'the imjin' magazine Summer 2019 - Page 14

(DBS) There’s a great satisfaction in seeing the new medals go out. Eye for detail Revealed: The careful behind-the-scenes work behind the issue of every medal It is said behind every medal is the story of how it was earned. But just as fascinating is the detail behind how each British medal comes to be issued by the MOD Medal Office in the first place. And it is thanks to the meticulous work of a small team of civil servants, working at Imjin Barracks, that ensures everything is just right for every single medal worn by every British serviceman. “When I had to get the precise ‘air force’ grey for the new Iraq and Syria medal ribbon,” reveals James Davies, the man responsible for medal specifications, “I contacted the workshops at the RAF base in St Athan – just to try and match the correct ‘pantone’ colour, for the ribbon fabric makers, of a Typhoon’s fuselage.” GONG SHOW It is only recently that such precise descriptions have been laid down. The ‘Operation Shader’ medal is the first campaign medal to be created since 2003, awarded to personnel who contributed to the campaign to defeat Daesh in Iraq and Syria. 14 SPRING 2019 the imjin As well as its own distinct ‘air force grey’ ribbon, the Shader medal is one of the first to have been introduced with its own detailed specification. point on they will always look and feel the same.” “It’s my job to ensure the correct weight, the correct material and finish,” continues James Davies, who works as part of the Medal Office’s business development team. “There’s a great satisfaction in seeing the new medals go out,” adds Davies, “especially when you’ve been involved from the early days. “Prior to 2018, the Ministry of Defence never had any technical specifications for medals. So, for instance, the World War Two medals that we’ve been issuing for the last seventy years have actually changed material, changed size, changed colour over time. “But now we’ve placed the technical specification for each of the medals, and we’ve been able to say from this EMOTIONAL ISSUES “If a new medal is going to be introduced we will give design options to the dress committees. We get to add our thoughts and say ‘that is possible’ or ‘that isn’t possible’. “The emotional value that gets attached to the medals is huge. Because what we are effectively doing is supporting the moral component of the Armed Forces contingent.” MOD Defence Business Services Defence Business Services (DBS) provide corporate support services to businesses and individuals across Defence. At Imjin Barracks, the DBS ‘Military Personnel’ pillar provides services through the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) and the MOD Medal Office, supporting military personnel and their families, veterans, and entitled civilian personnel. Further information on DBS services can be found on the GOV.UK website, or intranet for service personnel. @MODDBS