Awards and decorations of the United States Armed Forces

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Service ribbons, ribbon devices, and badge awards displayed on a Command Master Chief Petty Officer's service uniform.

The United States Armed Forces awards and decorations are primarily the medals, service ribbons, and specific badges which recognize military service and personal accomplishments while a member of the U.S. Armed Forces. Such awards are a means to outwardly display the highlights of a service member's career.

U.S. military awards currently issued to service members[edit]

General order of precedence[edit]

The precedence of particular awards will vary slightly among the different branches of service. All awards and decorations may be awarded to any service member unless otherwise designated by name or notation.[1]

Ribbon/award name[2]
Personal decorations
Awarded for "Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty"

Medal of Honor ribbon.svg  Medal of Honor

Service cross medals – Awarded for "extraordinary heroism in combat"

Distinguished Service Cross ribbon.svg  Distinguished Service Cross (Army)

Navy Cross ribbon.svg  Navy Cross

Air Force Cross ribbon.svg  Air Force Cross

Coast Guard Cross ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Cross

Distinguished service medals – Awarded for "exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility"

Defense Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg  Defense Distinguished Service Medal

Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg  Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal

U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg  Distinguished Service Medal (Army)

Navy Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg  Navy Distinguished Service Medal

Air Force Distinguished Service ribbon.svg  Distinguished Service Medal (Air and Space Forces)

Coast Guard Distinguished Service ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal

Awarded for "gallantry in action"

Silver Star Medal ribbon.svg  Silver Star Medal

Awarded for "superior or exceptionally meritorious service"

Defense Superior Service Medal ribbon.svg  Defense Superior Service Medal

Legion of Merit ribbon.svg  Legion of Merit

Awarded for "heroism or extraordinary achievement in aerial flight"

Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.svg  Distinguished Flying Cross

Medals for non-combat heroism

Soldier's Medal ribbon.svg  Soldier's Medal

Navy and Marine Corps Medal ribbon.svg  Navy and Marine Corps Medal

Airman's Medal ribbon.svg  Airman's Medal

Coast Guard Medal ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Medal

Awarded for heroism in combat zone or meritorious service in a war zone

Bronze Star Medal ribbon.svg  Bronze Star Medal

Awarded for wounds suffered in combatPH

Purple Heart ribbon.svg  Purple Heart

Meritorious service and aviation medals

Defense Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg  Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg  Meritorious Service Medal

Air Medal ribbon.svg  Air Medal
Aerial Achievement Medal ribbon.svg  Aerial Achievement Medal (Air and Space Forces)
Commendation medals

Joint Service Commendation Medal ribbon.svg  Joint Service Commendation Medal

Army Commendation Medal ribbon.svg  Army Commendation Medal

Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal ribbon.svg  Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal ribbon.svg  Air and Space Commendation Medal

U.S. Coast Guard Commendation Medal ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Commendation Medal

Achievement medals

Joint Service Achievement Medal ribbon.svg  Joint Service Achievement Medal

Army Achievement Medal ribbon.svg  Army Achievement Medal

Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal ribbon.svg  Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal

U.S. Air Force Achievement Medal ribbon.svg  Air and Space Achievement Medal

U.S. Coast Guard Achievement Medal ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Achievement Medal

Commandant's Letter of Commendation Ribbon.svg  Commandant's Letter of Commendation (Coast Guard)
Combat action awards

Combat Action Ribbon.svg  Navy Combat Action Ribbon

Air Force Combat Action ribbon.svg  Combat Action Medal (Air and Space Forces)

United States Coast Guard Combat Action Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Combat Action Ribbon

Also see: Army combat badges

Unit awards
Presidential Unit Citations

U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg  Presidential Unit Citation (Army)

United States Navy Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg  Presidential Unit Citation (Navy and Marine Corps)

AF Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon.png  Presidential Unit Citation (Air and Space Forces)

U.S. Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg  Presidential Unit Citation (Coast Guard)

Joint Meritorious Unit Award (USMC and USN frame).svg  Joint Meritorious Unit Award

