s long service and marksmanship awards. I just hope some of the guardsmen engraved their names on the backs of their medals.
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