Awards and decorations of the United States Military are the military awards including decorations which recognize service and personal accomplishments while a member of the United States Armed Forces. Together with military badges, such awards are a means to outwardly display the highlights of a service member's career.
Order of precedence 
While each service has its own order of precedence, the following general rules apply to all services:
- U.S. military personal decorations
- U.S. military unit awards
- U.S. non-military personal decorations (after unit awards in order of receipt; if from the same agency, the applicable agency precedence listing should be consulted)
- U.S. non-military unit awards
- U.S. military campaign awards
- U.S. military service and training awards
- U.S. Merchant Marine awards and non-military service awards
- Foreign military personal decorations
- Foreign military unit awards
- Non-U.S. service awards (e.g., United Nations, NATO)
- Foreign military service awards
- Marksmanship awards (Navy and Coast Guard)
- State awards of the National Guard (Army & Air Force)
Unit awards are worn on the right side in the U.S. Army.
Active United States 
By order of precedence 
Note: Precedence of particular awards will vary slightly among the different branches of service.
By military department 
To denote additional achievements or multiple awards of the same decoration, the United States military maintains a number of award devices which are pinned to service ribbons and medals.
National Guard and state defense forces 
Other award types 
- Main articles: Obsolete military awards of the United States and United States service medals of the World Wars
The following decorations were designed for issuance with an approved medal, but were either never officially approved for presentation or were discontinued before a first award could be made.
Single service awards 
Single service awards were official military decorations created as one time awards to recognize a single event. The first such single service award was issued during the Spanish American War by the Revenue Cutter Service to honor the heroic actions of the vessel USS CARDENAS. The last single service was was issued in 1960 when Congress authorized the awarding of the Four Chaplains' Medal recognizing the Four Chaplains who died together during World War II. There have been no single service awards issued since by the U.S. military, mainly due to the decline and complications of awarding commemorative service medals in the modern age military.
Unofficial decorations 
Unofficial decorations are those military awards created and issued by local commanders. In most cases, unofficial awards were designed to commemorate a specific battle or engagement of a commander's unit. The most well known unofficial awards were issued during the American Civil War. These include the Butler and Gillmore Medals as well as two awards issued by Philip Kearny, known respectively as the Kearny Medal and Kearny Cross.
After the Civil War, stricter military regulations prohibited local commanders from issuing awards and the practice had fallen into disuse by the 20th century. Even so, the Department of Defense has stated that large numbers of unofficial medals were privately issued to members of the Armed Forces of the United States for many years after the Civil War, mostly to commemorate specific battles, events, or as private veteran memorabilia.
Foreign and international 
To display devices on Wikipedia pages, use Template:Ribbon devices.
See also 
- ^ OPNAVINST 3591.1F, SMALL ARMS TRAINING AND QUALIFICATION, Chief of Naval Operations, dated 12 August 2009, last accessed 5 May 2013
- ^ [http://www.uscg.mil/directives/cim/1000-1999/CIM_1650_25D.pdf COMDTINST M1650.25D, Medals and Awards Manual, U.S. Coast Gaurd, dated May 2008, last accessed 5 May 2013
- ^ [http://www.uscg.mil/directives/cim/1000-1999/CIM_1020_6G.pdf U.S. Coast Guard Uniform Regulations, dated March 2012, last accessed 5 May 2013
- ^ http://www.homeofheroes.com/medals/1_precedence.html Retrieved 24 February 2008.
- ^ The Institute of Heraldry – Army Chaplain Medal of Valor
- ^ Price, James S. (2011). The Battle of New Market Heights: freedom Will Be Theirs by the Sword. Charleston, SC: The History Press. p. 87. ISBN 978-1-60949-038-6.
External links