DHS Outstanding Unit Award.png  DHS Outstanding Unit Award

Valorous Unit Award ribbon.svg  Valorous Unit Award (Army)

U.S. Navy Unit Commendation ribbon.svg  Navy Unit Commendation

Gallant Unit Citation ribbon.svg  Gallant Unit Citation (Air and Space Forces)

Coast Guard Unit Commendation ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Unit Commendation

Meritorious Unit Commendations

Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg  Army Meritorious Unit Commendation

Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg  Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation

Air Force Meritorious Unit ribbon.svg  Meritorious Unit Award (Air and Space Forces)

Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation

Meritorious Team Commendation ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation

Army Superior Unit Award ribbon.svg  Army Superior Unit Award

Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg  Air and Space Outstanding Unit Award

Efficiency Awards

Battle Effectiveness Award ribbon, 1st award.svg  Navy "E" Ribbon

Organizational Excellence ribbon.svg  Air and Space Organizational Excellence Award

Coast Guard Excellence Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard "E" Ribbon

Service awards
Prisoner of War Medal.svg  Prisoner of War Medal
Good conduct medals

Army Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg  Army Good Conduct Medal

U.S. Navy Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg  Navy Good Conduct Medal

U.S. Air Force Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg  Air Force Good Conduct Medal

U.S. Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal

U.S. Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal

Combat Readiness Medal ribbon.svg  Combat Readiness Medal (Air and Space Forces)
Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon.svg  Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon

Enlisted Person of the Year Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Enlisted Person of the Year Ribbon

Air Force Recognition Ribbon.svg  Air and Space Recognition Ribbon
Continued on right column
Ribbon/award name[2]
Campaign and service medals (cont.)
Reserve service medals

U.S. Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal ribbon.svg  Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal

Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg  Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal

Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal ribbon.svg  Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal

Coast Guard Reserve Good Conduct Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Reserve Good Conduct Medal

Armed Forces Reserve Medal ribbon.svg  Armed Forces Reserve Medal

Expeditionary medals

Navy Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg  Navy Expeditionary Medal

Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal

General service medals
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg  National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal ribbon.svg  Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg  Korea Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal ribbon.svg  Armed Forces Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal ribbon.svg  Humanitarian Service Medal
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal ribbon.svg  Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Special service medals
Antarctica Service Medal ribbon.svg  Antarctica Service Medal
Coast Guard Arctic Service ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Arctic Service Medal
Air and Space Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Air and Space Campaign Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal ribbon.svg  Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal
Remote Combat Effects Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Remote Combat Effects Campaign Medal
Campaign and Expeditionary / Conflict Service Medals
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg  Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal ribbon (1991–2016).svg  Southwest Asia Service Medal
Kosovo Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Kosovo Campaign Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Iraq Campaign Medal
Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg  Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Service and training awards
U.S. Army Sea Duty Ribbon.svg  Army Sea Duty Ribbon

Navy and Marine Corps Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.svg  Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon

U.S. Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon

Naval Reserve Sea Service Ribbon.svg  Naval Reserve Sea Service Ribbon

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon.svg  Air and Space Expeditionary Service Ribbon

Navy Arctic Service Ribbon.svg  Navy Arctic Service Ribbon

Overseas service ribbons

Army Overseas Service Ribbon.svg  Army Overseas Service Ribbon

Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon.svg  Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon

USCG Overseas Service Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Overseas Service Ribbon

AF OS Short Tour Ribbon.svg  Air and Space Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon

U.S. Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon.svg  Air and Space Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon

Army Reserve Overseas Training Ribbon.svg  Army Reserve Overseas Training Ribbon

Restricted Duty Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Restricted Duty Ribbon

U.S. Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbon

Longevity ribbon

Longevity Service Award USAF.svg  Air and Space Longevity Service Award

Recruiting service and training service ribbons

U.S. Navy Recruiting Service Ribbon.svg  Navy Recruiting Service Ribbon

Marine Corps Recruiting Ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Recruiting Ribbon

Coast Guard Recruiting Service Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Recruiting Service Ribbon

