Title:
APPARATUS FOR POSITIONING AND MOUNTING AWARDS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for displaying ribbons and badges on a garment wherein predetermined arrangements of awards can be quickly and reliably established using designated openings in a template. Using break-away portions, the template can be sized as needed and pin holes are preferably used to mount ribbons having a marking implement such as a pin to secure the ribbon to a uniform. A separate badge positioning section includes horizontal slots preferably slightly offset vertically with a portion of said horizontal slots co-linear.



Inventors:
Jordan, James G. (Redondo Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/025670
Publication Date:
05/29/2008
Filing Date:
02/04/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
24/114.4
International Classes:
A44C3/00; A44B17/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
GUADALUPE, YARITZA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FULWIDER PATTON LLP (LOS ANGELES, CA, US)
Claims:
1. 1-20. (canceled)

21. A ribbon template device for against the front of a military uniform blouse garment to selectively mount a plurality of military ribbons carried on elongated bars having respective sets of rearwardly projecting mounting pins spaced apart respective selected distances, to position the ribbons in a predetermined vertically spaced pattern, the ribbons being of a predetermined width and the pins being sized to receive fasteners, the template device comprising: an elongated planar template to be positioned vertically against the inside surface of the blouse garment and including a plurality of sets of positioning openings spaced horizontally from one another to receive the sets of pins of the respective bars, the sets of positioning openings being spaced vertically from one another to, upon the respective sets of pins of the ribbon bars being inserted into the respective sets of positioning openings, space the ribbons disposed in the predetermined vertically spaced pattern the template may be positioned against the inside surface of the blouse garment and the respective sets of pins inserted through the garment and the respective sets of openings to position the respective ribbons in the predetermined vertically spaced pattern and the fasteners attached to the respective pins to hold the template and ribbons in place.

22. The template device as set forth in claim 21 wherein: the openings are spaced apart to, when the pins are inserted thereon, display the ribbons spaced flush against each other.

23. The template device as set forth in claim 21 that includes: at least one of the openings of at least one set is vertically elongated slot.

24. The template device as set forth in claim 21 wherein: the template is constructed of brass.

25. The template device as set forth in claim 21 wherein: the template includes, a plurality of horizontal slots spaced a predetermined distance below the opening for receiving pins of bars mounting military badges to be spaced a specified distanced below the ribbons.

26. The ribbon template as set forth in claim 21 wherein: the individual fasteners and are constructed to cover the free ends of the respective pins.

27. The ribbon template device as set forth in claim 21 wherein: at least one opening of each of the sets of positioning openings includes a pin hole for receipt in close fit relationship of one of the pins of each bar.

28. The ribbon template device as set forth in claim 21 wherein: the template is formed with at least some of the openings spaced apart to, when the pins are inserted therein, display the ribbons in a selected horizontally spaced relationship.

29. The ribbon template device of claim 21 wherein: the planar template includes structurally weakened sections for convenient separation of portions thereof.

30. The template device as set forth in claim 21 for mounting selected ones of the ribbons associated with a selected achievement and wherein: the template includes indicia adjacent predetermined ones of the openings to receive the sets of pins of the bars carried to the respective selected ones of the ribbons.

31. The ribbon template device of claim 21 wherein: the template includes indicia for alignment with center of a pocket on the blouse garment.

32. The template device of claim 21 wherein: the openings are configured with the plurality of horizontal slots for receipt of the respective sets of rearwardly projecting mounting pins of at least some of the ribbons.

33. The template device of claim 32 wherein: at least one of the slots is offset vertically from another of the slots.

34. The ribbon template device of claim 33 wherein: the other of the slots includes a vertically recessed portion.

35. A method of mounting a plurality of military ribbons of the type carried on respective elongated bars having respective sets of rearwardly projecting mounting pins spaced apart respective distances to, for positioning the ribbons in a predetermined vertically spaced pattern, the ribbons being of a predetermined width and the bars including pins sized to be received in respective fasteners and including the steps of; selecting a planer template including a plurality of sets of positioning openings spaced horizontally from one another to receive the sets of pins of the respective bars, the sets of positioning openings being spaced vertically from one another to, upon the respective pins of the ribbon bars being inserted to the respective sets of positioning openings, space the ribbons disposed in the predetermined vertically spaced pattern; placing the template inside the garment against the inside surface thereof; positioning the template relative to a landmark on the garment to position the openings relative to the landmark; inserting the pins of the plurality of sets of pins through selected ones of the openings to locate the ribbons in the predetermined vertically spaced pattern; and inserting fasteners on the pins.

