Armed Forces Reserve Medal

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Armed Forces Reserve Medal

Armed Forces Reserve Medal
TypeService Medal
Presented by
Department of Defense[1]
Department of Homeland Security[2]
EligibilityOfficers and enlisted personnel of the US Armed Forces reserve components
EstablishedEO 10163, September 25, 1950, as amended[3]

Armed Forces Reserve Medal service ribbon
Next (higher)Army: Army Sea Duty Ribbon[4]
Navy: Navy Ceremonial Guard Ribbon[5]
Air and Space Forces: Developmental Special Duty Ribbon[6]
Marine Corps: Marine Corps Combat Instructor Ribbon[7]
Coast Guard: Coast Guard Recruiting Service Ribbon[8]
Next (lower)Army: NCO Professional Development Ribbon[4]
Navy & Coast Guard: Naval Reserve Medal[5][8]
Air and Space Forces: NCO PME Graduate Ribbon[6]
Marine Corps: Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon[9]

The Armed Forces Reserve Medal (AFRM) is a service medal of the United States Armed Forces that has existed since 1950. The medal recognizes service performed by members of the reserve components and is awarded to both officers and enlisted personnel. The medal is considered a successor award to the Naval Reserve Medal and the Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon, which were discontinued in 1958 and 1967, respectively.

If the medal is awarded for periods of service, it is accompanied by an hourglass device. Depending on the length of service, a bronze, silver, gold, or bronze and gold hourglass are worn on the suspension ribbon and service ribbon, indicating 10, 20, 30, or 40 years of service, respectively.

If the medal is awarded in connection with a mobilization, it is accompanied by an "M" device. Subsequent mobilizations under an unrelated presidential call-up order result in a numeral device being worn to indicate the number of mobilizations.

For service – the Hourglass device[edit]

In the Army Reserve and National Guard, a service member qualifies for the medal after completing a total of ten years' service in the active reserve. This service may be cumulative, provided that the combined ten years of service was performed over a period of twelve consecutive years. Voluntary recalls to active duty are not counted within the ten years of service. In addition, unlike the Reserve Good Conduct Medal, a service member's disciplinary history is not a factor when awarding the Armed Forces Reserve Medal. In the Navy Reserve, members of the Individual Ready Reserve are eligible for the medal after 10 years of service.[10] Commissioned officers with reserve commissions serving on active duty for 10 years or longer are eligible for the Armed Forces Reserve Medal.

Periods of service for the Armed Forces Reserve Medal are denoted through the use of the hourglass device. The length of the period for which the Armed Forces Reserve Medal is awarded is indicated using a bronze hourglass, silver hourglass, gold hourglass, or bronze and gold hourglasses together.[11][12][8][13][14][15][16][17] The initial presentation of the Armed Forces Reserve Medal is authorized with the bronze hourglass device denoting ten years of reserve service. At twenty years of service, the hourglass is upgraded to silver and at thirty years the hourglass becomes gold. For those who complete forty years of reserve service, a gold and bronze hourglass device are worn simultaneously. This is the only case where hourglasses are worn together; in all other cases the hourglass device is upgraded to the next higher award degree and is worn as a single device.

Type Hourglass Device Years of Service Example
Bronze 10 Bronze Hourglass Device
Silver 20 Silver Hourglass Device
Gold 30 Gold Hourglass Device
Bronze and Gold 40 Bronze and Gold Hourglass Devices

Prior to Executive Order 13013 issued on August 6, 1996, a bronze hourglass device was presented only upon the second and subsequent awards of the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, as in a bronze hourglass for twenty years of service, two bronze hourglasses for thirty, and three bronze hourglasses for forty. Executive Order 13013 provided awarding a bronze hour glass after 10 years' service, a silver hourglass after 20 years of service and a gold hourglass after 30 years of service. Personnel discharged or retired, prior to the change of the Hourglass Device award criteria, are not eligible for a correction of records or an upgrade of the Hourglass Device, as the Hourglass Device would have originally been presented under the original award specifications.

Number of bronze devices Years of Service Example
0 10
1 20
2 30
3 40

For mobilization – the "M" device[edit]

AFRM ribbon with silver Hourglass Device and two awards of the Mobilization Device

The Armed Forces Reserve Medal is also awarded to any member of the Reserve or National Guard who is involuntarily mobilized for a contingency operation under Title 10 or Title 14, or volunteers for federal active duty during any such mobilization. In such cases, the medal with an "M" device (for mobilization) are both awarded together without regard to the period or length of service.[18] The "M" device is a bronze "M" quarter of an inch in height.