U.S. Navy Recruiting Training Ribbon.svg  Navy Accession Training Service Ribbon

U.S. Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon

USMC Combat Instructor Ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Combat Instructor Ribbon

USA Air Force Special Duty Ribbon.svg  Developmental Special Duty Ribbon (Air and Space Forces)

Guard ribbons

Navy Ceremonial Duty Ribbon.svg  Navy Ceremonial Guard Ribbon

Marine Security Guard Ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Security Guard Ribbon

Professional development Ribbons

Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon.svg  Army NCO Professional Development Ribbon

USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon.svg  Air Force NCO PME Graduate Ribbon

Basic training honor graduate ribbons

U.S. Navy Recruit Honor Graduate Ribbon.svg  Navy Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon

USAF Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon.svg  Air Force Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon

Coast Guard Honor Graduate Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Basic Training Honor Graduate Ribbon

Training ribbons

Army Service Ribbon.svg  Army Service Ribbon

Air Force Training Ribbon.svg  Air and Space Training Ribbon

Marksmanship awards[3][4][5]
USAF Marksmanship ribbon.svg  Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (Air and Space Forces)

U.S. Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon.svg  Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon

Coast Guard Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon

U.S. Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon.svg  Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon

Coast Guard Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon

Note: ^ The precedence of the Purple Heart was immediately before the Good Conduct Medals until changed to its current precedence in 1985.

Military departments[edit]

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.

Inactive and obsolete awards[edit]

U.S. military personnel having received these awards have participated within these areas of combat/conflict during the time these awards were given to U.S. service members. Such awards have since been discontinued or are no longer applicable in terms of receiving these commendations.

Ribbon/award name
Personal decorations
Certificate of Merit Medal ribbon.svg  Certificate of Merit Medal
Marine Corps Brevet Medal ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Brevet Medal
Specially Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg  Specially Meritorious Service Medal
Reserve Special Commendation Ribbon.svg  Reserve Special Commendation Ribbon
Army Wound Ribbon.svg  Army Wound Ribbon
Department of Transportation military awards
USA - DOT Distinguished Service Medal.png  Transportation Distinguished Service Medal
Secretary of Transportation Outstanding Unit Award.png  Secretary of Transportation Outstanding Unit Award
Bicentennial Unit Commendation ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Bicentennial Unit Commendation
19th and early 20th century Commemorative Medals
West Indies Naval Campaign ribbon.svg  West Indies Naval Campaign Medal (Sampson Medal)
Blueyellowribbon.svg  Battle of Manila Bay Medal (Dewey Medal)
United States Antarctic Expedition Medal (1939-1941).png  United States Antarctic Expedition Medal
19th and early 20th century Campaign Medals
Civil War Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Civil War Campaign Medal
Indian Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Indian Campaign Medal
China Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  China Campaign Medal (Army)

China Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  China Relief Expedition Medal (Navy)

Spanish–American War campaign and occupation medals
Spanish Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Spanish Campaign Medal
West Indies Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  West Indies Campaign Medal
Spanish War Service Medal ribbon.svg  Spanish War Service Medal
Army of Cuban Occupation ribbon.svg  Army of Cuban Occupation Medal
Army of Cuban Pacification service ribbon.png  Cuban Pacification Medal (Army)

Army of Cuban Pacification service ribbon.png  Cuban Pacification Medal (Navy)

