Medal of Honor
awarded by the President, in the name of Congress, to a person who, while a member of the Army, distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The deed performed must have been one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life. Incontestable proof of the performance of the service will be exacted and each recommendation for the award of this decoration will be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.

Air Force Cross
Awarded for extraordinary heroism, not justifying the award of a Medal of Honor, to any person, who while serving with the U.S. Air Force while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States in not a belligerent party.

Defense Distinguished Service Medal
awarded for exceptionally distinguished performance of duty contributing to national security or defense at the highest levels while assigned to a joint activity. The DDSM may also be awarded to other senior officers whose direct and individual contributions to national security or defense are recognized as being so exceptional in scope and value as to be equivalent to contributions normally associated with positions encompassing broader responsibilities.

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
established by Congress on July 6, 1960, is awarded to members of the United States Air Force who distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service to the government in a duty of great responsibility, in combat or otherwise.

Silver Star
awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Army, is cited for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The required gallantry, while of a lesser degree than that required for award of the Distinguished Service Cross, must nevertheless have been performed with marked distinction. Soldiers who received a citation for gallantry in action during World War I may apply to have the citation converted to the Silver Star Medal.

Legion of Merit
awarded to all members of the Armed Forces of the United States without reference to degree for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. The performance must have been such as to merit recognition of key individuals for service rendered in a clearly exceptional manner. Performance of duties normal to the grade, branch, specialty or assignment, and experience of an individual is not an adequate basis for this award. For service not related to actual war the term "key individual" applies to a narrower range of positions than in time of war and requires evidence of significant achievement. In peacetime, service should be in the nature of a special requirement or of an extremely difficult duty performed in an unprecedented and clearly exceptional manner. However, justification of the award may accrue by virtue of exceptionally meritorious service in a succession of important positions.

Distinguished Flying Cross
awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces of the United States, distinguishes himself by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. The performance of the act of heroism must be evidenced by voluntary action above and beyond the call of duty. The extraordinary achievement must have resulted in an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding as to clearly set the individual apart from his comrades or from other persons in similar circumstances. Awards will be made only to recognize single acts of heroism or extraordinary achievement and will not be made in recognition of sustained operational activities against an armed enemy.

Airman Medal
one of several Air Force awards established by Congress on July 6, 1960, takes the place of the Soldier's Medal for Air Force personnel. It is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or of a friendly nation who, while serving in any capacity with the United States Air Force after the date of the award's authorization, shall have distinguished himself or herself by a heroic act, usually at the voluntary risk of his or her life but not involving actual combat.

Bronze Star Medal
awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the military of the United States after 6 December 1941, distinguished himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

b. Awards may be made for acts of heroism, performed under circumstances described above, which are of lesser degree than required for the award of the Silver Star.

c. Awards may be made to recognize single acts of merit or meritorious service. The required achievement or service while of lesser degree than that required for the award of the Legion of Merit must nevertheless have been meritorious and accomplished with distinction.

Purple Heart
awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of an Armed Force who, while serving with the U.S. Armed Services after 5 April 1917, has been wounded or killed, or who has died or may hereafter die after being wounded;

(1) In any action against an enemy of the United States;

(2) In any action with an opposing armed force of a foreign country in which the Armed Forces of the United States are or have been engaged;

(3) While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party;

(4) As a result of an act of any such enemy of opposing armed forces;

(5) As the result of an act of any hostile foreign force;

(6) After 28 March 1973, as a result of an international terrorist attack against the United States or a foreign nation friendly to the United States, recognized as such an attack by the Secretary of the department concerned, or jointly by the Secretaries of the departments concerned if persons from more than one department are wounded in the attack; or,

(7) After 28 March 1973, as a result of military operations, while serving outside the territory of the United States as part of a peacekeeping force.

(8) After 7 December 1941, by weapon fire while directly engaged in armed conflict, regardless of the fire causing the wound.

(9) While held as a prisoner of war or while being taken captive.

b. A wound for which the award is made must have required treatment by a medical officer.

