.United States Army Decorations.


 

The Medal of Honor
[MOH]

...Above and Beyond the Call of Duty...

This is the highest honor the United States can bestow on members of its Armed Forces.
It is only presented by the President and is awarded in the name of Congress.

Awarded "For Conspicuous Gallantry and Intrepidity at the Risk of Life, Above and Beyond the Call of Duty, in Action Involving Actual Conflict with an Opposing Armed Force."

Persons on the Medal of Honor Roll and otherwise eligible may, upon application, qualify for a
special life time pension of $400 per month.

{The Medal of Honor is protected from all sale, trade, or exchange by United States Code;Title 18, Part I, Chapter 33, Section 704 .}


The Distinguished Service Cross 
[DSC]

DSC

Established by order of the President 02 JAN 1918, confirmed by Congress 09 JUL 1918. Awarded to members of the US Army serving after 06 APR 1917, who distinguish themselves by

"Extraordinary Heroism in Connection with Military Operations Against an
Opposing Armed Force."

Second and subsequent awards are denoted by bronze Oak Leaf Clusters;
a silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze.
 

Designed by CPT Aymar Embury; Sculpted by CPL Gaetano Cecere

(Awarded to US Air Force personnel until 1960)


The Defense Distinguished Service Medal

Established by order of the Secretary of Defense and the President on 09 JUL 1970.
Awarded by the Secretary of Defense to military officers for:

"Exceptionally Meritorious Service in a Duty of
Great Responsibility."

Second and subsequent awards are denoted by bronze Oak Leaf Clusters;
a silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze.

Designed by The Institute of Heraldry, US Army


The Distinguished Service Medal 
[DSM]

DSM

Established by Presidential order on 02 JAN 1918, confirmed by Congress on 09 JUL 1918. Awarded to personnel of the US Army serving after 06 APR 1917, who distinguished themselves by:

"Exceptionally Meritorious Service to the Government in a
Duty of Great Responsibility."

Second and subsequent awards are denoted by bronze Oak Leaf Clusters;
a silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze.
 

Designed by CPT Aymar Embury; Sculpted by CPL Gaetano Cecere

(Awarded to US Air Force personnel until 1960)


The Silver Star

Silver Star

Established by Congress on 09 JUL 1918.
For each Citation received by US Army personnel for gallantry in action, not sufficient to warrant the Medal of Honor or the Distinguished Service Cross, a 'Silver Star', 3/16-inch in diameter was authorized for wear on the suspension and service ribbons of appropriate service medals (World War I Victory Medal). This award was called the 'Citation Star'. On 08 AUG 1932, this decoration was revised by Congress and redesigned to its present form.

"For Gallantry in Action Against an Opposing Armed Force."

Second and subsequent awards are denoted by bronze Oak Leaf Clusters;
a silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze.
 

Designed by Bailey, Banks, and Biddle


The Defense Superior Service Medal

Established by order of the Secretary of Defense and the President on 06 FEB 1976.
Awarded by the Secretary of Defense to military officers for:

"Superior Meritorious Service in a Duty of Great Responsibility
while Assigned to a Joint Activity."

Second and subsequent awards are denoted by bronze Oak Leaf Clusters;
a silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze.

Designed by The Institute of Heraldry, US Army


The Legion of Merit

Legion of Merit

Established by Congress on 10 JUL 1942, in four degrees: Chief Commander, Commander, Officer, and Legionnaire; for award to personnel of Armed Forces of friendly foreign nations and personnel of the Armed Forces of the United States and the Philippines. Awarded for actions since the Presidential Proclamation of Emergency, 08 SEP 1939,

"For Exceptionally Meritorious Conduct in the Performance of Outstanding Service."

This is as close as the United States has come to creating an Order of the European type.
It is the first specific decoration awarded to foreigners and the first decoration of the United States
to be awarded in different degrees.

Second and subsequent awards are denoted by bronze Oak Leaf Clusters;
a silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze.
 

Designed by COL Townsend Heard, USA


The Distinguished Flying Cross 
[DFC]

DFC

Established by Congress on 02 JUL 1926, for award to any person who, serving any branch of the service including the National Guard and the Organized Reserves after 06 APR 1917:

"For Heroism or Extraordinary Achievement while Participating in Aerial Flight."

Second and subsequent awards are denoted by bronze Oak Leaf Clusters;
a silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze.
 

Designed by Elizabeth Will and Arthur DuBors


The Soldier's Medal

Soldiers Medal

Established by Congress on 02 JUL 1926,

"For Heroism by those serving with the US Army in any capacity that Involves the Voluntary Risk of Life under conditions Other Than Those of Conflict with an Opposing Armed Force."

The same degree of Heroism is required as for the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Second and subsequent awards are denoted by bronze Oak Leaf Clusters;
a silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze.
 

Designed by CPL Gaetano Cecere


The Bronze Star

Bronze Star

Established by order of the President on 04 FEB 1944, awarded to personnel of the US Armed Forces,
who on or after 07 DEC 1941, distinguished themselves:

"For Heroic or Meritorious Achievement of Service, not involving aerial flight,
in connection with Operations Against an Opposing Armed Force."