Army of Puerto Rican Occupation ribbon.svg  Army of Puerto Rican Occupation Medal
Philippine–American War campaign medals
Philippine Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Philippine Campaign Medal
Philippine Congressional Medal ribbon.svg  Philippine Congressional Medal
Navy & Marine Corps expedition medals
Nicaraguan Campaign ribbon 1912.svg  Nicaraguan Campaign Medal (1912)
Haitian Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Haitian Campaign Medal (1915 & 1920–1921)
Dominican Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Dominican Campaign Medal (1916)
Nicaraguan Campaign ribbon 1933.svg  Nicaraguan Campaign Medal (1926-1930)
Yangtze Service Medal ribbon.svg  Yangtze Service Medal
Ribbon/award name
World War I and Pre-World War I service medals
Mexican Service Medal ribbon.svg  Mexican Service Medal
Mexican Border Service Medal ribbon.svg  Mexican Border Service Medal
World War I Victory Medal ribbon.svg  World War I Victory Medal
Army of Occupation of Germany ribbon.svg  Army of Occupation of Germany Medal
World War II and Pre-World War II service medals
China Service Medal ribbon.svg  China Service Medal
American Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg  American Defense Service Medal
Women's Army Corps Service Medal ribbon.svg  Women's Army Corps Service Medal
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg  European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg  World War II Victory Medal
Post World War II, Cold War Service, Occupation Medals
Medal for Humane Action ribbon.svg  Medal for Humane Action
Army of Occupation ribbon.svg  Army of Occupation Medal

Army of Occupation ribbon.svg  Navy Occupation Service Medal

Korean Service Medal ribbon.svg  Korean Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal ribbon.svg  Vietnam Service Medal
Service and training awards
U.S. Naval Reserve Medal ribbon.svg  Naval Reserve Medal
Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon
Fleet Marine Force Ribbon.svg  Fleet Marine Force Ribbon
Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg  Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal
Military Training Instructor Ribbon.svg  Air Force Military Training Instructor Ribbon
Air Force Recruiter Ribbon.svg  Air Force Recruiter Ribbon
Distinguished Marksman and Pistol Shot Ribbon.svg  Navy Distinguished Marksman and Pistol Shot Ribbon
Distinguished Marksmanship Ribbon.svg  Navy Distinguished Marksman Ribbon
Distinguished Pistol Shot Ribbon.svg  Navy Distinguished Pistol Shot Ribbon

Discontinued or proposed[edit]

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.

Ribbon/award name
Personal decorations
USA Distinguished Warfare Medal ribbon.svg  Distinguished Warfare Medal
Combat service decorations
Noribbon.svg  Combat Recognition Ribbon
Ribbon/award name
General service award
Cold War Victory Medal ribbon.svg  Cold War Victory Medal

Single service awards[edit]

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 actions of the vessel USRC Hudson during the Battle of Cárdenas. The last single service award 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.[6] 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.

Ribbon/award name
Personal valor decorations
FourChapRibbon.jpg  Four Chaplains' Medal
Personal commemorative decorations
Cardenas Medal ribbon bar.png  Cardenas Medal of Honor
NC-4 Medal ribbon bar.png  NC-4 Medal
Ribbon/award name
Exploratory commemorative decorations
Perry Polar Expedition Medal ribbon.png  Peary Polar Expedition Medal
Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal (1928-1930).png  Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal
SECOND BYRD ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION Medal.png  Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal

Unofficial decorations[edit]

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.

Ribbon/award name
Civil War decorations
Specially Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg Kearny Cross
Kearny Medal
9-11 Medal ribbon.svg Butler Medal
Noribbon.svg Gillmore Medal
Ribbon/award name
Research decorations
U.S. Navy Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg  Walter Reed Medal

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.[7] One of the more well known is the Walter Reed Medal (recognized today as a Congressional Gold Medal), awarded for exploratory scientific achievement in the field of malaria treatment. While presented as a gold medallion, members of the military were reported to wear a red ribbon on their uniforms to denote the decoration.

Foreign and international awards[edit]

Foreign and international decorations are authorized for wear on United States military uniforms by the Department of Defense in accordance with established regulations for the receipt of such awards as outlined by the State Department. In the case of foreign decorations, the awards may be divided into senior service decorations (awarded only to high ranking U.S. officers), heroic decorations for valor, and foreign service decorations.

There are hundreds of foreign and international awards which have been approved for issuance to United States military personnel since World War I, the following being among the more common.

