A lot of people seem confused as to what exactly those brightly colored bars on the FmA military personel are...and how to duplicate them for their own enjoyment in portraying their favorite characters.
So here's some insight from me:
These are both scans of "ribbon bars" and the ribbons attached to them. In the real military (these aren't authentic military bars and ribbons) the ribbons are permanently affixed in a lot of cases, and in others...like the examples here, they are removable.
The ribbons slide on and off the metal bar and are aligned by priority of their significance. The higher the honor, the closer "inboard" or to the center of the uniform shirt the ribbon is placed.
The brass "grommets" keep the bars on and affixed, (one has been removed so that the post is shown as an example).
I would imagine that the characters of the FmA world would have similar arrangements for their devices.