Air Medal
awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the armed forces of the United States, shall have distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. Awards may be made to recognize single acts of merit or heroism or for meritorious service. Award of the Air Medal is primarily intended to recognize those personnel who are on current crew member or non-crew member flying status which requires them to participate in aerial flight on a regular and frequent basis in the performance of their primary duties. However, it may also be awarded to certain other individuals whose combat duties require regular and frequent flying in other than a passenger status or individuals who perform a particularly noteworthy act while performing the function of a crew member but who are not on flying status. These individuals must make a discernible contribution to the operational land combat mission or to the mission of the aircraft in flight. Examples of personnel whose combat duties require them to fly include those in the attack elements of units involved in air-land assaults against an armed enemy and those directly involved in airborne command and control of combat operations. Involvement in such activities, normally at the brigade/group level and below, serves only to establish eligibility for award of the Air Medal; the degree of heroism, meritorious achievement or exemplary service determines who should receive the award. Awards will not be made to individuals who use air transportation solely for the purpose of moving from point to point in a combat zone.

Aerial Achivement Medal
Awarded for sustained meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. Considered on a par with the Air Medal but more likely to be awarded during peace time.

Women’s Army Corps Service Medal
was awarded for service in both the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps during the period 10 Jul 42 - 31 Aug 43 and the Women’s Army Corps during the period 1 Sep 43 - 2 Sep 45.


WW II Victory Medal
was awarded to all military personnel for service between 7 December 1941 and 31 December 1946.

American Campaign Medal
was awarded to personnel for service within the American Theater between 7 December 1941 and 2 March 1946 under any of the following conditions.

(1) On permanent assignment outside the continental limits of the United States.

(2) Permanently assigned as a member of a crew of a vessel sailing ocean waters for a period of 30 days or 60 nonconsecutive days.

(3) Permanently assigned as a member of an operating crew of an airplane actually making regular and frequent flights over ocean waters for a period of 30 days.

(4) Outside the continental limits of the United States in a passenger status or on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 days not consecutive.

(5) In active combat against the enemy and was awarded a combat decoration or furnished a certificate by the commanding general of a corps, higher unit, or independent force that he actually participated in combat.

(6) Within the continental limits of the United States for an aggregate period of one year.

b. The eastern boundary of the American Theater is from the North Pole, south along the 75th meridian west longitude to the 77th parallel north latitude, then southeast through Davis Strait to the intersection of the 40th parallel north latitude and the 35th meridian west longitude, then south along the meridian to the 10th parallel north latitude, then southeast to the intersection of the Equator and the 20th meridian west longitude, then south along the 20th meridian west longitude to the South Pole. The western boundary is from the North Pole, south along the 141st meridian west longitude to the east boundary of Alaska, then south and southeast along the Alaska boundary to the Pacific Ocean, then south along the 130th meridian to its intersection with the 30th parallel north latitude, then southeast to the intersection of the Equator and the 100th meridian west longitude to the South Pole. The American Theater included North America (excluding Alaska) and South America.

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
was awarded to personnel for service within the Asiatic-Pacific Theater between 7 December 1941 and 2 March 1946 under any of the following conditions:

(1) On permanent assignment.

(2) In a passenger status or on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 days not consecutive.

(3) In active combat against the enemy and was awarded a combat decoration or furnished a certificate by the commanding general of a corps, higher unit, or independent force that he actually participated in combat.

b. The eastern boundary of the Asiatic-Pacific Theater is from the North Pole, south along the 141st meridian west longitude to the east boundary of Alaska, then south and southeast along the Alaska boundary to the Pacific Ocean, then south along the 130th meridian to its intersection with the 30th parallel north latitude, then southeast to the intersection of the Equator and the 100th meridian west longitude, then to the South Pole. The western boundary of the Asiatic-Pacific Theater is from the North Pole south along the 60th meridian east longitude to its intersection with the east boundary of Iran, then south along the Iran boundary to the Gulf of Oman and the intersection of the 60th meridian east longitude, then south along the 60th meridian east longitude to the South Pole. The Asiatic-Pacific Theater included Alaska, Hawaii, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, and all of Asia.