Ribbon/award name
World War I
Legion Honneur Chevalier ribbon.svg  French Legion of Honor
Order of the Bath UK ribbon.svg  British Order of the Bath
Medaille militaire ribbon.svg  French Military Medal
Croix de Guerre 1914-1918 ribbon.svg  French Croix de guerre
BEL Croix de Guerre WW1 ribbon.svg  Belgian Croix de guerre
Czechoslovak War Cross 1918 Ribbon.png  Czechoslovak War Cross (1918)
Caribbean & Central America (1920s & 1930s)
Order of Abdon Calderon First Class.svg  Order of Abdon Calderón (Ecuador)
Ruban de la Médaille militaire.PNG  Military Merit Medal (Haiti)
Nicaraguan Medal of Military Merit.png  Medal of Merit (Nicaragua)
World War II (Europe)
Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 ribbon.svg  French Croix de guerre
BEL Croix de Guerre 1944 ribbon.svg  Belgian Croix de guerre
LUX Croix de Guerre ribbon.svg  Luxembourg War Cross
Czechoslovak War Cross 1939-1945 Ribbon.png  Czechoslovak War Cross (1945)
Luxembourg Croix de guerre unit.jpg  Luxembourg War Cross (Unit Citation)
World War II (Pacific)
Philippine Defense ribbon.png  Philippine Defense Medal
Phliber rib.svg  Philippine Liberation Medal
PHL Independence Medal ribbon.png  Philippine Independence Medal
Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines).svg  Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
World War II (Senior Orders)
Order of Adolphe of Nassau ribbon.svg  Order of Adolphe of Nassau (Luxembourg)
MEX Order of the Aztec Eagle 5Class BAR.png  Order of the Aztec Eagle (Mexico)
Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png  Order of the British Empire (United Kingdom)
BEL Kroonorde Officier BAR.svg  Order of the Crown (Belgium)
Ordre de Léopold O ribbon.svg  Order of Leopold (Belgium)
Order of Orange-Nassau ribbon.svg  Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands)
MAR Order of the Ouissam Alaouite - Officer (1913-1956) BAR.png  Order of Ouissam Alaouite (Morocco)
Order of Precious Tripod with Special Grand Cordon ribbon.png  Order of Pao Ting (China)
POL Virtuti Militari Srebrny BAR.svg  Order of Virtuti Militari (Poland)
POL Order Orła Białego BAR.svg  Order of the White Eagle (Poland)
Order of the White Eagle War Merit ribbon.jpg  Order of the White Eagle (Yugoslavia)
Ned WillOrd rib.png  Order of William (Netherlands)
Korean War - South Korea and the United Nations
United Nations Service Medal Korea ribbon.svg  United Nations Service Medal
Republic of Korea War Service Medal ribbon.svg  Republic of Korea War Service Medal
Presidential Unit Citation (South Korea).svg  Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Ribbon/award name
Vietnam War - Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam)
Vietnam Army Distinguished Service Order Ribbon-First Class.svg  RVN Army Distinguished Service Order
Vietnam Navy Distinguished Service Order Ribbon-First Class.svg  RVN Navy Distinguished Service Order
Vietnam Air Force Distinguished Service Order Ribbon-First Class.svg  RVN Air Force Distinguished Service Order
Vietnam Military Merit Ribbon.svg  RVN Military Merit Medal
Vietnam Gallantry Cross, with palm.svg  RVN Gallantry Cross (with Palm)
Vietnam Air Gallantry Cross Bronze Wing ribbon.svg  RVN Air Gallantry Cross
Vietnam Navy Gallantry Cross, Gold Anchor ribbon.svg  RVN Navy Gallantry Cross
Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal ribbon-First Class.svg  RVN Armed Forces Honor Medal
Vietnam Civil Actions Medal ribbon-First Class.svg  RVN Civil Actions Medal (1st class)
Vietnam Staff Service Medal ribbon-First Class.svg  RVN Staff Service Medal
Vietnam Special Service Medal ribbon.svg  RVN Special Service Medal
Vietnam Training Service Medal ribbon-First Class.svg  RVN Training Service Medal
Presidential Unit Citation (Vietnam).svg  RVN Presidential Unit Citation
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg  RVN Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with palm and frame
VNCivilActionsRibbon-2.svg  RVN Civil Actions Medal Unit Citation with palm and frame (1st class)
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon, with 60- clasp.svg  RVN Campaign Medal with 1960- device
Persian Gulf War
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) ribbon.svg  Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) ribbon.svg  Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
International Awards (20th Century)
United Nations Medal ribbon.svg  United Nations Medal
MFO Medal ribbon.png  Multinational Force and Observers Medal
Inter-american defense board medal ribbon.svg  Inter-American Defense Board Medal
NATO Medal Yugoslavia ribbon bar.svg  NATO Medal (Yugoslavia)
NATO Medal w Służbie Pokoju i Wolności BAR.svg  NATO Medal (Kosovo)
NATO Medal ribbon (Non-Article 5).svg  NATO Medal (Non-Article 5)
Senior Military Awards (21st Century)
Peruvian Cross of Aeronautical Merit.jpg  Aeronautical Merit Cross (Peru)
GER Bundeswehr Honour Cross Gold ribbon.svg  Cross of Honor (Germany)
Order of Bahrain - 5th Class.png  Khalifiyyeh Order of Bahrain
Military Merit Order First Class Ribbon.png  Military Merit Order (United Arab Emirates)
Order of the Crown of Thailand - Medal (Thailand) ribbon.svg  Order of the Crown of Thailand
Gold Award of the Iraqi Order of the Date Palm Ribbon.png  Order of the Date Palm (Iraq)
ARG Order of May - Knight BAR.png  Order of May (Argentina)
GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 2 BVK.svg  Order of Merit (Germany)
Cavaliere OMRI BAR.svg  Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
Tong-il Security Medel Ribbon.png  Order of National Security Merit (Korea)
JPN Kyokujitsu-sho blank BAR.svg  Order of the Rising Sun (Japan)
BRA - Order of the Southern Cross - Knight BAR.svg  Order of the Southern Cross (Brazil)

