Army and Air Force World War II Occupation Medal
The United States War Department created the Army of Occupation Medal as an Army addition to the medals of America in 1946 after World War II. The purpose of establishing these US military medals was to recognize occupation service by United States military personnel in either Germany or Japan. These military medals were originally intended for only United States Army personnel, but by 1948, these military ribbons and medals were also being presented to United States Air Force service persons. The United States Navy and Marine Corps have an equivalent award called the Navy Occupation Service Medal, and both of these military decorations are commonly referred to as World War II Occupation Medals.
The service requirements for this commendation are thirty days of consecutive military duty within the designated area of military occupation. A Campaign Clasp was issued to denote either European or Asian service. Campaign Clasps are for full-sized medals only, with no corresponding device for military ribbons. Since West Berlin was an occupied territory until the unification of Germany, the Arm of Occupation Medal was issued to military personnel for over forty-five years, making it one of the longest running active military awards ever given.
The Army and Navy Occupation Medals are located below the World War II Victory Medal and above the Medal for Humane Action in the general order of precedence that has been established for governing the proper display of all military medals and ribbons.
The Army and Navy Occupation Medal is generally available as Army and Air Force medals and ribbons, and can be worn as traditional full size military medals, ribbons and lapel pins. Nowadays however, more and more military service personnel are realizing the value to their career goals of always having their uniform decorations looking their best, and have turned to the slimmer and trimmer thin military medals and mini medals and the ultra thin military ribbons to provide them with the smartest looking military award displays possible.