Medal ribbon bars


Active Member

I need to come up with some ribbon bars for a couple of original character designs. This raises two points on which any info, points or random thoughts would be gratefully received. I'm not a military person so I really have no idea what I'm doing.

First off, what are the dimensions? I get the feeling that the ribbon that's used to hang an actual medal is somewhat wider than the one that's put on a bar, but I could be wrong. Various awards seem to be various widths. Is there any standard for the height of the bars? They look like about 3/8", maybe a shade under a centimeter tall, but that's just based on looking at photos.

Also, I'm trying to figure out what I can reasonably award my characters based on who they are and what they do, without being seen to either under- or over-do it. I have one infantry captain, late 20s, and one lieutenant colonel, CO of the battalion, probably late 40s. I should point out that this is a fictional arm of the British armed forces, where there is less of a tendency to create awards that more or less everyone gets. Having done a bit of research around this, I get the impression that more or less everyone in the US armed forces must have received the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal by now, for instance. Brits don't seem to do that sort of thing.

What makes this slightly easier is that the piece is science fiction, set in about 2090, so probably most of what they have will be awards that don't really exist yet, with the possible exception of long or meritorious service stuff. There are more than enough medal ribbons in the world that finding a colour code that doesn't already mean something to one of the world's militaries is actually quite difficult, anyway.

My impression is that a particularly ambitious and successful captain might have a campaign ribbon or two and perhaps something representing involvement with an external organisation such as the UN. The Lt Col would have anything up to a couple of rows of stuff depending on whether he's been career-minded (leading to a lot of office jobs and staff work) or not.

Any thoughts?



crabra comander

Sr Member gives you two options for offsets of the ribbons as well as the more common awards like the good conduct medal, overseas, etc. I personally like the clustered look where the ribbons are stacked one on top of the other, it's like saying, "I got way too many F**ing awards son!":lol

Damn you said British. Well, officers usually get about one award higher than their NCO counterparts for the same deeds. So if I get a bronze star they get a silver, hope that helps...


Active Member
Thanks for the responses.

I've got lots of ideas, finding the existing awards isn't a problem. My main concern right now is getting them the right size. At some point, I can put some fairly random selections of colours on there and it'll be justifiable as futuristic; I just want to get the basics right.
This thread is more than 10 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.