During the First and Second World Wars, the Croix de Guerre medals of France and Belgium, as well as the French Military Medal and Luxembourg War Cross, were further issued as unit citation cords, known as Fourragère. Service members could receive both the individual award and the unit cord; in the case of the later, the unit citation could either be worn temporarily while a member of the unit or permanently if the service member was present during the actual battle which warranted the unit citation. A further unit citation cord of the Order of William of the Netherlands was also issued during World War II, and was far more commonly known as the "Orange Lanyard".

As of 2002, South Korea has again issued the Korean Presidential Unit Citation to certain units of the United States Marine Corps, thus placing this previously obsolete foreign award back on the active order of precedence for U.S. decorations. Apart from this one decoration, most 21st century foreign military awards are reserved for only the most senior flag and general officers and then only presented as "end of tour" decorations upon transfer from a major command.

See also[edit]

To display devices on Wikipedia pages, use Template:Ribbon devices.


  1. ^ "Nimber 1348.33, Volume 3" (PDF). Defense Technical Information Center. United States Department of Defense. 31 October 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b Archived 16 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 24 February 2008.
  3. ^ OPNAVINST 3591.1F, Small Arms Training and Qualification Archived 22 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Chief of Naval Operations, dated 12 August 2009, last accessed 5 May 2013
  4. ^ "COMDTINST M1650.25D, Medals and Awards Manual, U.S. Coast Guard, dated May 2008, last accessed 5 May 2013" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 December 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  5. ^ "U.S. Coast Guard Uniform Regulations, dated March 2012, last accessed 5 May 2013" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  6. ^ "The Institute of Heraldry – Army Chaplain Medal of Valor". Archived from the original on 1 February 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  7. ^ 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.

Further reading[edit]

  • Foster, Frank C. (2002). A complete guide to all United States military medals, 1939 to present. Fountain Inn, S.C.: MOA Press. ISBN 1-884-45218-3. OCLC 54755134.

External links[edit]