Armed Forces Service Medal
|Armed Forces Service Medal|
Armed Forces Service Medal
|Awarded by All Branches of the United States Military|
|Awarded for||Engaging in "significant activity" for which no other campaign or service medal is authorized.|
|Next (higher)||Korea Defense Service Medal|
|Next (lower)||Humanitarian Service Medal|
Ribbon for the Armed Forces Service Medal
The Armed Forces Service Medal (AFSM) is a military award of the United States military which was created on January 11, 1996 by President Bill Clinton under Executive Order 12985. The medal is a theater service award which is presented to those service members who engage in "significant activity" for which no other campaign or service medal is authorized.
The term "significant activity" is determined by theater commanders and is normally deemed to be participation in a U.S. military operation considered to hold a high degree of scope, impact, and international significance that the operation warrants the presentation of a permanent service medal. Actions to be considered include peacekeeping operations, prolonged humanitarian actions, or military operations in support (or as a member of) NATO or United Nations forces.
The Armed Forces Service Medal was originally intended to be a replacement for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, however the two awards are considered separate awards with different award criteria. The primary difference between the two is that the Armed Forces Service Medal is awarded for actions "through which no foreign armed opposition or imminent threat of hostile action was encountered". This definition separates the two medals in that the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal is normally awarded for combat operations and other combat support missions.
To qualify for the medal, service members must be bona fide members of a unit participating for one or more days in the operation within the designated areas of eligibility, or meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Be engaged in direct support for 30 consecutive days in the area of eligibility or for 60 non-consecutive days provided this support involves entering the area of eligibility.
- Participate as a regularly assigned crew member of an aircraft flying into, out of, within, or over the area of eligibility in support of the operation.
Additional awards of the Armed Forces Service Medal are denoted by service stars.
Designated U.S. military operations
The following U.S. military operations are approved for award of the AFSM:
- Operations PROVIDE PROMISE, JOINT ENDEAVOR, ABLE SENTRY, DENY FLIGHT, MARITIME MONITOR and SHARP GUARD from 16 July 1992 - 19 December 1996
- Operation PROVIDE COMFORT from 1 April 1991 - 24 July 1991
- Operation PROVIDE COMFORT II from 24 July 1991 - 31 December 1996
- Operation JOINT GUARD (successor of Operation Joint Endeavor) from 20 December 1996 - 20 June 1998
- Operation UNITED NATIONS MISSION in Haiti; U.S. FORCES in Haiti; and U.S. SUPPORT GROUP-Haiti from 1 April 1995 - 31 January 2000
- Operation Jump Start 15 May 2006 - 15 July 2008, National Guard forces deployed to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California to assist the Department of Homeland Security with securing the southwest U.S. border
- Operation Unified Response for 2010 Haiti earthquake relief from 14 January 2010 - 1 June 2010
- Operation United Assistance for 2014 Ebola outbreak relief from 14 September, 2014 - 30 June 2015
As an exception to Department of Defense policy the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the Armed Forces Service Medal may be awarded concurrently for the following Operations in Yugoslavia:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, and Hungary (Operation Joint Guard) 20 December 1996 - 20 June 1998
- Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, Italy, Hungary (Operation Joint Endeavor) 20 November 1995 - 19 December 1996
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