The European-African-Middle Eastern (EAME) Campaign Medal
was awarded to personnel for service within the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater between 7 December 1941 and 8 November 1945 under any of the following conditions:

(1) On permanent assignment.

(2) In a passenger status or on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 days not consecutive.

(3) In active combat against the enemy and was awarded a combat decoration or furnished a certificate by the commanding general of a corps, higher unit, or independent force that he actually participated in combat.

b. The western boundary of EAME Theater is from the North Pole, south along the 75th meridian west longitude to the 77th parallel north latitude, then southeast through Davis Strait to the intersection of the 40th parallel north latitude and the 35th meridian west longitude, then south along the meridian to the 10th parallel north latitude, then southeast to the intersection of the Equator and the 20th meridian west longitude, then along the 20th meridian west longitude to the South Pole. The eastern boundary of the EAME Theater is from the North Pole south along the 60th meridian east longitude to its intersection with the east boundary of Iran, then south along the Iran boundary to the Gulf of Oman and the intersection of the 60th meridian east longitude, then south along the 60th meridian east longitude to the South Pole. The EAME Theater included Europe, European Russia, Greenland, Iceland, Africa, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey.

Southwest Asia Service Medal

a. Individuals authorized the Southwest Asia Service Medal must have served in support of Operation Desert Shield or Desert Storm, in one or more of the following areas, between 2 August 1990 and 30 November 1995: Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, that portion of the Arabian Sea that lies north of 10 degrees North latitude and west of 68 degrees East longitude, as well as the total land areas of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Individuals serving in Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Syria and Jordan (including the airspace and territorial waters) directly supporting combat operations between 17 January 1991 and 11 April 1991 are also eligible for this award.

b. To be eligible for the award, a service member must be: attached to or regularly serving for one or more days with an organization participating in ground/shore military operations; attached to or regularly serving for one or more days aboard a naval vessel directly supporting military operations; actually participating as a crew member in one or more aerial flights directly supporting military operations in the areas designated; or serving on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days, except, if a waiver is authorized for personnel participating in actual combat.

The American Defense Service Medal
was awarded to personnel for active duty service from 8 September 1939 to 7 December 1941 for a period of twelve months or longer.

The Korean Service Medal
was awarded for service between 27 June 1950 and 27 July 1954 under and of the following conditions:

a. Within the territorial limits of Korea in waters immediately adjacent thereto: or

b. With a unit under the operational control of the Commander-in-Chief, Far East, other than those units within the territorial limits of Korea, which has been designated by the Commander-in-Chief, Far East, as having directly supported the military efforts in Korea; or

c. Was furnished an individual certificate by the Commander-in-Chief, Far East, testifying to material contribution made in direct support of the military efforts in Korea.

a. Awarded to all members of the Armed Forces of the United States serving in Vietnam and contiguous waters or airspace thereover, after 3 July 1965 through 28 March 1973. Members of the Armed Forces of the United States in Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia, or the airspace thereover, during the same period and serving in direct support of operations in Vietnam are also eligible for this award. To be eligible for award of the medal, individual must- -

(1) Be attached to or regularly serve for one or more days with an organization participating in or directly supporting military operations; or

(2) Be attached to or regularly serve for one or more days aboard a naval vessel directly supporting military operations; or

(3) Actually participate as a crewmember in one or more aerial flights into airspace above Vietnam and contiguous waters directly supporting military operations; or

(4) Serve on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days in Vietnam or contiguous areas, except that the time limit may be waived for personnel participating in actual combat operations.

b. Individuals qualified for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in Vietnam between 1 July 1958 and 3 July 1965 shall remain qualified for the medal. Upon request, the individual may be awarded the Vietnam Service Medal in lieu of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. In such instances, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal will be deleted from the list of authorized medals in the individual’s personnel records. No person shall be entitled to both awards for Vietnam Service.

a. Members of the Armed Forces of the United States must have served in support of Operation Desert Storm between 17 January 1991 and 28 February 1991 in one of the following areas: Persian Gulf; Red Sea; Gulf of Oman; that portion of the Arabian Sea that lies north of 10 degrees North latitude and west of 68 degrees East longitude; the Gulf of Aden; or the total land areas of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

b. To be eligible, a Service member must have been:

(1) attached to or regularly serving for one or more days with an organization participating in ground/shore operations;

(2) attached to or regularly serving for one or more days aboard a naval vessel directly supporting military operations.

