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‘Stolen Valour’ is the term commonly applied to the phenomenon of individuals wearing military medals or decorations that they have not been awarded, with the intent to deceive. Such individuals usually display their medals on military uniform that they have no right to wear and are often referred to as ‘military imposters’.

Examples of military imposters are often reported in the press, especially following commemorative occasions such as Remembrance Day, when there are large gatherings of service personnel in uniform displaying their medals.

There are suggestions that the phenomenon of military imposters is becoming more common, with the growth of the internet providing an avenue for increased exposure of such individuals.

This briefing paper outlines the legislation in force in a number of countries, detailing the laws regarding unlawful wearing of medals and uniforms, as well as the penalty for committing such offences in each country.

Most EU countries are included here, as well as a number of other nations such as the United States.

In the UK, it is no longer an offence for individuals to wear medals or decorations that they were not awarded. It is, though, an offence to wear a military medal without permission.

The table below provides a summary of whether it is an offence to fraudulently wear a military medal or uniform in select EU and other countries.

Summary 1 Summary 2

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