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Restoring a Military Tradition...
Signing with your military name
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The ancient practice of including the initials of your military awards in your handwritten and printed signature is still in practice by military veterans of older nations but was lost shortly in America after World War II. Military awards are the highest honors a nation can bestow upon its citizens. Unfortunately in the United States, academic achievements and academic signatures (MD, PhD, etc) have been elevated above military signatures by some employers who discriminate against their military war and non-war veteran employees who sign with their military signatures. (NOTE: All veterans are encouraged to file a copy of their Form 201A [Military Award Report:] in their employee file at work.)

EXAMPLE of a Vietnam veteran's signature:
John A. Smith, Vcm, Vsm, Vgc.

EXAMPLE of a Vietnam Era veteran's signature:
John A. Smith, Vwe Nds Cwm.

The originally Greek practice of including a maximum of three abbreviations of military medals in a veteran's handwritten or printed signature was carried over after the Fall of Greece by the Macedonians, then Persians, then Romans and later by their inheritors, the British, Spanish, French and Germans. The practice was naturally maintained by the original Americans of European descent but gradually declined to be lost in America for almost two hundred years. Veterans who have received mail or shipments from The War Library have noted the restoration of the time-honored military signature used in the mail they have received from The War Library. Many veterans organizations are now incorporating this restored tradition.

Twentieth Century complaints by American veterans that their wars and military contributions were being "forgotten" is bringing the old and needed custom of military signatures back into daily custom. Signing one's name with the abbreviations of military awards causes everyone who views a military signature to remember America's military missions and the men and women who served in them. Military signatures also set military veterans apart and above from those who did not wear the uniform.


Select any three of your military awards. They are abbreviated using the initials of the first letters in each word. For example, the Vietnam Service Medal is abbreviated as Vsm. The Korean War Medal is abbreviated as Ksm. The Iraq Campaign Medal is abbreviated as Icm. A maximum of three and minimum of two awards should be used with commas inserted after the first award(s) and a period after the last award (as seen in the example above.). Only the first letter of the award should be capitalized and a maximum of four letters (preferably three letters) are to be used when abbreviating a medal. Should you need help in using the proper abbreviations for the three awards you will sign with your name, contact The War Library via email.

The Restoration of using military signatures will reassert the individual dignity and service of all veterans. Being "forgotten" no longer exist.

Contact Person for this posting: Roger Simpson, PIO
Public Information Office:
The American War Library:
817 East Via Carmelitos
Virginia Building 319
Long Beach CA 90805-7549
Phone and Fax 1-562-422-4100 (Pacific Time Zone)
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