Decoration for Officers of the Royal Naval Reserve

Era: 1908 - 1999

The Decoration for Officers of the Royal Naval Reserve,  which was also known as the Reserve Decoration (RD) was established in 1908, last awarded in 1999 and then replaced in 2000 by the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal (VRSM).

The medal was granted to commissioned officers (Sub-lieutenant and above) in the Royal Navy Reserve of United Kingdom for at least fifteen years’ of active duty.


Materials:   The majority of the British medals and clasps are made of solid silver, though some were issue in bronze versions, mainly to Indian non-combatants.  The majority of the British campaign awards are circular, usually 36mm in diameter.

Ribbons:    Medals are worn suspended from their own specific ribbons. These were first made of silk but cotton was increasingly used as the nineteenth century developed.  Their own colours often have a symbolic significance: the equal stripes of the ‘1939 to 1945 Star,’ for example, are dark blue to represent the service of the Royal and Merchant Navies, red, to represent that of the Armies and light blue to represent that of Air Forces.

Ribbon width can vary slightly though it is generally 32mm wide.

Ribbon – Dark Green (1st Type) or Dark green with white edges (2nd type)

Royal Naval Reserve Decoration (Type 1)
Royal Naval Reserve Decoration (Type 1)
Royal Naval Reserve Decoration (Type 2)
Royal Naval Reserve Decoration (Type 2)

Suspender - Ring

Type – Long service medal

Eligibility – Officers of the Royal Navy Reserve (Sub-lieutenant and above)

Awarded for – At least fifteen years of active service

Established – 1908

Post nominals – Recipients are entitled to the letters RD after their name.

Clasps – Clasps to the Reserve Decoration were awarded to recognise further periods of 10 years’ service after the first award. When just the ribbon of the Decoration was worn, each clasp was indicated by a silver 'rosette' on the ribbon.

Description – Silver and silver-gilt, Height 54mm and max width 33mm.  An oval skeletal badge, consisting of the cypher of the reigning monarch in silver gilt surrounded by a silver rope tied with a reef knot at the base and surmounted by a gilt crown and suspension ring. It is hung from a ribbon which was dark green until 1941 and green edged white thereafter.


This guide will help you through all the parts and descriptions of military medals



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