Awards and decorations of the United States Armed Forces

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Ribbons and badges of a U.S. Navy sailor

Awards and decorations of the United States Armed Forces are the military awards including decorations which recognize service and personal accomplishments while a member of the U.S. military. Together with military badges, such awards are a means to display outwardly the highlights of a service member's career.

Order of precedence

While each service has its own order of precedence, the following general rules typically apply to all services:

  1. U.S. military personal decorations
  2. U.S. military unit awards [1]
  3. U.S. non-military personal decorations (in order of receipt; if from the same agency, the applicable agency precedence listing should be consulted)
  4. U.S. non-military unit awards[1]
  5. U.S. military campaign and service medals
  6. U.S. military service and training awards (ribbon-only awards)[2][3a]
  7. U.S. Merchant Marine awards and non-military service awards
  8. Foreign military personal decorations
  9. Foreign military unit awards[1]
  10. International decorations & service medals (e.g., United Nations, NATO, etc.)
  11. Foreign military service awards[4]
  12. Marksmanship awards (Air Force[3a], Navy & Coast Guard)[3b]
  13. State awards of the National Guard (Army & Air Force only)

Note's on branch-specific exceptions to the above:

  • 1 Unit awards are worn as a separate grouping, on the right side of the uniform, in the U.S. Army.
  • 3a Marksmanship Awards in the Air Force are considered training awards. 3b The Army and Marines issue Marksmanship Qualification Badges instead of Marksmanship awards.

Active United States military

By order of precedence

Notes: Precedence of particular awards will vary slightly among the different branches of service. All awards and decorations may be awarded to any servicemember unless otherwise designated by name or notation.[2]

Ribbon/award name[3]
Personal decorations
Medal of Honor ribbon.svg  Medal of Honor
Awarded for "gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty"
Service cross medals. Awarded for "extraordinary heroism"

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.png  Coast Guard Cross

Distinguished service medals

Defense Distinguished Service ribbon.svg  Defense Distinguished Service Medal

Homeland Security Distinguished Service Ribbon.svg  Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal

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

Navy Distinguished Service ribbon.svg  Navy Distinguished Service Medal

Air Force Distinguished Service ribbon.svg  Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

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

Silver Star ribbon.svg  Silver Star Awarded for "Gallantry in action"
US Defense Superior Service Medal ribbon.svg  Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg  Legion of Merit
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

Bronze Star ribbon.svg  Bronze Star Medal Awarded for heroism or meritorious service in a combat zone
Purple Heart BAR.svg  Purple Heart Awarded for wounds suffered in combatPH
Meritorious service medals

Defense Meritorious Service ribbon.svg  Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service ribbon.svg  Meritorious Service Medal

Air Medal ribbon.svg  Air Medal
Aerial Achievement Medal ribbon.svg  Aerial Achievement Medal
Commendation medals

Joint Service Commendation ribbon.svg  Joint Service Commendation Medal

Army Commendation Medal ribbon.svg  Army Commendation Medal

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

Air Force Commendation ribbon.svg  Air Force Commendation Medal

Coast Guard Commendation ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Commendation Medal

Achievement medals

Us jointservachiev rib.svg  Joint Service Achievement Medal

Army Achievement Medal ribbon.svg  Army Achievement Medal

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

Air Force Achievement ribbon.svg  Air Force Achievement Medal

Coast Guard Achievement ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Achievement Medal

Commandant's Letter of Commendation Ribbon.svg  Commandant's Letter of Commendation
Combat Action Ribbons

Combat Action Ribbon.svg  Navy Combat Action Ribbon

USCG Combat Action Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Combat Action Ribbon

Air Force Combat Action ribbon.svg  Air Force Combat Action Medal

Unit awards
Presidential Unit Citations

Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg  Army and Air Force Presidential Unit Citation

US Navy Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon.png  Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation

Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation

Joint Meritorious Unit Award ribbon.svg  Joint Meritorious Unit Award

Valorous Unit Award ribbon.svg  Army Valorous Unit Award

Navy Unit Commendation ribbon.svg  Navy Unit Commendation

Gallant Unit Citation ribbon.svg  Air Force Gallant Unit Citation

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  Air Force Meritorious Unit Award

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

Army Superior Unit Award ribbon.svg  Army Superior Unit Award

Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg  Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

Meritorious Team Commendation ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation

Efficiency Awards

Battle-e-ribbon.png  Navy "E" Ribbon

Organizational Excellence ribbon.svg  Air Force Organizational Excellence Award

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

Service awards
Prisoner of War ribbon.svg  Prisoner of War Medal
Combat Readiness Medal ribbon.svg  Combat Readiness Medal (Air Force)
Afg-050214-031 1.jpg  Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon
Air Force Recognition Ribbon.svg  Air Force Recognition Ribbon
Enlisted Person of the Year Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Enlisted Person of the Year Ribbon
Good conduct medals

Army Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg  Army Good Conduct Medal

Navy Good Conduct ribbon.svg  Navy Good Conduct Medal

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

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

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

Reserve medals

ResMedRib.svg  Armed Forces Reserve Medal

Army Reserve Achievement ribbon.svg  Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal

Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal.svg  Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal

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

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

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

Expeditionary medals

Navy Expeditionary ribbon.svg  Navy Expeditionary Medal

Marine Corps Expeditionary ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal

Occupation medals

Army of Occupation ribbon.svg  Army of Occupation Medal

Army of Occupation ribbon.svg  Navy Occupation Service Medal

Continued on right collumn
Ribbon/award name[3]
Campaign and service medals (cont.)
General service medals
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg  National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service ribbon.svg  Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service ribbon.svg  Korea Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal ribbon.svg  Armed Forces Service Medal
Humanitarian Service ribbon.svg  Humanitarian Service Medal
Outstanding Volunteer Service ribbon.svg  Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Special service medals
AnArcRib.svg  Antarctica Service Medal
Coast Guard Arctic Service ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Arctic Service Medal
Air and Space Campaign ribbon.svg  Air and Space Campaign Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal ribbon.png  Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal
Campaign medals
AFEMRib.svg  Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Ribbon.svg  Vietnam Service Medal
Southwest Asia Service ribbon.svg  Southwest Asia Service Medal
KosovoRib.svg  Kosovo Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon.svg  Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Afghanistan Campaign ribbon.svg  Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign ribbon.svg  Iraq Campaign Medal
Service and training awards
Army Sea Duty Ribbon.svg  Army Sea Duty Ribbon

Army Overseas Service Ribbon.svg  Army Overseas Service Ribbon

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

Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.svg  Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon

Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon.svg  Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon

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

Arctic Service Ribbon.svg  Navy Arctic Service Ribbon

Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon

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

Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon.svg  Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon

Restricted Duty Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Restricted Duty 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

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon.svg  Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon

Air Force Longevity Service ribbon.svg  Air Force Longevity Service Award
USA Air Force Special Duty Ribbon.png  Air Force Special Duty Ribbon
Recruiting service ribbons

Navy Recruiting Service Ribbon.svg  Navy Recruiting Service Ribbon

Air Force Recruiter Ribbon.svg  Air Force Recruiter Ribbon No longer awarded

Marine Corps Recruiting Ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Recruiting Ribbon

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

Training service ribbons

Military Training Instructor Ribbon.svg  Air Force Military Training Instructor Ribbon No longer awarded

Navy Recruit Training Service Ribbon.svg  Navy Recruit Training Service Ribbon

Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon

Marine Corps Combat Instructor Ribbon.png  Marine Corps Combat Instructor Ribbon

Guard ribbons

Navy Ceremonial Guard Ribbon.svg  Navy Ceremonial Guard Ribbon

Marine Corps Security Guard Ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Security Guard Ribbon

