Defensive memorial cordon

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List of defensive memorial cordons.

The Defensive memorial cordon (防衛記念章) is the decoration for officers in the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The officials can wear it on their uniforms only in active service. They are only cordons like the Unit Awards and the Unit Citations of United States Armed Forces.

The appearance of the defensive memorial cordon is similar to ribbon bars of military decoration, but it is completely different from regular ribbon bars, and are not awards or medals. The defensive memorial cordon is a 'rectangular-shaped memorial souvenir' for service career, participation of training in overseas, and participation in international peacekeeping and assistance operations.

History[edit]

Before establishment[edit]

After World War II, the standard for conferment of a decoration was changed and JSDF officials in active service were excluded from the now-civilian orders and decorations. In addition, the JSDF could not gain opportunity to participate battle because it is prohibited by Chapter 9 of the Constitution of Japan. 

Just after the JSDF was established in 1954, there were some officials who had military decorations and ribbon bars awarded by Imperial Japanese Army, so they wore in formal ceremony. They retired as time goes on, and no one could wear the military decorations with entitlement. For this reason, the officers in the JSDF in the 1970s had to participate in international meetings without any decorations.

Establishment[edit]

VADM Yoji Koda in Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force wearing the cordons on left chest.

On April 1, 1982, the system for Defensive memorial cordon was established to keep balance of looking between Japanese and foreign servicemen. When the system for Defensive memorial cordon was established, there were only 15 types of cordons, unlike past decorations the cordons are only used by officers of the JSDF.

Requirements[edit]

The following Self-Defense Force officers in active service are allowed to wear the defensive memorial cordon:

  1. Officers who receive an official commendation by the Japan Self-Defense Forces
  2. Officers who serve duties about the concerned awarding at the awarded institutions (National Defense Academy, National Defense Medical College, National Institute for Defense Studies, Technical Research and Development Institute, Equipment Procurement and Construction Office, the military units, the military institutions, a branch offices of Equipment office)
  3. Officers who are commanders of units and commands or other managerial positions established by the Minister of Defense.
  4. Officers who serve duties at the internal Subdivisions (Internal Subdivisions in Ministry of Defense, Section of the Joint Staffs, Defense Intelligence Headquarters, Ground Staff Office, Maritime Staff Office, Air Staff Office, Technical Research and Development Institute, Equipment Procurement and Construction Office, Inspector General's Office of Legal Compliance)
  5. Long serving officers. In this case, the officials who were awarded the prize of perfect attendance.
  6. Officers who work at the diplomatic missions overseas, or who were engaged duties about procurement by onerous assistance or other overseas activities as may be ordered.
  7. Officers who participate in overseas training missions and exercises or work for transporting to the South Pole.
  8. Officers who participate in international cooperation activties, such as peacekeeping operations, disaster relief and joint training exercises with foreign armed forces.
  9. Officers who participate in national events or cooperating work of sports competitions which are regulated in Self-Defense Forces Act Chapter 126-12 (Olympic Games, Asian Games, National Sports Festival, FIFA World Cup and others) as may be directed by General Headquarters, JSDF

Types of cordons[edit]

There are today 41 cordons. When the system for the defensive memorial cordon was established, there were only 15 cordons. They must be worn by ascending order. Male officials wear three cordons for each line, and female officials wear two cordons for each line. If the foreign Orders and/or decorations are awarded to officers, these take precedence over the cordons and are required to be placed above them.

Some cordons (marked as grey) still exist, but it is impossible to meet their requirements (the targeted organizations have been abolished, or missions have finished):