(3) actually participating as a crew member in one or more aerial flights supporting military operations in the areas designated above; or

(4) serving on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days during this period. This time limitation may be waived for people participating in actual combat operations.

Criteria: For military personnel who had been wounded in action and to government officials wounded in the line of duty by the enemy or rebels.

U.S. Military units were individually cited for award of the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) Gallantry Cross; however, the Vietnamese Government issued the award to all units subordinate to Military Assistance Command (MACV) during the period 8 February 1962 and 28 March 1973 and to U.S. Army Vietnam and its subordinate units for the period 20 July 1965 to 28 March 1973. This permits all personnel who served in Vietnam to wear the RVN Gallantry Cross unit citation.

b. The medal was awarded by the Vietnam Government to military personnel who have accomplished deeds of valor or displayed heroic conduct while fighting the enemy and have been cited individually at the regiment, brigade, division, corps, or armed forces level.

Service Members authorized the Kosovo Campaign Medal must have participated in or served in direct support of Kosovo Operation(s): ALLIED FORCE (24 Mar through Jun 1999); JOINT GUARDIAN (11 Jun 1999 through To Be Determined); ALLIED HARBOUR 4 Apr through 1 Sep 1999); SUSTAIN HOPE/SHINING HOPE (4 Apr through 10 Jul 1999); NOBLE ANVIL (24 Apr through 20 Jul 1999); or Kosovo TASK FORCE (S): HAWK (5 Apr through 24 Jun 1999); SABER (31 Mar through 8 Jul 1999); or HUNTER (1 Apr through 1 Nov 1999) within the Kosovo Air Campaign or Kosovo Defense Campaign areas of eligibility (AOE):

a. Kosovo Air Campaign (24 March 1999 through 10 June 1999) AOE: the total land area and air space of Serbia (including Kosovo), Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy and Slovenia; and the waters and air space of the Adriatic and Ionian Sea north of the 39th North latitude.

b. Kosovo Defense Campaign (11 Jun 1999 through To Be Determined) AOE: The total land area and air space of Serbia (including Kosovo), Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, and the waters and air space of the Adriatic seas within 12 nautical miles of the Montenegro, Albania, and Croatia coastlines South of 42 degrees and 52 minutes North latitude.

a. Authorized to be awarded to soldiers who deploy to Afghanistan in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) on or after 24 October 2001 to a date to be determined or the cessation of OEF. The area of eligibility encompasses all land area of the country of Afghanistan and all air spaces above the land.

b. To be eligible for the award, a soldier must be assigned or attached to a unit participating in OEF for 30 consecutive days or for 60 nonconsecutive days in Afghanistan or meet one of the following criteria: 1) Be engaged in actual combat against the enemy and under circumstances involving grave danger of death or serious bodily injury from enemy action, regardless, of time in the Afghanistan. 2) While participating in OEF or on official duties, regardless of time, is killed or wounded/injured requiring medical evacuation from Afghanistan. 3) While participating as a regularly assigned air crew member flying sorties into, out of, within, or over Afghanistan in direct support of OEF; each day that one or more sorties are flown in accordance with the criteria shall count as one day towards the 30 consecutive or 60 nonconsecutive day requirement.

c. The medal may be awarded posthumously to any soldier who lost his/her life while, or as a direct result of, participating in qualifying operations, without regard to length of such service, if otherwise eligible.

d. Only one award of the ACM may be authorized for any individual. Service stars are not prescribed.

e. Service members qualified for the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (GWOTEM) by reasons of service between 24 October 2001 and 30 April 2005, in Afghanistan, shall remain qualified for the medal. Any such soldier may be awarded the ACM in lieu of the GWOTEM for such service. Additionally, any such soldier authorized the arrowhead device may be awarded the ACM with arrowhead device in lieu of the GWOTEM with arrowhead device. No soldier shall be entitled to both medals for the same act, achievement or period of service.

 


 

 

 

 

 


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