Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Nylon Medals

Decorated!
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Long ago, a warrior might take scalps or trophies in battle, then display these in subsequent battles to shock and awe his enemies. Now there are medals. Everyone loves medals. However, when a soldier is out fighting, those dangly medals flop into things, break off on bushes and are generally impractical to the point that they are put in a pocket or left behind when there is fighting to be done. There are some concessions to this fact, and some decorations are small squares of plastic or metal. But you have to be an insider to know what these mean, and even then they are not worn in combat. What is the point of a medal if you cannot impress and intimidate your enemy with it?

I propose that medals be made of nylon, about four inches square. They would depict in iconic form the act that the solider performed to earn the medal, so observers can understand regardless of language. These could be customized to some degree, such that the medal both was recognizeably of a type (eg army commendation medal) but also individualized to show the act worthy of recognition. These nylon medals would be affixed to a bandeau to be worn over the uniform. Camoflage colors would be used.

With this system, if a band of gunmen realized they were confronted by a hero decorated with many pictures of his or her feats of valor, they would no doubt throw down their weapons and surrender. It would be easy for nonmilitary, friend and foe alike, to understand what the medal was for.

bungston, Oct 02 2007

Wikipedia: Shoulder patch http://en.wikipedia...wiki/Shoulder_patch
[jutta, Oct 02 2007]

Nylon medals http://img.alibaba....shnet_Stockings.jpg
I participated in that successfull campaign [normzone, Oct 02 2007]

[link]






       What if most of those feats of valor were related to shoe polishing and foot locker organization? Does the intimidation still stand?
Galbinus_Caeli, Oct 02 2007
  

       You've invented patches. They're already widely used to indicate various kinds of group membership and achievements, including in the military.   

       As for people throwing down their weapons when they're out-achieved, I agree that we should conduct wars as long games of Pokémon.
jutta, Oct 02 2007
  

       Or Yu-Gi-Oh. Or maybe a national battle of naked twister on a 100m wide stage. (I am betting on the Swedish and the Nigerians making it to the finals.)
Galbinus_Caeli, Oct 02 2007
  

       Make the medal out of polyurethane, as it would have a spinoff benefit of taking considerable energy out of an impacting bullet.
Texticle, Oct 02 2007
  

       Fishnets?
normzone, Oct 02 2007
  

       You have invented the coat of arms, widely used to depict the particular act of heroism or notable qualities of the bearer.
vincevincevince, Oct 03 2007
  

       //You've invented patches.//   

       excellent! +
k_sra, Oct 03 2007
  

       Unfortunately if things work as we're told about the Fastest Gun In The West then medals (no matter their material) should only make a soldier more of a target for challengers. And as The Furian learned, "You keep what you kill"
visualbacon, Oct 22 2007
  
      
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