Appearance English name Japanese name Wearer
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 01.svg 1st Defensive Memorial Cordon 第1号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who have received the SDF Special Citation for bravery and valor in national defense and civil disaster relief.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 02.svg 2nd Defensive Memorial Cordon 第2号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who have received the 1st Class Citation.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 03.svg 3rd Defensive Memorial Cordon 第3号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who have received the 2nd Class Citation.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 04.svg 4th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第4号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who have received the 3rd Class Citation for national defense and civil relief operations.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 05.svg 5th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第5号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who have received the 3rd Class Citation by driving the vehicles or aircraft for appointed hour and for appointed mileage without accidents.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 06.svg 6th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第6号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who have received the 3rd Class Citation by excellent invention or device technically or distinguished service for unit management with service improvement.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 07.svg 7th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第7号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who have received the 3rd Class Citation by distinguished service during the ordinary training or maneuvers.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 08.svg 8th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第8号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who have received the 4th Class Citation for national defense and civil relief operations.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 09.svg 9th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第9号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who have received the 4th Class Citation by driving the vehicles or aircraft for appointed hour and for appointed mileage without accidents.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 10.svg 10th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第10号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who have received the 4th Class Citation by excellent invention or device technically or distinguished service for unit management with service improvement.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 11.svg 11th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第11号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who have received the 4th Class Citation by distinguished service during the ordinary training or maneuvers.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 12.svg 12th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第12号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who have received the 5th Class Citation for national defense and civil relief operations.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 13.svg 13th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第13号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who have received the 5th Class Citation by driving the vehicles or aircraft for appointed hour and for appointed mileage without accidents.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 14.svg 14th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第14号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who have received the 5th Class Citation by excellent invention or device technically or distinguished service for unit management with service improvement.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 15.svg 15th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第15号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who have received the 5th Class Citation for distinguished service during the ordinary training or maneuvers.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 16.svg 16th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第16号防衛記念章 Officers from the units which for service for the country in defense operations, international deployments and civil disaster relief were awarded the Security Meritorious Award or Disaster Prevention Meritorious Award.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 17.svg 17th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第17号防衛記念章 Officers of JSDF formations and agencies who served missions related to the Special Award.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 18.svg 18th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第18号防衛記念章 Officers of JSDF formations and agencies who served missions related to 1st Class Citation.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 19.svg 19th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第19号防衛記念章 Awarded to general and flag officers with command appointments (lieutenant general, vice admiral).
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 20.svg 20th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第20号防衛記念章 Awarded to general and flag officers with command appointments (major general, rear admiral).
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 21.svg 21st Defensive Memorial Cordon 第21号防衛記念章 Awarded to field officers with command appointments (colonel, captain).
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 22.svg 22nd Defensive Memorial Cordon 第22号防衛記念章 Awarded to field officers with command appointments (lieutenant colonel, commander, major, lieutenant commander).
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 23.svg 23rd Defensive Memorial Cordon 第23号防衛記念章 Awarded to junior officers with command or leadership appointments (company-grade officer).
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 24.svg 24th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第24号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who serve at the internal subdivisions of Ministry of Defense.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 25.svg 25th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第25号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who serve at the Joint Staff Office and also were chosen by the Minister of Defense (substitution of 27th cordon).
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 26.svg 26th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第26号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who serve at the Ground Staff Office, Maritime Staff Office, or Air Staff Office.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 27.svg 27th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第27号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers served at the Joint Staff Council and the Defense Intelligence Headquarters.[1]
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 28.svg 28th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第28号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who serve at the Defense Intelligence Headquarters after shifting to the joint operations posture, and who were appointed by the Minister of Defense (substitution of 27th cordon).
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 29.svg 29th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第29号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who served at the Technical Research and Development Institute.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 30.svg 30th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第30号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who served at the Equipment Procurement and Construction Office.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 31.svg 31st Defensive Memorial Cordon 第31号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers who serve at the Inspector General's Office of Legal Compliance.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 32.svg 32nd Defensive Memorial Cordon 第32号防衛記念章 Awarded for 25 years service.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 33.svg 33rd Defensive Memorial Cordon 第33号防衛記念章 Awarded for 10 years service.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 34.svg 34th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第34号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers serving at Diplomatic missions as Defense Attache and so on, or who were engaged duties about procurement by onerous assistance or other overseas activties.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 35.svg 35th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第35号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers deployed in JSDF operations against Piracy in Somalia.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 36.svg 36th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第36号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers of JSDF formations and agencies who served in the aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 37.svg 37th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第37号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers of JSDF who participated in works and actions for international cooperation as may be authorized by the Defense Forces.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 38.svg 38th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第38号防衛記念章 The JSDF members who participated the work for activity in the Indian Sea.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 39.svg 39th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第39号防衛記念章 The JSDF members who participated the work for the Iraqi contribution.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 40.svg 40th Defensive Memorial Cordon 第40号防衛記念章 Awarded to JSDF officers for outstanding service in national events as may be authorized by General Headquarters, JSDF.
Japan Self-Defense Forces Service Ribbon 41.svg 41st Defensive Memorial Cordon 第41号防衛記念章 Awarded to officers of the JSDF who participate in overseas training and simulation missions with other armed services.

Rules for multiple awardees[edit]

If the same cordons are to be awarded for further actions officers qualified to receive them have to put gold or silver cherry blossoms on the cordons.

  • 1 silver cherry blossom for 2 cordons.
  • 1 gold cherry blossom for 3 cordons.
  • 2 silver cherry blossoms for 4 cordons.
  • 2 gold cherry blossoms for more than 4 cordons.

References[edit]

  1. ^ It is impossible now to be awarded 27th cordon because the Joint Staff Council was abolished and reorganized as the Joint Staff Office. For this reason, 25th and 28th cordons were established.

External links[edit]