Medals and Criteria

Criteria: The Silver Star is 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. Criteria: The Distinguished Flying Cross is 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

Criteria: a. The Bronze Star Medal is 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.

 

Criteria: a. The Purple Heart is 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.

 

Criteria: Awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who distinguished themselves by outstanding non-combat meritorious achievement or service to the United States subsequent to 16 January 1969. Normally, the acts or services rendered must be comparable to that required for the Legion of Merit but in a duty of lesser though considerable responsibility. Criteria: The Air Medal is 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.

Criteria: a. The Army Commendation Medal is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States other than General Officers who, while serving in any capacity with the Army after 6 December 1941, distinguished himself by heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service. Award may be made to a member of the Armed Forces of a friendly foreign nation who, after 1 June 1962, distinguishes himself by an act of heroism, extraordinary achievement, or meritorious service which has been of mutual benefit to a friendly nation and the United States

Criteria: a. The Good Conduct Medal is awarded for exemplary behavior, efficiency, and fidelity in active Federal Military service. It is awarded on a selective basis to each soldier who distinguishes himself from among his/her fellow soldiers by their exemplary conduct, efficiency, and fidelity throughout a specified period of continuous enlisted active Federal military service. Qualifying periods of service include each three years completed after 27 August 1940 or, for first award only, upon completion of at least one year upon termination of service if separated prior to three years. The immediate commander must approve the award and the award must be announced in permanent orders.
b. Effective 1 September 1982, Active Guard Reserve personnel became eligible for award of the Good Conduct Medal. For Active Guard Reserve personnel, the Good Conduct Medal qualification period may commence at a time during the three years immediately preceding the 1 September 1982 effective date, provided no portion of service for the Good Conduct Medal is included in a period of service for which the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal was awarded

 

Criteria: a. The 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.

Criteria: a. 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.

 

Criteria: 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.

Criteria: 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 individualís personnel records. No person shall be entitled to both awards for Vietnam Service.

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