The UK Rules
Apply for a Medal

Applying for a Veterans Badge or Medal

There is no fee to get an armed forces veterans badge. But, you must have served in any of the UK armed forces to meet the eligibility criteria.

This guide explains how to apply for a veterans badge or a medal from the MoD. Find out which application forms to use, who can apply, and how long it takes to get replacement military medals or badges.

Apply for Armed Forces Veterans Badge

The first step is checking whether you meet the eligibility criteria. You would be able to apply if you served in any of the following:

Note: You would not be able to apply for a veterans badge if you served in the armed forces of another country or you served alongside the UK armed forces (e.g. in the Royal Australian Air Force or the Canadian Navy).

Applying for Someone Who Died

If you are applying for a badge on behalf of a veteran who has since died, you need to be getting (either):

Application Process

Download the armed forces veterans badge application form for first applications and for replacements. Fill in the form giving as much information and details as possible, such as:

  • Which particular force you served in (e.g. the army, RAF, Royal Navy).
  • Your service number and the period of service.

Send the completed application form either by post to the address written on the form or by fax to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Medal Office. You can also apply for a veterans badge using the MOD freephone helpline:

MOD Medal Office - Veterans Badges
Freephone (UK): 0808 1914 218
Overseas: +44 1253 866 043
Fax: 01452 510 871
Email: dbs-modmo-vetsbadge@mod.gov.uk
Find out phone call charges.

Note: As a rule, it takes around eight (8) weeks to get a veterans badge. You can also apply for a medal or for a replacement if you lose it, but you cannot apply for a veterans badge by email.

How to Apply for a Medal

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) provides details of medals awarded to serving members of the armed forces, MOD employees, and to veterans. People who served in the armed forces, and meet the eligibility criteria, can apply for a medal.

You would be able to make an application if you were awarded a medal for service in (any):

Note: The original medal must have already been returned to apply for World War 1 medals.

Applying for a Medal on Behalf of a Veteran

You would need to have lasting power of attorney (LPA) if you are going to apply for someone else's medal. Only the official next of kin can apply for a medal if the veteran has died.

As a general rule, the guidelines for the official next of kin are as follows:

Application Process

You would need to download the Ministry of Defence medal form and fill in as many details as possible. Include a copy of the lasting power of attorney (or the death certificate) if you apply for someone else.

Send the completed form, and any relevant supporting documents, to the address written on the form (i.e. the MOD Medal Office). You can contact MOD by email [dbs-medals@mod.gov.uk].

After sending the application form it usually takes around three (3) months to get the medal. You can also replace a medal if the original has been stolen or it got destroyed accidentally (e.g. by fire, or flood).

Note: Anyone who is still serving in the armed forces would be able to complete the application process through the unit.

How to Replace a Veterans Badge or Medal

In most cases, it is free to get a replacement veterans badge. You might be able to get a replacement medal too (depending on what happened to the original). There is a replacement fee for medals.

Replacing a Veterans Badge

See the instructions above on the process for applying for a veterans badge. There is no fee for the replacement of the first veterans badge.

Replacing a Medal

The Ministry of Defence will only replace a medal if it got stolen (or destroyed by accident). Besides that, it must have been awarded for service after World War 1.

You can use a copy of a police crime report, or a successful insurance claim that lists the individual items, to show proof.

Note: You may be able to buy replacement service medals from a licensed medal dealer.

Application Process

Use the medal application form to make a request for a replacement medal. Return the completed form to the MOD Medal Office with:

  • A cover letter that explains how the medal got stolen or destroyed.
  • A copy of the police report or the successful insurance claim.

Note: Anyone who is still serving in the armed forces can contact the human resources (HR) department at the unit.

The Medal Office will write to you within a few weeks of receiving the application. They will inform you of the fee and how to pay it (depending on the medal type). After clearing the payment, it usually takes four (4) weeks to receive the replacement.


Apply for UK Merchant Seafarers Veterans Badge

To apply for a UK merchant seafarers veterans badge you should have (either):

  • Been a Merchant Navy seafarer or fisherman.
  • Served in a vessel used to support the UK Armed Forces.

You can also apply on behalf of someone who has since died. But, you must be getting a War Widow(er) Pension if applying on behalf of a deceased veteran.

The application process for a badge takes place through the Merchant Navy Association or the Merchant Mariners.

Note: Members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary can apply for the armed forces veterans badge.


Apply for UK Merchant Navy Medal

Members of the merchant navy can apply for a UK merchant navy medal providing they also:

  • Served in a vessel used to support the UK armed forces.
  • Meet the eligibility requirements for the particular medal for which they are applying.

Use the Merchant Navy medal application form (MSF 4408). Fill it in and send it to the address written on the document along with your seaman's discharge book (SDB).

If the person is still alive, you would need to be acting as an attorney (having lasting power of attorney) to apply on behalf of someone else. Include a copy of the death certificate or the lasting power of attorney.

You need to be the official next of kin if the veteran is deceased. The general rules for that situation are:

  • The spouse or civil partner of the person would have the first claim to the medal. The priority would then fall to the eldest child.
  • The eldest grandchild has entitlement to apply if there is no spouse or child.

As a rule you would get a decision within one month of receiving the application. You can send an email to [seafarers_registry@mcga.gov.uk] to get further help with an application.

Note: You can also use the same form (MSF 4408) for the replacement of a lost or stolen UK merchant navy medal.


How to Appeal or Complain

You should contact the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Medal Office to appeal a decision or to complain about the treatment you received. Remember to include any new evidence if you are making an appeal.

MOD Medal Office
Innsworth House
Imjin Barracks
Gloucester
GL3 1HW
MOD Medal Office appeals
Email: dbs-medals@mod.gov.uk

MOD Medal Office Complaints
Email: dbs-medals-complaints@mod.gov.uk


Applying for a Veterans Badge or Medal in United Kingdom

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