A dedication or wording on a plaque plays a very significant role. The wordings in a dedication plaque are used to express appreciation to a particular person or organization.
There are no concrete guidelines on how to write the dedication for a military plaque, but as we have served the military for over 20 years we can advise with confidence on the basic principles of how to write a dedication for a plaque. This is applicable but not limited to award plaques, going away plaques, and memorial plaques.
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Examples of Military Going Away Plaques with Wording
Appreciation Plaque with Wordings
Memorial Plaque with Wordings
Below are the basic elements for a military dedication/presentation plaques' wordings. Note that it is not necessary to include everything in the plaque, you can always opt for your personal specifications.
- Name. The name of the recipient with his rank and call sign (if there's one). Make sure the name spelling is correct; a misspelling would not be acceptable! The rank abbreviation must also be written correctly, be certain about which letter needs to be in higher and lower cases.
- Dates. This varies depending on the purpose of the plaque. In military the most typical ones are the award or presentation plaques, retirement or going away plaque and memorial plaque. For award plaques it is usually the date of recognition; it will be the dates of service for retirement or going away plaque; while birth date and the day of death is necessary for a memorial plaque.
- Organization Name. It can be the name of the department, battalion, squadron or team for others. This is most typically used as wording to indicate the presenter of the award or recognition plaque.
- A Quote. It is typically a favorite line of the recipient, a phrase or the department’s slogan. In the military each department: air force, army, marines, navy and coast guard has some specific slogan which they typically use for recruiting. Below are some sample slogans which are also commonly used as plaque wording:
Air Force – Integrity First; Service Before Self; Excellence in All We Do (Unofficial)
Army- Army Strong; Army of One; Be all you can be
Coast Guard- Semper Paratus (Always Ready)
Marines- Semper Fi, Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful); Once A Marine, Always a Marine; The Few, The Proud, The Marines
Navy – Fair Winds and Following Seas; Honor, Courage, Commitment; Non Sibi Sed Patriel (Not for self, but country)
- Complement. Express your gratitude and appreciation. Think of a word or two or more to describe him or her. Write about his most remarkable contribution to the organization or team. If it is a military memorial plaque, asking the close comrades or family and friends to come up with a word or two that will best describe the deceased is often a good way to get ideas on wording. This part of the dedication can be as short as a sentence or as long as a paragraph.