For several awards, the Army and the Department of Defense employ Arabic numerals to indicate how many times the wearer has received a particular medal or ribbon. In these cases, the ribbon or medal counts as the first award, with the next award being indicated with the Arabic numeral “2.” These numerals are colored bronze or gold and are 3/16-inch in height.

Arabic numerals are authorized for wear with the Air Medal, Multinational Force and Observers Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (NCOPDR), Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Navy Recruiting Service Ribbon, and the Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon. They are to be centered on the ribbon bar or the suspension ribbon of the medal except when worn with the Armed Forces Reserve Medal when the wearer has earned the “M” device (for Mobilizations). In this case, the numeral refers to the number of mobilizations rather than awarding of the AFRM, which is given for every ten years of service and is indicated by the 10-year (“hourglass”) device. Numerals are worn on the AFRM ribbon to the left of the “M” device and the hourglass, if applicable, is worn to the left of the “M” device.

Arabic numeral devices worn on the NCOPDR reflect the highest completed level of NCO development. Only the numerals 2, 3, and 4 are now authorized for wear on this ribbon.

About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.