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MyMilitaryMedals.com Blog

Army Meritorious Unit Commendation

October 29th 2010 - 11:23 am

In August of 1944 the War Department established the Meritorious Service Plaque.  Army personnel from units that received these Army medals were allowed to wear a Meritorious Service Unit Insignia on their sleeve.  Additional awards were indicated by gold Award Stars, and later a gold Numeral inside the wreath on the plaque.  In May of 1947 the Army established the Meritorious Unit Commendation with a design more similar to other Army ribbons, and a display style that harmonized better with other Army ribbons and medals. The Meritorious Unit Commendation is a mid-level unit award in the pantheon of medals of America.  The Army presents these US military medals to units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding services for at least six continuous months during the period of military operations against an armed enemy. The unit must show outstanding devotion and superior performance of exceptionally difficult tasks in a manner that sets them above other units with similar missions. The degree of achievement required to earn these military medals is the same as that which would warrant an individual the award of the Legion of Merit. These military ribbons may be worn by all unit members of a cited organization whether or not a member during the action sited, and is considered an individual decoration for persons who were unit members during the cited acts, even after they are no longer members of that unit.  The general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all military ribbons and medals requires that the Army Meritorious Unit Commendation be worn just below the Army Valorous Unit Award, and just above the Army Superior Unit Award.  A unit banner is also approved for display. The Army Meritorious Unit Commendation is generally available as Army ribbons, a lapel pins and a unit banner, and these military awards can be worn as traditional slide-on military ribbons.  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 ultra thin military ribbons to provide them with the smartest looking military award displays possible.


Army Valorous Unit Award

October 28th 2010 - 6:09 am

The Valorous Unit Award is the second highest decoration given to U.S. Army units.  These Army ribbons were created in 1964 and are considered the unit equivalent of an individual winning one of the prestigious US military medals known as the Silver Star.  These Army medals are awarded to Army units which display extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy of the United States.  These medals of America may also be given to U.S. Army units serving with a friendly foreign force which engage in an armed conflict against an opposing force toward which the U.S. is not a belligerent party. The general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all United States military ribbons and medals places the  Valorous Unit Award just below the Presidential Unit Citation and just above the Meritorious Unit Commendation.  It is considered the equivalent of the Defense Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Navy Unit Commendation, the Air Force Gallant Unit Citation and the Coast Guard Unit Commendation.  It is also considered the unit equivalent of the Silver Star Medal.  A Unit Banner has been approved for display. The Valorous Unit Award is generally available as Army ribbons, lapel pins, and a unit banner.  These Army ribbons can be worn as traditional full size military ribbons. While traditionalist may still prefer to purchase the traditional slide-on full size military ribbons; the newer ultra thin military ribbons commercial suppliers now provide have become extremely popular among up and coming military personnel who know how important it is to their career advancement to always maximize the neatness and smartness of their uniform appearance.


Gallant Unit Citation

October 26th 2010 - 5:32 am

In March of 2004 the Air Force created new Air Force ribbons called The Gallant Unit Citation.  These Air Force medals, one of the newest medals of America, reward units that distinguish themselves by extraordinary heroism while engaged in armed combat with an enemy force.  These military ribbons are awarded for actions showing a lesser degree of gallantry and determination than required for the Presidential Unit Citation, though the actions performed must have set the unit apart and above the general performance of other units in the same engagement.  The degree of heroism the unit displays must be equal to that required for an individual to earn one of the proud US military medals called the Silver Star.  These military medals are normally only presented to units participating in single or successive actions that take place in a brief span of time, and the unit size is generally not larger than a group. The Gallant Unit Citation is worn just below the Presidential Unit Citation, and just above the Meritorious Unit Commendation in the general order of precedence that has been approved for the proper display of military ribbons and medals in all five branches of the United States military.  It is considered equivalent to the Defense Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Army Valorous Unit Award, the Navy Unit Commendation, and the Coast Guard Unit Commendation.  Subsequent awards of these Air Force decorations are denoted by Oak Leaf Cluster devices.  A Unit Banner has also been approved for display. The Gallant Unit Citation is available as Air Force ribbons, lapel pins and a unit banner.   These military ribbons are available as traditional slide-on, full size military ribbons; or the newer ultra thin military ribbons that have become so very popular among up and coming military personnel who know how important it is to their career advancement to always maximize the neatness and smartness of their uniform appearance.


Joint Meritorious Unit Awards

October 25th 2010 - 3:16 pm

Defense Secretary Weinberger established The Joint Meritorious Unit Award in June of 1981which makes it one of the newer medals of America.  These awards are among the few military medals the Department of Defense issues, and are the only unit award they give.  That makes these military ribbons one of the rarest unit citations.  These US military medals are the unit equivalent of the Defense Superior Service Medal.  They are presented to joint units or combined activities where direction comes through Unified or Combined Command channels, or where a joint mission is pursued under the direction of the Secretary of Defense, or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or their designated commander. The general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all military medals and ribbons places the Joint Meritorious Unit Award just below the Presidential Unit Citation, equivalent to the Army Valorous Unit Award, the Navy Unit Commendation, the Air Force Gallant Unit Citation, and the Coast Guard Unit Commendation, and just above the Meritorious Unit Commendation.  Multiple awards are denoted by Oak Leaf Cluster devices.  A Unit Banner has also been approved for display. The Joint Meritorious Unit Award is generally available as a military ribbon in all five branches of service and is available as traditional full size military ribbons, lapel pins and as a unit banner.  Like most military awards, it can be worn as traditional slide-on, full size military ribbons.  In more recent times the sleek new ultra thin military ribbons have garnered a wide following with military personnel who have realized the importance of always looking their best to enhance their chances of advancement in their respective military services.