36. The method of claim 35 that includes: selecting the template as fabricated of brass.

37. The method of claim 35 wherein: the step of positioning the template relative to the landmark includes positioning it relative to a pocket on the blouse.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a divisional application of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/024,890, filed Dec. 29, 2004, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,325,339, and claims priority to same and incorporates same herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

For police, fire, and other civil service careers, formal events and ceremonies often require the donning of formal uniforms including the display of any commendations obtained in the line of duty. This is even more prevalent in the military where formal uniform apparel is more commonly worn. Such uniforms typically include a pair of pants, dress shirt, and covering jacket. The display of any medals, ribbons, or badges may be strictly regulated in certain situations. In particular, regulations exists pertaining to the spacing and positioning of the commendations on the uniform. Depending on the number of commendations, it can take a considerable amount of time to correctly comply with the various specifications and regulations on the placement and spacing of the commendations. Incorrect placement is unacceptable, particularly in military applications, but performing this process repeatedly each time dress formals are worn would consume a significant amount of time. In addition, different occasions call for different sets of medals to be worn. Also, the addition of new awards may necessitate an entirely different arrangement or spacing requirement.

In addition to the spacing and time concerns, the typical medals include a pin for piercing the shirt or dress jacket. A clamping mechanism worn on the inside of the jacket or shirt secures the medals to the garment. These securing devices may cause discomfort to the wearer and damage the garment.

One crude device frequently used to located the awards is a piece of leather or cardboard secured to the inside of the jacket or shirt. However, both leather and cardboard degrade over time and the holes do not retain a precise placement location as hole size become larger or otherwise loses its shape. Cardboard has a particularly limited life due to its paper construction. In addition, the pins on the back of the ribbons and medals can pierce the cardboard or leather in any location and are not restricted to certain locations on the back piece. Thus, precise placement using these materials remains difficult.

One device purportedly used to secure ribbons and the like can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 6,122,805 to Haegley. In that patent, a securing device located on the inside of a uniform garment includes clasps encased within a soft foam material for repeated insertion by a pin. However, Haegley's device requires that the clasps be permanently fixed in the foam material so adjustment is precluded for accommodating different sizes of awards. Further, soft foam material will erode from repeated uses limiting the effectiveness of the device.

Accordingly, it has been demonstrated that there is a need in the art for an apparatus that can simply and quickly mount awards such as medals and ribbons to a uniform in a precise but variable manner that does not result in discomfort to the bearer of the awards and yields a reliable and timesaving procedure for arranging the awards on a uniform.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to an award template for positioning and supporting a plurality of awards such as ribbons and badges to be worn on a uniform. The template may be generally in the form of a plate having a badge positioning section and a ribbon positioning section. Each section further comprises a positioning aspect that receives a fastening implement on the back of an award for positioning a set of ribbons and badges in relation to a predetermined location on a garment, such as the top edge of a pocket on a shirt or jacket. Other aspects of the present invention will become apparent with further reference to the following drawings and specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a template in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view of a template in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a front view of a template in accordance with a third embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4A is a front view of an exemplary auxiliary support bar for displaying a three across ribbon display for use in conjunction with the template illustrated in FIG. 3;

FIG. 4B is a front view of an exemplary auxiliary support bar for displaying a four across ribbon display for use in conjunction with the template illustrated in FIG. 3;

FIG. 4C is a front view of an exemplary auxiliary support bar for adding rigidity to the template illustrated in FIG. 3;

FIG. 4D is a front view of an exemplary auxiliary ribbon row reducer for use in conjunction with the template illustrated in FIG. 3;

FIG. 4E is a front view of an exemplary auxiliary ribbon bar for use in conjunction with the template illustrated in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5A is a front view of a single ribbon bar and single badge configuration secured to an external surface of a garment about the top edge of a pocket;