Professional development Ribbons

NCO Professional Development Ribbon.svg  Army NCO Professional Development Ribbon

USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon.svg  Air Force NCO PME 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

Navy Basic Military Training Honor Graduate ribbon.png  Navy Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon

Army Service Ribbon.svg  Army Service Ribbon

Air Force Training Ribbon.svg  Air Force Training Ribbon

Marksmanship awards [4][5][6]
USAF Marksmanship ribbon.svg  Air Force Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon

USCG Distinguished Marksman Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Distinguished Marksman Award (Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with Distinguished Marksman Device)

USCG Silver Rifle EIC Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Silver Rifle Excellence-in-Competition Award (Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with Silver Rifle EIC Device)

USCG Bronze Rifle EIC Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Bronze Rifle Excellence-in-Competition Award (Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with Bronze Rifle EIC Device)

USN Expert Rifle Ribbon.png  Navy Expert Rifleman Medal (Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with Expert Device)

USCG Expert Rifle Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Expert Rifleman Medal (Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with Expert Device)

USN Sharpshooter Rifle Ribbon.png  Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with Sharpshooter Device

USCG Sharpshooter Rifle Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with Sharpshooter Device

Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon.svg  Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon

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


USCG Distinguished Pistol Shot Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Distinguished Pistol Shot Award (Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with Distinguished Pistol Shot Device)

USCG Silver Pistol Shot EIC Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Silver Pistol Excellence-in-Competition Award (Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with Silver Pistol EIC Device)

USCG Bronze Pistol Shot EIC Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Bronze Pistol Excellence-in-Competition Award (Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with Bronze Pistol EIC Device)

USN Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon.png  Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal (Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with Expert Device)

USCG Expert Pistol Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Expert Pistol Shot Medal (Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with Expert Device)

USN Sharpshooter Pistol Shot Ribbon.png  Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with Sharpshooter Device

USCG Sharpshooter Pistol Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with Sharpshooter Device

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.

By military department

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.

National Guard and state defense forces

Other award types

Obsolete US military

With the exception of the Fleet Marine Force Ribbon, U.S. military personnel having received these awards have either been discharged or retired for a substantial length of time and/or are deceased.

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  Army of Cuban Pacification Medal
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
Ribbon/award name
Navy & Marine Corps expedition medals (1920s and 1930s)
Nicaraguan Campaign ribbon 1912.svg  Nicaraguan Campaign Medal (1912)
Dominican Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Dominican Campaign Medal
Haitian Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Haitian Campaign Medal (1917)
Nicaraguan Campaign ribbon 1933.svg  Nicaraguan Campaign Medal (1933)
Haitian Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Haitian Campaign Medal (1921)
Yangtze Service Medal ribbon.svg  Yangtze Service Medal
World War I and Pre-WWI 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-WWII 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 ribbon.svg  Women's Army Corps Service Medal
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg  European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg  Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg  World War II Victory Medal
Post World War II service medals
Medal for Humane Action ribbon.svg  Medal for Humane Action
Korean Service Medal - Ribbon.svg  Korean Service Medal
Service and training awards
Naval Reserve Medal ribbon.svg  Naval Reserve Medal
Fleet Marine Force Ribbon.svg  Fleet Marine Force Ribbon
Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Reserve 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


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

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 heroic 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.[7] 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

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
Navy Good Conduct 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.[8] 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

