The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

So, Military Steampunk is AWESOME.


Whats not awesome is wearing real medals, that you have no right to wear.


Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Steampunk, you are more than capable of making your own medals and decorations. Just get some ribbon and a cool thing to hang from it and poof your done. Your own medal with your own story that you can apply to your character or whatever.


You can also buy fake medals from several Steampunk vendors, be it on Etsy or what not, they are not hard to find if you are not so crafty a person.


I also really don't have a problem with repurposing medals from other countries or ones that are so old they are indistinguishable or you can't find a record of them.


What I have a SERIOUS problem with is people wearing medals that are current, especially to the United States. This is not a joke, or a game. You people may think its cool or something, I have no idea. Last time I checked we are at war, with members of our military serving in harms way, putting there lives on the line every day for you. And weather or not you believe in the war or its the right ting to do I hope you all still "Support the Troops". And what I find AMAZINGLY rude and disrespectful is people wearing say;


Legion of Merit (definition - exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements) or a Campaign Medal from World War II, I saw someone this weekend at TeslaCon wearing a Distinguished Flying Cross (definition - Heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight) I even saw some (clearly not in the military or have ever served -I asked-) wearing a Purple Heart ribbon once (definition - Being wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces) and those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head.


YOUR WEARING MEDALS FOR HEROSIM, MERATORIOUS CONDUCT, WOUNDES RECIEVED IN COMBAT AND SERVICE IN WORLD WAR II.... please tell me your kidding? Is that some sick joke? Maybe you should come to a service member's funeral and watch the mothers reaction as SHE receives a Purple Heart because her son received fatal wounds and is lying in a coffin 10 feet in front of her. I guess that's something you take lightly? I suppose that since it takes AN ACT OF CONGRESS so award such things that you can just throw them on your chest and think its cool?


The uniform, medals and trappings of the service members of The United States, are EARNED. Paid for in blood over and over and over again in the past 234 years. IF YOU HAVE NOT EARNED THE RIGHT TO WEAR THEM.... don't.


And for the record per the Stolen Valor Act, it is illegal as well.


Semper Fidelis


Sgt Lilley, Jeffrey

United Stated Marine Coprs


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I am in total agreement with you, I come from a family with a military history, grandfather was General (Canadian Militia), Dad (Canadian Army) served in WWII and bro was a Lt Col.(US Army) I myself did not serve, but the thought of using actual earned medals as decorations is abhorrent to me. I have worn my fathers medals on my right side to honor him at an event. The medals I wear on my steampunk military outfit are ones that I made from parts and from our group pin. I think event organizers should ask people who are obvioulsy not entitled to wear them to remove them.

Gen.Major Purvis
(Steampunk Identity, named for my grandfather Brg.Gen Purvis Loggie- Deputy Quartermaster-General Canadian Military Headquarters, England)
Hear ye,hear ye! Totally agree. We could get into the specifics on how there has been one ruling that Stolen Valor can't in fact be upheld in a court of law...but,I know of friends/family personally when you see their ribbons and hear the stories...I am in complete agreeance in shanking another person for wearing the medals...haha.I know that is harsh but there is a lot of personal sacrifice,most cases blood,sweat and tears to earn those medals. My husband was awarded the Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal on his last deployment and the paper reads like a book on everything he did.It isn't a few sentences it is a PARAGRAPH. You don't get that for showing up on time to work,and keeping your uniform pretty.

If people can be creative enough to be Steampunk they can be creative enough to make up military medals.
which leads us to this-
A prior service person wearing the ribbons, medals, and badges he HAS earned while breathing sand in the Suck with his steampunk outfit.... What are the rules for that? I never thought to use MY marine corps medals as pieces of flair for a steampunk getup, but... Hell, now you mention it, that sounds kind of cool.

Is there any regulation barring the wearing of earned medals in civilian clothes? I know Lions and VFW guys do it...
and yes, I get a shiver in my spine whenever I see somoene wearing a dress blue blouse. Hard to see. I don't advise doing that outside of Pendleton or Lejune.
Not sure about US regulations but Australia and the UK have protocols for wearing medals in civvies. This is usually to address things like Remembrance Day and the like were Veterans will wear medals but no longer fit into their uniforms.
I believe there is an established protocol, at least for some awards, and the VFW or the American Legion would probably be the best places to find exactly what that protocol is. Sorry I can't be more specific, but I also feel strongly on the subject, and I don't want to be wrong or incorrect in the smallest detail.

Semper Fi, and thanks.
Actually the regulation prescribe when & where it is appropriate to wear them and how. The most common form is wear one of the lapel pins that comes as part of your medal set when it is presented to you.

Georg, Baron von Mannteuffel
aka, Martin Hickey, LTC USA (Ret)
Very good, Jeff. I would just wish to expand the observation to include the genuine decorations from any contemporary service. Whether I recognize them on sight or not, they have meaning.

Medals are not jewelry and it is a sign of disrespect to those who earned them to treat them as decorative frills.

We have more than enough fictional medals to wear on our fictional uniforms; we do not need to trivialize genuine accomplishments.
In complete agreement- I wish I could say that I couldn't see people doing this, but sadly, that's far from the truth. Honestly, wearing a replica or an actual medal that is unearned is reprehensible. Even if the medal has fallen out of use, or the country that issued them is defunct, people ought to have a baseline of respect for the people that did earn them through service and refrain from doing so.
I wish the previous discussion on medals and costumes hadn't been deleted. I'm assuming the OP is no longer with the Empire and deleted his forum threads.

I think most countries have laws about the wearing of medals one isn't entitled to. Examples of people like Roger Day spring to mind. However usually those laws refer to passing oneself off as an actual war Veteran.

My own outfit (see photos on my profile) has one real medal (reproduction) and will be getting others but all of them are 19th century campaign medals. I doubt anyone could mistake me for someone as having fought much less earned a medal in something like the New Zealand wars. If I can find a Victorian replica of a DSO that would probably be the limit of my encroachment into modern medals. The DSO is still a current gallantry award but the cypher changes with each King or Queen. It would be a borderline call. But since I'm trying to tie the costume to a fictionalised version of the 19th century I've tried to make sure that elements are correct (like having Queens Crown on buttons and helmet plates).

I've recently bought a replica of a Star of the Iron Cross badge, so that I can re-appropriate it into a fictional Order. Officers need their garnish. Not quite getting into Harry Flashman territory but I'm certainly taking a page out of the book
I certainly see your point (though I would have seen it quite as well without all the capitals, their overuse do nothing in my mind to make you sound mature and composed. But that is quite besides the point).

I'm curious how you feel about the use of antique/vintage medals as components in crafted "imaginary" medals and insignia. As you see examples of on Etsy and such. They certainly do not misrepresent the wearer as having earned the medal because they are clearly no longer the same item - but do you feel their incorporation, as art/crafts "materials", also to be disrespectful?
While some might see it as a desecration, I personally don't. The meaning of the medal is in the context of wearing/receiving it. The actual physical object is just a visual representation of the virtues being celebrated. As long as you're not somehow mocking the award, I don't see a problem.


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