FIG. 5B is a rear view of the template of FIG. 1 with the outside sections removed for use with a single ribbon bar, single badge configuration of FIG. 5A and secured to an interior side of a garment;

FIG. 6A is a front view of an exemplary double ribbon bar with dual ribbon and triple ribbon alignments and single badge with spacing;

FIG. 6B is a rear view of the template of FIG. 2 with the outermost upper sections removed for use in conjunction with the ribbon and badge combination and spacing as illustrated in FIG. 6A;

FIG. 7A is a front view of an exemplary ribbon and badge configuration with dual ribbon rows of three ribbons each and dual badges;

FIG. 7B is a rear view of the template in FIG. 2 for use in conjunction with the ribbon and badge combination and spacing as illustrated in FIG. 7A;

FIG. 8A is a front view of an exemplary triple ribbon bar lined up above the upper edge of a garment pocket with two triple ribbon bars and a single ribbon bar with ⅛ inch spacing;

FIG. 8B is a rear view of the template of FIG. 2 with the outer portions removed for use in conjunction with the ribbon and badge combination and spacing as illustrated in FIG. 8A;

FIG. 9A is a front view of an exemplary nine high ribbon bar with dual badge configuration;

FIG. 9B is a rear view of the template in FIG. 3 with attached auxiliary bars for use in conjunction with the ribbon and badge combination and spacing as illustrated in FIG. 9A;

FIG. 10A is a front view of an exemplary quintuplet bar and dual badge configuration; and

FIG. 10B is a rear view of the template in FIG. 3 cut down and including an auxiliary ribbon bar securing the exemplary ribbon and badge configuration illustrated in FIG. 10A.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIG. 1, an award template, generally designated 30, for positioning and supporting a plurality of ribbons and badges on a uniform or the like is illustrated. This template, which may also be referred to as a bracket, is used to create what is commonly referred to as a Type 1 Alpha style arrangement as illustrated. The template 30 may be made of brass, however other suitable materials including other metals such as marine grade aluminum and other corrosive resistant materials as well as other materials including plastic or Plexiglas® material may be used. The template 30 supports up to 1 to 3 ribbons and may optionally support 1 or 2 badges. The Alpha style bracket is constructed to provide a ⅛′ spacing between ribbons, while a Bravo style bracket is constructed to provide for flush mounting the ribbons corresponding to Army and Air Force regulations, respectively. In general terms, the template is in the form of a smooth flat plate 32 including a badge positioning section 34 and a ribbon positioning section 36. The ribbon positioning section is comprised of an inner portion 31 designated R1, intermediate portions 33 designated R2, and outer portions 39 designated R3. Intermediate and outer portions 33, 39 are removable to customize the ribbon positioning section to the necessary lengths by snapping off or otherwise excising the unwanted portions of the template. The inner portion 31, intermediate portions 33 and outer portions 39 include pin holes 56 that are sized to receive positioning pins on the back of the ribbons to be worn on the template. For example, if a ribbon is to be positioned in the inner area R1, pin holes 56a are used to mount the medal by receiving left and right pins supporting the medal and portions R2 and R3 are removed. If, conversely, the intermediate portion R2 is used, then pin holes 56b are employed and the outer portions 39 are removed, whereas pin holes 56c are used if the outer portion R3 is required.

If the inner portion R1 of the ribbon positioning section 36 is used, the intermediate portion 33 and the outer portion 39 may be removed by cutting, bending, or otherwise removing the portion of the template along dividing lines 49. The dividing lines 49 can be reductions in the thickness of the plate, or perforations in the plate that allow the excess portions to be cut or sheared to reduce the length of the ribbon positioning portion 36. The template further comprises indicia used to help position the badges or awards on the template, thereby increasing the ease with which awards are arranged on the template 30. For example, indicia “RIFLE” is placed on the far left hand side of the badge positioning section 34 beneath a horizontal slot 47a designating the position of a badge awarded for rifle marksmanship. Similarly, indicia “PISTON” is placed on the far right hand side of the badge positioning section 34 beneath a second horizontal slot 47b designating the position of a badge awarded for pistol marksmanship. Other indicia can be used for the particular application to assist the bearer in complying with certain regulations relating to the order and positioning of certain awards. Further, the template includes additional indicia to assist the user in aligning the template with the garment to be worn. For example, the letter “V” indicates a center of the template that can be aligned with the center of a pocket or other portion to the garment to center the arrangement. Further, dashed lines 99 can be used to align the top edge of a pocket or the like to establish a point of reference for placing the awards.

