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Criteria: Awarded for outstanding achievement or meritorious service not of a nature that would otherwise warrant awarding the Commendation Medal. Since the Army Achievement Medal is designated as an award solely for junior personnel, it is generally only awarded to officers in the pay grade of O-4 and below and enlisted personnel below the grade of E-7. Award authority rests with local commanders, granting a broad discretion of when and for what action the Achievement Medal may be awarded. The Army Achievement Medal may be awarded in a combat area, but for non-combat meritorious service. The Achievement Medal is the lower of the United States military’s meritorious service medals. The Achievement Medal was first proposed as a means to recognize the contributions of junior officers and enlisted personnel who were not eligible to receive the higher Commendation Medal or the Meritorious Service Medal. Additional awards are denoted by oak leaf clusters. Attachments: Bronze Oak Leaf Device, Silver Oak Leaf
Criteria: A mid-level award presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. Awarded by local commanders, allowing for a broad interpretation of the criteria for which the medal may be awarded. For actions where such performance was in direct contact with an enemy force, the Valor device ("V" device) is authorized as an attachment to the decoration. The Army Commendation Medal is typically awarded to junior officers and enlisted personnel as an end-of-tour award. Additional awards are denoted by oak leaf clusters. Attachments: Bronze Oak Leaf Device, Silver Oak Leaf Device, Bronze Letter "V" Device
Criteria: Awarded to any U.S. service member, performing duty in the Republic of Korea, between June 27, 1950 and June 27, 1954. There were 13 official campaigns in the war - each annotated by service stars on the medal. Service stars are authorized for participation in the following campaigns: North Korean Aggression (Navy): June 27 to November 2, 1950; United Nations Defensive (Army, USAF): June 27 to September 15, 1950; United Nations Offensive (Army, USAF): September 16 to November 2, 1950; Chinese Communist Forces Intervention (Army, USAF): November 3, 1950 to January 24, 1951; Communist China Aggression (Navy): November 3, 1950 to January 24, 1951; Inchon Landing (Navy): September 13 to 17, 1950; First United Nations Counteroffensive (Army, Navy, USAF): January 25 to April 21, 1951; Chinese Communist Forces Spring Offensive (Army, Navy, USAF): April 22 to July 8, 1951; United Nations Summer-Fall Offensive (Army, Navy, USAF): July 9 to November 27, 1951; Second Korean Winter (Army, Navy, USAF): November 28, 1951 to April 30, 1952; Korean Defense Summer-Fall, 1952 (Army, Navy, USAF): May 1 to November 30, 1952; Third Korean Winter (Army, Navy, USAF): December 1, 1951 to April 30, 1953; Korea, Summer 1953 (Army, Navy, USAF): May 1, 1953 to July 27, 1953. For participation in the amphibious landing at Inchon, and the airborne attacks on Sukch'on-Such'on and Musan, an arrowhead device is authorized in addition to campaign service stars. Attachments: Bronze Star Device, Silver Star Device, Bronze Arrowhead Device.
Criteria: Awarded to members of the Military Coalition who served in support of Operation Desert Shield or Desert Storm in one or more of the following areas between 2 August 1990 and 31 August 1993: Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, that portion of the Arabian Sea that lies north of 10 degrees North latitude and west of 68 degrees East longitude, as well as the total land areas of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. To be eligible, a service member must have been: (1) attached to or regularly serving for one or more days with an organization participating in ground/shore (military) operations; (2) attached to or regularly serving for one or more days aboard a naval vessel directly supporting military operations; (3) actually participating as a crew member in one or more aerial flights directly supporting military operations in the areas designated above; (4) serving on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days. These time limitations may be waived for members participating in actual combat operations.
National Defense Service Medal Criteria: Awarded to anyone who serves on active duty in the United States military during a designated time period. In the fifty years since the creation of the National Defense Service Medal, it has been authorized for the following time periods; June 27, 1950 to July 27, 1954 for service during the Korean War; January 1, 1961 to August 14, 1974 for service during the Vietnam War; August 2, 1990 to November 30, 1995 for service during the Gulf War; September 11, 2001 to a date yet-to-be-determined for service during the War on Terrorism. For service in the Gulf War and War on Terrorism, it is also authorized for members of the military reserve provided they are a “military reservist in good standing.” The National Defense Service Medal is further authorized to students at the service academies, but is not granted to discharged or retired veterans who did not serve in one of the above time periods. The decoration is also not authorized to members of the inactive reserve. The award was intended to be a “blanket campaign medal” issued to any member of the United States military who served in a designated time period of which a “national emergency” had been declared. As of 2005, it is the oldest service medal which is still issued to the active military. Attachments: Bronze Star Device.
Criteria: Awarded for four years of honorable service in the Army National Guard with additional awards denoted by oak leaf clusters. Effective March 28, 1995, the period of qualifying service for the award was reduced from four years to three years; however, this change was not retroactive. The Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal may also be awarded to officers in the grade of Colonel or below. The decoration was first created in 1972. Reserve Good Conduct Medals are typically intended only for enlisted personnel and are not eligible to be presented to officers. The primary difference between the regular Good Conduct Medal and the Reserve Good Conduct Medal is that the Good Conduct Medal is only issued for active duty service while the reserve equivalent is bestowed for reserve duties such as drill and annual training. The Armed Forces Reserve Medal is a similar decoration which is awarded for ten years of honorable reserve service and is presented to both officers and enlisted personnel.