The Indian Army has decided to allow the family members of killed military personnel to wear their medals on the chest while attending homage ceremonies, officials said today.
The move comes after some next of kin (NOK) of ex-servicemen (ESM) had expressed a need to honour the services of killed soldiers by sporting their medals on specific occasions, they said.
According to a recent official communication of the army: "The matter was examined and it is felt that this practice will instill a sense of pride among the NOK, including second or third generation lineage".
While there are no instructions in this regard, there is a similar practice in some countries, it said.
Medals are to be worn only by people on whom these are conferred, while serving or by ex-servicemen as laid down in regulations for the Army, 1978 (revised edition), the army said.
"Of late, some NOK of ESM have expressed a need to honour the services of their late ESM by sporting his or her medals on specific occasions," the communication said.
"It has hence been been decided that family medals may be worn on right chest by NOK of ESM of the Indian Army when attending homage ceremonies at war memorials, cemeteries and funerals," it said.
The family medals (spouse, parents, forefathers, children) might be worn on the right chest on those occasions only, "while donning appropriate formal civil attire", the communication said.
"Serving persons, if attired in formal civil dress, when attending homage ceremonies may also sport family medals. In case, more than one set of family medals are available, then only one set will be worn as per the choice of the service persons or NOK," it added.
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