Foreign and international decorations are authorized for wear on United States military uniforms by the Department of Defense in accordence 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
First World War
Legion Honneur Chevalier ribbon.svg  Legion of Honor (France)
Order of the Bath UK ribbon.png  Order of the Bath (United Kingdom)
Medaille militaire ribbon.svg  Military Medal (France)
Croix de Guerre 1914-1918 ribbon.svg  Croix de guerre (France)
BEL Croix de Guerre WW1 ribbon.svg  Croix de guerre (Belgium)
Czechoslovak War Cross 1918 Ribbon.png  Czechoslovak War Cross (1918)
Caribbean & Central America (1920s & 1930s)
Order of Abdón Calderón 1st Class (Ecuador) - ribbon bar.png  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)
Second World War (Europe)
Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 ribbon.svg  Croix de guerre (France)
BEL Croix de Guerre 1944 ribbon.svg  Croix de guerre (Belgium)
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)
Second World War (Pacific)
Philippine Defense ribbon.png  Philippine Defense Medal
Phliber rib.png  Philippine Liberation Medal
Philippine Independence Medal Ribbon.jpg  Philippine Independence Medal
Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines).svg  Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines)
Second World War (Senior Orders)
Ord.Adolf.Nassau.jpg  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)
Officer Ordre de Leopold.png  Order of Leopold (Belgium)
Neth odrorangenassau rib.png  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 Złoty 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
Korean War Service Medal ribbon.png  Korean War Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal for Korea Ribbon.svg  United Nations Service Medal
Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).svg  Presidential Unit Citation (Korea)
Ribbon/award name
Vietnam War
ArmyDSMribbon.png  Vietnam Distinguished Service Order (Army)
Vietnam Navy Distinguished Service Order, First Class ribbon.png  Vietnam Distinguished Service Order (Navy)
Vietnam Air Force Distinguished Service Order, First Class ribbon.png  Vietnam Distinguished Service Order (Air Force)
Vietnam Military Merit Ribbon.svg  Vietnam Military Merit Medal
Vietnam gallantry cross-w-palm-3d.svg  Vietnam Gallantry Cross (Standard)
Vietnam Air Gallantry Cross.jpg  Vietnam Gallantry Cross (Air)
Vietnam Navy Gallantry Cross.jpg  Vietnam Gallantry Cross (Navy)
Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal Ribbon.png  Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal
Civil Actions Medal(Individual Award).png  Vietnam Civil Actions Medal
Vietnam Staff Service Medal Ribbon.png  Vietnam Staff Service Medal
Vietnam Special Service Medal ribbon.svg  Vietnam Special Service Medal
VTSM Class 1.png  Vietnam Training Service Medal
Presidential Unit Citation (Vietnam).svg  Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg  Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
VNCivilActionsRibbon-2.svg  Vietnam Civil Actions Medal Unit Citation
Vietnam Campaign Medal Ribbon.png  Vietnam Campaign Medal
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.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 Macedonia Medal Ribbon.png  NATO Medal (Macedonia)
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)
The Khalifiyyeh Order of Bahrain, 1st 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 - 2nd Class (Thailand) ribbon.png  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)
Commendatore 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 3Class BAR.svg  Order of the Rising Sun (Japan)
Order of the Southern Cross Officer (Brazil) Ribbon.png  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

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


  1. Marine uniform regulations section 5103, subsection 12, page 5-9
  2. "NUMBER 1348.33, Volume 3" (PDF). Defense Technical Information Center. United States Department of Defense. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Retrieved 24 February 2008.
  4. OPNAVINST 3591.1F, SMALL ARMS TRAINING AND QUALIFICATION, Chief of Naval Operations, dated 12 August 2009, last accessed 5 May 2013
  5. COMDTINST M1650.25D, Medals and Awards Manual, U.S. Coast Guard, dated May 2008, last accessed 5 May 2013
  6. U.S. Coast Guard Uniform Regulations, dated March 2012, last accessed 5 May 2013
  7. The Institute of Heraldry – Army Chaplain Medal of Valor
  8. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Kerrigan, Evans E. (1971). American war medals and decorations. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 0-670-12101-0. OCLC 128058.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Kerrigan, Evans E. (1990). American medals and decorations. Noroton Heights, CT: Medallic. ISBN 0-792-45082-5. OCLC 21467942.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Robles, Philip K. (1971). United States military medals and ribbons. Rutland, VT: C. E. Tuttle. ISBN 0-804-80048-0. OCLC 199721.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links