The 501st has a series of written guidelines/qualifications for the
wearing of period medals and ribbons. Many units approach this
differently. Some unit's award ribbons after completing a particular
event (i.e. a Normandy campaign or Bulge event). However, we do not issue awards for single event attendance. Our unit ribbon heirarchy is based upon cumulative event attendance and individual contributions (like teaching a class at a unit training event).
Membership status and rank are maintained by attending a minimum of two living history outings and at least one tactical exercise. Those
are the minimum annual requirements. Our goal is to maintain a
structure that both observes contributions to the unit and that still
has period accuracy. That is why we have a mix of award opportunities.
Awards (or WWII equivalents) accumulated during actual active duty are a given and are approved. Other awards designate service time in the unit by reflecting years of active participation. And finally there are awards that require very little qualification due to their historic application. One such example is the WWI Victory Medal. This award is given to any member over the age of 40.
In addition to these medals and ribbons which are approved for wear on either the Class A or Class B uniform we also have yearly awards that are voted on by the membership. These awards designate individual excellence and/or service. They are:
The McAuliffe Award
The Harry Howard Patriot Award
Rookie of the Year Award