IDF campaign ribbons
I’ve been out in Israel working for the last few weeks, not much was showing up in the flea markets but there were quite few medal ribbons around so, knowing that Israel doesn’t issue medals, only campaign ribbons, I decided to give myself some light relief and put together a collection of the IDF campaign ribbons,
A cup coffee and a little help from Wikipedia, I returned to the market with the info I needed, and set about finding all of them. There are 8 official campaign ribbons:
1. War of Independence (1948)
2. Sinai Campaign (1956)
3. Six Day War (1967)
4. Yom Kippur War (1973)
5. War of Attrition (1967 to 1970)
6. Peace for Galilee (Lebanon) 1982
7. Second Lebanon War 2006
8. Protective Edge (Gaza) 2015
The last two ribbons are not official issue, the IDF has replaced ribbons with enamel badges, which look pretty cheap, the ribbons are private purchase for those finding it difficult to adjust and I prefer the continuity in the collection.
This is the go to website I have found for IDF decorations
01-30-2016 08:30 AM
Of course….we all suffer from the same disease….there is no such thing as a complete collection. The next week I set about collecting the Service Ribbons, these are ribbon issues to people who served in any of the pre-state organizations up to independence. These are much harder to find due to the low numbers of people that served.
Before the ribbons there was a pin, the ‘Decoration of State Warriors’ worn on the War of Independence ribbon for those that had served in earlier organizations.
There are 8 Service Ribbons in all so far I have only three, below are:
1. Volunteers ribbon (WWI Jewish Legion and WWII British/Jewish Brigade)
2. War of Independence ribbon with ‘Decoration of State Warriors’ pin
3. Volunteers ribbon
4. Hagana (1920 to 1948)
5. Mishmar (1936 to 1939)
Full list with descriptions is here Israeli Decorations
In addition to that Israel has three decorations, one of these also fell in to my path, we are getting in to real money now but, I’ve got the bug and couldn’t resist
This is the ribbon for Israel’s Medal of Valor, it is the highest award possible, only 40 have been issued and the last was for the 1973 war. You can buy these medals relatively easily on ebay, these may be reproduction, fake whatever or they could be actually produced medals, but they are not from the original batch that was issued.
It is a rare ribbon and this one has the miniature pin of the medal in the center which signifies the holder has won the award twice, I’m trying to find out who that could have been (or whether it actually has been awarded twice)
Only two more of these, the other service ribbons, commendation ribbons.......then I will probably start on Arab county equivalent campaign medals.....there is no cure!
I never knew they only issued ribbons!
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Apparently it was a deliberate decision to keep awards understated, and for the army to be functional and not for parade grounds. Only the Valor, Courage and Distinguished Service awards are actual medals.
by Adrian Stevenson