About UltimateRack

UltimateRack started in 2005 as a "See a need, fill a need" (Thank you Bigweld from the movie Robots) idea while looking for something online to build my ribbon rack. Most of the rack builders that were had a number of what I saw as deficiencies that I thought I could fix. Among them were:

  • Most ribbons didn't have a way to put appurtenances or devices on them.
  • Most builders took the ribbon graphics and arranged them in an HTML table which could not be reused by people as a single graphic.
  • They were not customizeable in their final display
  • They did not take into account that different services wear ribbons in different order, particularly when someone served in more than one service.

The first version of UltimateRack drew from the work of Lukasz Gaszewski, creator of one of the most comprehensive sites about military awards in the world. With his permission, I grabbed the U.S. ribbons from his site and got to work. Most of the code written for UltimateRack has remained the same since it was written. While many additions for placing devices and such has been added, the overall site hasn't changed much.

For a while, the site tried to have a discussion board, a wiki, and many other "all-in-one" type features trying to appeal to a wide range of people trying to find information medals and ribbons. It didn't take long for me to realize that there wasn't enough to be made off of the site to realize that the time I was spending wasn't equivalent to the amount of money to be made. So I shut down most of the extras.

As people began to want to help with National Guard and other ribbons, a common theme was that people didn't have the graphics capabilities to create ribbon graphics. That's when I created the Ribbon Creator so that people with no graphics abilities could make ribbons of their own. There are still a number of National Guard states which do not have ribbon sets, you can make one today by downloading the instructions! All you need is a text editor (like Notepad) and the Ribbon Creator.

About John Asendorf

I'm an applications analyst who spent the first eight years of his IT career as a programmer. I've been married since 2003 and have two beautiful children. I mostly retired from the Army Reserve (where I spent my entire Army time) to spend more time with them.