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.

Examples of Military Presentation Plaques        Talk To Our Design Team about your Military Presentation Plaque

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Examples of Military Going Away Plaques with Wording

Sample Wording for Military Retirement Presentation Plaque

Carved in the wood

"Honorably discharges on December 12, 2009 with over 37 years of exemplary service. Your valor and sacrifice led to untold successes on the battlefield and served as an inspiration to your brother in arms. Through your actions and devotions to duty, you have set the example for all others to follow."

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Marine Corp Dedication Plaque with Example Wording

Carved in the wood

Sgt Tyson DVannice

Detachment The Hugue:
Thank you for all your hard work and dedication throughout the past year. Your Unselfish devotion has been a huge asset to our mission accomplishments and you will be truly be missed. Good luck in your future endeavors
Semper Fidelis

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Appreciation Plaque with Wordings

Navy presentation plaque with example wording


Engraved on the brass plate:

From the Staff and Congregation
Chapel of the Good Shepherd
JUNE 2008 - JUNE 2011

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Memorial Plaque with Wordings

Air Force Memorial Plaque with example wording

Engraved on the brass plate:

When the guys who knew Dumpy leave the squadron, all that's left will be this memorial. The only time that someone truly dies is when the person is gone from people's minds. With this memorial, Dumpy will continue to live on in the minds of those who see it,"

LT RyanBetton, 16 July, 2004.

In Memory of LT RyanBetton 20 Mar 1976 - 17 Aug 2007Greyhawk 

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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.

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