Reserve Defence Forces and Naval Reserve
The FCA (Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil) or now called the RDF (Reserve Defence Forces) and the Naval Reserve (Slua Muiri) issue three service medals, 7, 12 and 21 years. The medals are issued unnamed but medals which have been privately named by the recipient are fairly common.
The symbol that looks like a 7 between the F.C.A. and S.M. is an old Gaelic symbol for and.
After the reorganisation of the F.C.A. and S.M. in 2005 the design of the reverse of the Service Medal was changed to reflect this. The design of the rest of the medal remained the same.
The top suspension (Pin Bar) is the same for all 3 medals.
The 7 year medal ribbon is 34mm wide. Saint Patrick's blue with 5mm wide gold edges.
12 year Service Medal
The 12 year medal ribbon is the same as the 7 year service medal ribbon but with a 2mm wide gold centre stripe and a bar, the bar depicts two laurel sprays, one either side of a cruciform design. This is the same bar as used for the Permanent Defence Forces (PDF) Service Medal.
21 Year Service Medal
The 21 year service medal ribbon is the same as the 12 year service medal but with a '21' bar, this bar is the same as the 12 year bar but with the number 21 replacing the cruciform design.
Miniature FCA Medal
As with other miniatures this was not supplied with the full-size medal and had to be purchased by the recipient privately. The older miniatures did not come with a suspension bar or service bar, the miniature was usually attached to the wearer by means of a small safety pin. Copies or Fakes of the miniature appear but are easy to spot because they are thinner lighter and brighter then originals and they also have suspension bars and service bars.
FCA Discharge Papers
It is sometimes possible to get various paper items associated with a medal recipient's medal. The image on the left is a discharge certificate for a member of the FCA. The certificate gives various details including the unit served with and where stationed as well as length of service.
On leaving the Service members are issued with a certificate of service, although it is more of a book than a certificate. It has a hard cover and contains 2, 4 or 6 pages depending on the length of service. This certificate is more commonly known as The Green Book.
The certificate contains details of the soldier and the various units and regiments he served with. This certificate was issued to a member of the Naval Reserve. As far as I know this type of certificate was issued up until the 1980s, I do not know what type of certificate is issued now.