Military Medal Myths
It has never been illegal to wear military medals and uniforms to costume parties or while portraying a soldier in a movie.
So – this means that you can expect to see the uniform you revere and the medals hard earned, sometimes at the expense of the lives of our military heroes, again relegated to the realm of costume parties where fakes and frauds will openly drape our nation’s most hallowed medal for heroism around their necks and make claims on the valor of those who actually earned the award the hard way.
Wearing medals to costume parties wasn’t illegal even under the Stolen Valor law. Depending on the intent, it might be tacky. (It would be fine to go as, say, General Patton or General Petraeus.) But wearing medals to a costume party isn’t meant to deceive. Unless they’re extremely intoxicated or mentally challenged, no one thinks a guy wearing a Barack Obama mask or a Batman costume is really the president or the Caped Crusader, after all.
Similarly, contrary to widespread misconception, it was never a violation of laws against “impersonating an officer” for an actor to wear authentic military uniforms while filming a movie. If they were wearing their uniform incorrectly — as they seem invariably to do — it wasn’t to stay clear of charges but because of sloppiness on part of the costume department.