The medal positioning section 34 comprises two horizontal elongated slots 47a, 47b for locating the pins of two medals. The slots 47a, 47b are slightly offset vertically with slot 47b slightly higher than slot 47a, with a recessed portion 44 at the same vertical position as the slot 47a. In this way, a single medal may be centered by placing a first positioning pin in slot 47a and a second positioning pin in slot 47b at recessed portion 44 so that the medal will hang properly in a vertical orientation.

FIG. 2 illustrates a second template of the present invention comprising a variation on the template of FIG. 1, generally designated 40. The second template 40 is used to create an arrangement corresponding to what is commonly referred to as a Type 2 Alpha or Bravo style arrangement as illustrated. A Type 2 bracket supports 3 to 6 ribbons and optionally supports up to 2 badges. Template 40 includes three additional sets of pin holes 59 in the ribbon positioning section 36 serving as a supplement to pin holes 56 for adjusting the vertical spacing of a ribbon positioned thereon from the badge positioning section 34. This may also be necessary because the template 40 includes pin holes 61 at peripheral edges of the template for mounting a second ribbon above the badge positioning section 34. Other sets of pin holes similar to pin holes 61 can be added to the template to accommodate additional ribbons as a variation on the template 40 shown in FIG. 2.

Referring to FIGS. 5-8, the templates 30 and 40 are shown mounting various combinations of ribbons and badges. A conventional badge 201 is shown in FIG. 5 including a transversely projecting anchor bar 200 from which is suspended a figure piece 205 that symbolizes the award. The anchor bar 200 includes on its rearward facing surface a left hand pin and a right hand pin for piercing the user's garment 210. The badge is designed to be retained to the garment by attaching a push on clasp 220 over each pin. These clasps have a conventional structure. Here, the pins are passed through the template at horizontal slots 47a, 47b on the inside of the garment 210 to support and position the award in a predetermined position. The use of the recessed portion 44 ensures that the badge hangs evenly from the two slots 47a, 47b. A conventional ribbon 230 is generally channel shaped and fits over a track with the ribbon insignia displayed on the outer facing surface 235 of the track. On the rear side of the track, the pair of spaced apart opposing pins for piercing the user's garment 210 is typically welded as a fixed structure. As with the badge, a pair of push on clasps 225 are slid over and capture the pins on the inside of the user's garment to secure the ribbon 230 to the garment 210.

As one can appreciate, without the present invention the highly precise spacing of the ribbons 230 and badges 200 with respect to one another as well as the placement on the garment 210 itself can be a trial by error method that requires a significant amount of time to perfect. However, by using the template of the present invention, placement of the ribbons and badges can be done in a relatively short amount of time. For instance, measuring the required distance from the top of a shirt pocket to install a first set of ribbons and then adding another four rows of ribbons may require multiple attempts and can lead to significant frustration. With the present invention, however, the template is secured against an interior surface of the garment and the ribbons are simply laid over the outer surface of the garment. Then the pins of a first board are pushed through and the pin holes of the template guide the pins into place. The clasps 225 are then clamped onto the exposed pin ends to secure the ribbon 230 in the proper position. The next row is mounted in a similar manner. Using the template, a multi-row ribbon set up can be created quickly and with great precision.

