Vietnam Campaign Medal

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Vietnam Campaign Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal.jpg
Awarded by South Vietnam
Type Campaign medal
Eligibility Members of the Republic of Vietnam Military Forces and members of allied armed forces.
Awarded for Participation in major Vietnamese military operations
Campaign Vietnam War
Status No longer awarded
Clasps 49–54
Established 12 May 1964
Vietnam Campaign Medal Ribbon.png
Vietnam Campaign Medal Ribbon Bar with 1960 Device

The Vietnam Campaign Medal (Vietnamese: Chiến Dịch Bội Tinh) is a military campaign medal that was awarded by the South Vietnamese government. Established in 1964, it was awarded to members the Republic of Vietnam Military Forces for direct participation in major military operations. The medal was also awarded to foreign military personnel for service in Vietnam. The medal was awarded for two different periods of service. The first period was from 8 March 1949 to 20 July 1954. The second period was from 1 January 1960 to a date to be determined. The government of South Vietnam ceased to exist before an ending period was decided.

Award criteria[edit]

South Vietnam[edit]

The Vietnam Campaign Medal was governed by Decrees No 149/SL/CT of 12 May 1964 and No 205/CT/LDQG/SL of 2 December 1965. The medal is awarded to military personnel, both Vietnamese and foreign, who have directly participated in, "a large-scale military campaign during certain periods of time." Awarded in a single class, the medal was awarded under the authority of the Chief of the Joint General Staff, Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces.[1]

United States[edit]

The Vietnam Campaign Medal may also be awarded to any service member who, while serving outside the geographical limits of the Republic of Vietnam, provided direct combat support to the Republic of Vietnam armed forces for a period exceeding six months. This stipulation most often applies to members who performed Vietnam War support from Thailand and Japan. In such cases, a U.S. service member must have been awarded either the Vietnam Service Medal or the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (for service in a Vietnam campaign) to be eligible for the Vietnam Campaign Medal. For those members who were wounded by an enemy force, captured by the enemy in the line of duty, or killed in action, the Vietnam Campaign Medal is automatically awarded regardless of total time served in Vietnam.[2][3]


The Vietnam Campaign Medal is made of a gold colored metal in the shape of a 32 mm wide six-pointed star with rays between the arms of the star. The arms of the star are colored with white enamel. In the center of the star is an 18 mm green colored disc bearing the outline Vietnam with a three tongued red flame between North and South Vietnam. On the reverse of the medal is a circle bearing the inscription Chiến Dịch (Campaign) above and Bội Tinh (Medal) below the word VIET-NAM in the center.[4]


The medal is issued with a device known as the 1960 Bar. The bar displays the date of 1960 followed by a dash and a blank space. The unusual appearance was caused by the government of the Republic of Vietnam stating that the 1960 bar would show the dates of the Vietnam War from start to finish, with the ending date placed on the 1960 bar after the South Vietnamese had prevailed over the invading North Vietnam (the Democratic Republic of Vietnam). Since South Vietnam itself fell in 1975 and its government ceased to exist, an ending date for the 1960 Bar was never established.

In addition to the 1960 Bar, Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Memorandum 2655 prescribed a second device for service during the period 8 March 1949 to 20 July 1954 (which had both years displayed).[4] American military personnel have never been authorized to wear it, since this was during the French colonial period and it is unlikely that any would have been eligible.[citation needed]

Order of wear[edit]

The Vietnam Campaign Medal is considered a foreign award by the U.S., Australian, and New Zealand governments. The equivalent award from the US Armed Forces is known as the Vietnam Service Medal. The joint Australian and New Zealand campaign medal awarded for service in the Vietnam War is the Vietnam Medal, with support service being recognized by the Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal.

Country Preceding Following
New Zealand New Zealand
Worn in order of date of award
Listed chronologically
Korean War Service Medal Zimbabwe Independence Medal (Approved for restricted wear only)
South Vietnam Republic of Vietnam
Order of precedence[1]
Good Conduct Medal Military Service Medal
United States United States
Order of precedence[6]
Multinational Force and Observers Medal Kuwait Liberation Medal

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

External links[edit]