Subsequent mobilizations for a different executive order call-up authorize a numeral device ("2", "3", etc.), sometimes called an award numeral, to be worn with the initial "M" device on the service ribbon and suspension ribbon of the medal.[18] However, in the Army, multiple deployments for different operations during a call-up for the same executive order only qualify for a single award of the "M" device.[17] For example, if a soldier mobilized multiple times under Executive Order 13223, once for Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and twice for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, the soldier would still only be awarded one "M" device despite having been mobilized three times.[19]

If no "M" device is authorized, the appropriate hourglass shall be positioned in the center of the ribbon. If no hourglass is authorized, the "M" device shall be positioned in the center of the ribbon, followed by Arabic numerals indicating the number of times the device has been awarded (e.g., 2 to 99—no number is worn for the first award). If both the hourglass and the "M" device are awarded, the hourglass(es) shall be positioned in first position on the ribbon (at the wearer's right), the "M" device in middle position, and the number of times the "M" device has been awarded in the remaining position (at the wearer's left).[17]

Authorized Operation[edit]

The table below lists designated U.S. military operations that have been approved for award of the "M’ device on the AFRM, provided the member meets other award criteria designated contained in DoDM 1348.33, Volume 2, Manual of Military Decorations and Awards: DoD Service Awards – Campaign, Expeditionary, and Service Medals. The Military Departments are responsible for determining individual eligibility for the "M" device based on award criteria. Please refer individual eligibility questions to your respective Military Department.[20]

Operation(s)[17] Location
NOTE 1: Multiple periods of service during one designated contingency shall count as one "M" device award.
NOTE 2: Even if an operation is not officially named but it results in an involuntary call to active duty, the AFRM with "M" device is authorized.


  1. ^ "Issuances" (PDF). 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-09-12. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  2. ^ "Data" (PDF).
  3. ^ Amended by EO 10439, March 19, 1953, and EO 13013, August 6, 1996. Additional details and descriptions at 32 CFR 578.43.
  4. ^ a b "Decorations and Medals > Ribbons – Order of Precedence". The Institute of Heraldry. Archived from the original on 15 October 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Navy Awards Precedence Chart". Navy Personnel Center. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Library > Awards and Decorations". Air Force Personnel Center. Archived from the original on 13 February 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  7. ^ Headquarters Marine Corps (8 September 2014). "MARINE CORPS COMBAT INSTRUCTOR RIBBON ESTABLISHED". Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  8. ^ a b c "COMDTINST M1650.25D Medals and Awards Manual" (PDF). United States Coast Guard. May 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 16, 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  9. ^ "5102. PRECEDENCE". MCO P1020.34F MARINE CORPS UNIFORM REGULATIONS. United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 7 March 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  10. ^ "United States Navy Personnel Command". Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  11. ^ Navy Personnel Command, U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 5, 5301–5319 Awards, accessed 3 March 2022
  12. ^ Permanent Marine Corps Uniform Board, Chapert 5, Awards Archived December 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, last updated 29 October 2009, accessed 1 April 2012
  13. ^ U.S. Army Regulation 600-8-22, Military Awards, dated 11 December 2006, revised 15 September 2011, last accessed 1 April 2012
  14. ^ The Institute of Heraldry, Uniformed Services ~ Army > Service Ribbons Accoutrements Archived 2012-04-23 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 1 April 2012
  15. ^ U.S. Air Force Instruction 36-2803, The Air Force Awards and Decorations Program, published 15 June 2001, last accessed 3 May 2012
  16. ^ Air Force Personnel Center, Armed Forces Reserve Medal Archived 2012-09-15 at the Wayback Machine, posted 23 August 2010, last accessed 3 May 2012
  17. ^ a b c d "Manual of Military Decorations and Awards: DoD Service Awards – Campaign, Expeditionary, and Service Medals" (PDF). DoD Manual 1348.33, Vol. 2. Department of Defense. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 22, 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2010. See paragraph 6i(2)(c) which establishes that multiple periods of service during one designated contingency under paragraph 6c(1)(a)3 counts as one "M" device award.
  18. ^ a b "Manual of Military Decorations and Awards: DoD-Wide Performance and Valor Awards; Foreign Awards; Military Awards to Foreign Personnel and U.S. Public Health Service Officers; and Miscellaneous Information" (PDF). Department of Defense. 23 November 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 22, 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  19. ^ "United States Army Human Resources Command". Retrieved 3 January 2012. (See example given.)
  20. ^ "Armed Forces Reserve Medal - Approved Operations for "M" device" (PDF). Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  21. ^ Executive Order 13013

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