As FIG. 5 further illustrates, a single ribbon 230 is mounted above a marksman medal 205 where push pins on the medal 205 and ribbon 230 pierce the material of a uniform. The template 30 is hidden from view behind the uniform as illustrated in FIG. 5B. The template 30 of FIG. 1 is used to mount the ribbon and medal of FIG. 5, where the intermediate portion 33 and outer portion 39 of the ribbon positioning section 36 have been removed along division lines 49 to minimize the size of the ribbon positioning portion 36 of the template 30. As discussed above, the divisions may be holes or perforations punched into the plate forming the bracket, or grooves that facilitate the removal of portions of the bracket by creating a weakness in the template along the grooves. Because only a single, smaller ribbon is mounted, sections corresponding to R2 and R3 are removed leaving the template illustrated in FIG. 5B. The ribbon is mounted using push pin holes 56a within the section corresponding to R1, and the medal is mounted using the indicia for “RIFLE” positioning the push pins at the designated location of the horizontal slots 47a,b. In this manner, the arrangement shown in FIG. 5A is quickly and precisely configured with no trial and error as to the location of the awards on the uniform of the bearer.

FIG. 6 illustrates a dual ribbon, single badge configuration using the template 40 from FIG. 2. Using the intermediate portion 33 designated R2 to mount the upper ribbon 501, push pins are inserted into holes 56b and clasps 225 are placed on the push pins to mount ribbon 501 in the designated location. Using secondary pin holes 61, ribbon 502 is mounted below ribbon 501 where push pins pass through the designated holes to quickly establish the proper spacing of ribbon 502 between ribbon 501 and medal 503. Again, the pins of the rifle badge are positioned in the horizontal slots 47a,b of the badge positioning section 34 using the indicia for “RIFLE.” That is, the pins on the anchor bar 500 of the badge pass through the horizontal slots and the badge is slid into position along the slot using the appropriate indicia, whereupon the clasps are placed on the back of the push pins to secure the badge in place.

In FIG. 7, a dual ribbon, dual badge arrangement is shown where the upper ribbon 601 is inserted into the pin holes 56c of the template 40 and the lower ribbon 602 is inserted into the pin holes 61 of the secondary portion of the ribbon positioning section 36. A first badge 604 is positioned by inserting both pins into slot 47a, and a second badge 603 is positioned by inserting both pins into slot 47b. Clasps 220, 225 are used to lock the ribbons and badges in place as described previously. In FIG. 8, a triple ribbon arrangement is used with the template 40, where the horizontal slot 47 reserved for badges is instead used as a third ribbon mounting mechanism. Here, as shown in FIG. 8A all three ribbons 801, 802, 803 are positioned above the pocket edge with no badges provided in this arrangement. Intermediate portion 33 and outer portion 39 of the template has been removed in the example of FIG. 8 leaving the R1 ribbon positioning portion only. The first ribbon 801 is mounted in pin holes 56a of R1, the second ribbon is mounted in pin holes 61, and the third ribbon is mounted in horizontal slots 47a,b. Alternately, ribbon 803 can be located in a second set of pin holes formed in the template above the badge positioning section 34.

If more than six ribbons are to be mounted to the uniform, then the template of FIG. 3 may be employed, commonly referred to as a Type 3 Alpha style arrangement. The bracket of FIG. 3 is generally U-shaped with the based or bottom portion comprising the badge or medal positioning section 34 with mounting slots 47a, 47b as previously illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, and the uprights 87 of the U-shaped bracket support a plurality of ribbons in a stacked configuration. The height of the uprights 87 can be adjusted by removing bendable or frangible cells 209 as needed. Type 3 brackets support from 7 to 23 ribbons and optionally supports up to two badges. Each cell of the upright includes a pin hole 71 for receiving a pin on a medal, and a square window 62 for receiving a bendable tab on an auxiliary support bar that mounts to the template 50. The auxiliary bars can be used to replicate the ribbon positioning section 36 of the templates 30, 40, or to extend or reduce the length of the row for the ribbons to accommodate elements of the uniform or to mount non-uniform size ribbons.

FIGS. 4A-4E illustrate various types of auxiliary bars. For example, FIG. 4A illustrates an auxiliary support bar 66 that coincides with the ribbon positioning section 36 of the template 40, with elongated extensions 60 that form bendable tab. The tabs 60 can be inserted into the square window 62 of the template 50 and bent back to releasably secure the auxiliary bar 66 to the template 50. Along each cell of the template 50 a separate auxiliary support bar 66 can be coupled so that the template can be tailored to the exact number and size of the awards to be displayed. A first ribbon can then be pinned on the auxiliary support bar 66 in pin holes 68 or 69, similar to the method described above, or pin holes 71 on the template 50 can be used in conjunction with the pin holes on the auxiliary support bar 66. Using multiple auxiliary support bars 66, a large number of ribbons can be arranged on the template 50 with precise spacing and alignment.