Special Circumstances for WW II Combat Veterans (US & Canadian):

Army Regulation AR 600-8-22, Chapter 3, Section 13. Bronze Star Medal
d. (2) "Award may be made by letter application to 

Commander
ARPERCEN
ATTN: DARP-VSE-A
9700 Page Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63132-5200

(enclosing documentary evidence, if possible), to each member of the US Armed Forces who, after 6 December 1941, has been cited in orders or awarded a certificate for exemplary conduct in ground combat against an armed enemy between 7 December 1941 and 2 September 1945, inclusive, or whose meritorious achievement has been otherwise confirmed by documents executed prior to 1 July 1947.  For this purpose, an award of the Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat Medical Badge is considered as a citation in orders...
                                           _______

WASHINGTON,DC, Aug. 18, 2006 – The Army has authorized award of the Bronze Star Medal for Service to the living Canadian veterans of the 1st Special Services Force for their service to the U.S. Army during World War II. Although approved for the unit as a whole, the almost 120 eligible veterans must submit verification documents showing their complete name, rank, service number, and dates of service when they apply for the medal.

Eligible veterans may send their request and copies of their verification documents to:


          U.S. Army Human Resources Command
     ATTN: AHRC-PDO-PA
     200 Stovall Street
     Alexandria, VA 22332-4000

A Bronze "V" device worn to denote Valor/Heroism.
Second and subsequent awards are denoted by bronze Oak Leaf Clusters;
a silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze.
 

Designed by Bailey, Banks, and Biddle


The Purple Heart

Purple Heart

Originally established by Commander-in-Chief George Washington on 07 AUG 1782,
at Newburgh on the Hudson, New York, as an award for outstanding military merit, or the 'Badge of Merit'.

     Awarding the First Purple Hearts

The award was in the form of an embroidered, heart-shaped badge of purple cloth
and bestowed on only three non-commissioned officers.
Though never officially abolished it was not again awarded for almost one hundred and fifty years.  
Upon its revival in 1932, as the Purple Heart medal, the new decoration was to be awarded in two categories:

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an Executive Order which provided that the Purple Heart would be made available to members of all the US Armed Services who were wounded in action. Since then the Purple Heart has become one of the most highly respected decorations of the US Armed Forces. The decoration holds a very unique position in that it can be earned in only one way, by being wounded. An attendant requirement is that the wound must have been received as a direct result of enemy actions.

The Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Established by order of the Secretary of Defense and the President on 03 NOV 1977.
Awarded to military officers for:

"Exceptionally Meritorious Service in a Duty of Great Responsibility
while Assigned to a Joint Activity."

Second and subsequent awards are denoted by bronze Oak Leaf Clusters;
a silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze.

Designed by The Institute of Heraldry, US Army


The Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal

Established by order of the President on 16 JAN 1969, as an award primarily for

"Outstanding Non-combat Meritorious Achievement or Service to the United States"

by any member of the US Armed Forces. Some portion of the completed service or achievement must have been made on or after 16 JAN 1969. In actuality, this decoration could be described as a 'fifth class' or grade of the Legion of Merit and finally one that could be awarded to enlisted personnel. This is exemplified by the reversal of the color (red-purple instead of purple-red) of the ribbon of the Legion of Merit.

Second and subsequent awards are denoted by bronze Oak Leaf Clusters;
a silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze.

Designed by Jay Morris


The Air Medal

Air Medal

Established by order of the President on 11 MAY 1942. Members of the US Armed Forces must have distinguished themselves after 08 SEP 1939

"For Meritorious Achievement while Participating in Aerial Flight."

Bronze "V" device worn to denote Valor/Heroism.
Subsequent awards denoted by bronze arabic Numerals.
Oak Leaf Clusters were initially used to denote subsequent awards of the Air Medal, but
the numbers of additional awards became so great that the OLC's did not fit on the ribbon.
As a result, the policy was changed, in September 1968, to require the use of Numerals.
 

Designed by Walker Hancock


The Joint Service Commendation Medal

Established by order of the Secretary of Defense on 17 MAY 1967, as an award
to any member of the US Armed Forces who is distinguished by

"Meritorious Achievement or Service while Assigned to a Joint Activity."

The degree of merit need not be unique but must be distinctive.
Bronze "V" device worn to denote Valor/Heroism in Combat.

Second and subsequent awards are denoted by bronze Oak Leaf Clusters;
a silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze.
 

Designed by The Institute of Heraldry, US Army


The Army Commendation Medal
[ARCOM]

Commendation Medal

Originally established by the Secretary of War as a ribbon-only award in 1945,
the medal was added in 1949. Awarded to members of the US Army, on or after 07 DEC 1941,

"For Heroism, Meritorious Achievement, or MeritoriousService"

Bronze "V" device worn to denote Valor/Heroism in Combat.
Second and subsequent awards are denoted by bronze Oak Leaf Clusters;
a silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze.
 

Designed by The Institute of Heraldry, US Army


The Joint Service Achievement Medal

Established by order of the Secretary of Defense on 29 MAR 1984, this medal may be awarded
to any member of the US Armed Forces below the grade of Colonel (O-6)

"For Meritorious Achievement or Service
while Assigned to a Joint Activity after 03 AUG 1983."

Second and subsequent awards are denoted by bronze Oak Leaf Clusters;
a silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze.
 

Designed by The Institute of Heraldry, US Army


The Army Achievement Medal
[AAM]

Achievement Medal

Established by the Secretary of the Army on 10 APR 1981. Awarded to members of the
US Armed Forces, not a general officer, who distinguish themselves by

"Meritorious Achievement in a Non-combat Area on or after 01 AUG 1981."

Second and subsequent awards are denoted by bronze Oak Leaf Clusters;
a silver Oak Leaf Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze.
 

Designed by The Institute of Heraldry, US Army

Copyright (c) RWD Ploessl

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