FIG. 4B is a variation of the auxiliary support bar 66 of FIG. 4A further including a single elongated horizontal slot 75 formed below section lines 49 and pin holes 69 of the three across template embodiment to alternatively position a ribbon in an offset horizontal position, to accommodate a ribbon of non-standard width in the spacing of the support pins, or to support additional badges. FIG. 4C illustrates an auxiliary bar 109 that can extend the ribbon support laterally outside of the template uprights 87 and provides two sets of pin holes 89, 91. Either pin hole 89,91 can be used in conjunction with a corresponding horizontal slot 93 or template pin holes 71 to secure a ribbon to the outer periphery of the auxiliary support bar 109 and then using alternate holes 91 in combination with horizontal slots 93 to position a ribbon off center from the centerline of the bracket 50. The extended auxiliary support bar 109 can be connected to the template 50 using outwardly facing bracketing members 111 that engage the square windows 62 of the template 50 using a bendable tab 112 to fix the auxiliary bar therebetween. As shown in FIG. 9, the use of an offset arrangement may be necessary to account for a collar on the uniform or to locate two ribbons side by side on the same horizontal line. FIG. 4D illustrates a single sided version of the extension auxiliary bar where a first end 222 has a bracketing member 113 facing inwardly for engaging a square window 62 on the template 50, and a bendable extension 60 on an opposite side 223 that can be inserted into a square window 62 of template 50 to secure the auxiliary support bar 177 thereto. The auxiliary support bar 117 of FIG. 4D has a pin hole 118 that cooperates with a pin hole 71 on the template 50. In FIG. 4E, both sided are equipped with a bendable extension 60 that fit into the square windows 62 of the template 50 to secure the support bar thereto, and further includes a single horizontal slot 122 used to locate a badge or ribbon in place of one or more pin holes.

FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate the template 50 of FIG. 3 in conjunction with various auxiliary support bars of FIG. 4 to demonstrate the various ways in which support bars can be used to create multiple arrangements of ribbons and badges.

In use, the medal wearer lays out the garment (shirt or jacket) on a flat surface. The template is trimmed as necessary to accommodate the required number of ribbon bars to be worn. For example, assuming a two ribbon bar display on a particular row, the extra end pieces indicated by the indicia R2 and R3 that make up a three bar holder may be broken off by hand or removed using a suitable cutting instrument. If both ribbon bars and badges will be worn, the supporter is placed flush and centered above the left pocket. Conveniently an indicia such as a “V” indicating the center of the supporter may be used. If wearing only ribbons, then the template is positioned over the left pocket so that the dashed lines 99 line up with the top edge of the pocket. Once the template is in position, the user takes pencil and marks the placement of the ribbon bar and badges, if applicable, on the shirt or jacket. For example, a pencil mark is placed through pin holes at 56a for the placement of the ribbon. The placement pins of the ribbons are inserted through the pencil marks to align the badge. The template is then placed on the inside surface of the jacket or shirt. The corresponding holes used to mark the pencil marks on the outside of the garment are slid over the inwardly extending pins. Then each pin receives a clasp to capture the pin and secure the template against the inside surface of the garment. In this manner, the arrangement of the awards on the uniform correspond precisely with the spacing and order of the template to create an arrangement that complies with the regulations and maintains proper spacing and positioning for repeated wearings.

The foregoing discussion is meant to be illustrative of the present invention but not limiting in its scope. Rather, one of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate that many variations to the above described embodiments are possible without deviation from the spirit of the invention, and such variations should be deemed within the scope of the invention. Therefore, the invention is properly limited only by the plain and ordinary meaning of the words used in the claims appended below, as the inventor had not attempted to limit the scope of the invention in any manner in the foregoing discussion.