Army Achievement Medal

October 16th 2010 - 4:07 pm

In the pantheon of medals of America, the Joint Service Achievement Medal stands just above the Achievement Medal issued by each individual branch of military service.  These US military medals were authorized by each branch of service at different times.    The Army created their version of these military ribbons and medals in 1981.  These Army medals are presented for outstanding achievement or meritorious service that would not warrant the receipt of the Commendation Medal.  They were created specifically to commend the performance of junior officers and enlisted personnel, who are not generally eligible to receive Commendation Medals or Meritorious Service Medals, and are awarded by the local commander.  Army Achievement Medals are worn below the Joint Services Achievement Medal and above the Combat Action Ribbon in the general order of precedence that the five military branches have established for the proper display of all military medals and ribbons.  Additional awards of these Army ribbons and medals are indicated by Oak Leaf Clusters. The Army Achievement Medal is generally available as full size military medals and mini medals, military ribbons and lapel pins.  While traditionalist may still prefer to purchase the traditional slide-on full size military medals, mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons; the newer thin mini-medals, and ultra thin military ribbons commercial suppliers now provide have become extremely popular among up and coming military personnel who know how important it is to their career advancement to always maximize the neatness and smartness of their uniform appearance.


The Coast Guard Commendation Medal

October 13th 2010 - 3:17 pm

In 1943, both the Coast Guard and the Navy authorized the creations of Commendation Medals, though they were only available as military ribbons.  It was 17 years before they authorized their own branch specific Coast Guard version of these ribbons.  Like the other service branches, they also added a medalic award to their pantheon of medals of America.  These Coast Guard Medals are a mid-level decorations presented to service persons for acts of heroism and meritorious service.  If the valorous action that earns the Coast Guard Commendation Medal is performed in direct contact with an enemy force, the Valor Device "V" may be worn on the decoration.  The actions for which these US military medals and ribbons are awarded are considered to be of a lesser degree than those required to win the Bonze Star.  The Coast Guard Commendation Medal is worn below the Silver Life Saving Medal (which is no longer issued) and the Joint Service Commendation Medal, but above the Joint Services Achievement Medal in the general order of precedence which has been established for the proper display of all military medals and ribbons.  Gold Award Stars are used to denote additional awards of these Coast Guard ribbons and medals. The Coast Guard Commendation Medal is generally available as full size military medals, military mini medals, military ribbons, and lapel pins.  Traditionalists may still prefer to procure them as traditional slide-on, full size military medals, mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons.  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.


Air Force Commendation Medal

October 12th 2010 - 7:10 am

In 1958 the Air Force created its version of the Commendation Medal, the last of the United States military branches to authorize these medals of America.  At first, it was only offered as military ribbons, but by1960, they added Air Force medals to complement and expand these awards.  Air Force Commendation medals are a mid-level military medals presented to service persons for acts of heroism and meritorious service.  If the valorous action that earns the Air Force Commendation Medal is performed in direct contact with an enemy force, the Valor Device "V" may be worn on the decoration.  The actions for which these US military medals and ribbons are awarded are considered to be of a lesser degree than those required to win the Bonze Star.  The Air Force Commendation Medal is worn below the Silver Life Saving Medal (which is no longer issued) and the Joint Service Commendation Medal, but above the Joint Services Achievement Medal in the general order of precedence which has been established for the proper display of all military insignia.  Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters are used to denote additional awards of these Air Force ribbons.  The Air Force Commendation Medal can be worn as full size military medals, military mini medals, military ribbons, and lapel pins.  They are generally available from commercial suppliers as traditional slide-on full-size medals, mini-medals and ribbons.  In more recent times and the sleek new thin military medals, mini-medals and the ultra thin military ribbons have garnered a wide following with military personnel who have realized the importance of always looking their best to enhance their chances of advancement in their respective military services.


Navy Commendation Medal

October 11th 2010 - 3:46 am

In 1943, the Navy and Coast Guard offered the first Commendation Medals.  These medals of America were at first only available as Navy and Coast Guard ribbons.  By 1960, the Coast Guard had its own branch specific version of these military medals and ribbons, and the Navy ribbons were joined by matching Navy Commendation Medals.  However, the Marine Corps shared the Navy version of these US military medals and ribbons without name recognition until these awards were renamed the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal in 1994.   These Navy and Marine Corps medals are a mid-level awards presented to service persons for acts of heroism and meritorious service.  If the valorous action that earns the Navy Commendation Medal is performed in direct contact with an enemy force, the Valor Device "V" may be worn on the decoration.  The actions for which these military ribbons are awarded are considered to be of a lesser degree than those required to win the Bonze Star.  The Navy Commendation Medal is worn below the Silver Life Saving Medal and the Joint Service Commendation Medal, but above the Joint Services Achievement Medal in the general order of precedence that has been established for the display of all military insignia.  The Navy and Marine Corps denote additional awards of these military medals and ribbons with silver and gold Award Stars.  The Navy Commendation Medal is generally available as full size military medals, military mini medals, military ribbons, and lapel pins.  They are available for traditionalists as slide-on, full size military medals or mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons.  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.


Army Commendation Medal

October 10th 2010 - 1:46 pm

The US Army created the Commendation Medal in 1945.  At first these medals of America were only available as military ribbons, but by 1960 the Army had created military medals for the same decoration.  By then, all the other branches of the military had also created their own versions of the Commendation Medal, and named them after their service branches. These Army medals are a mid-level award resented to service persons for acts of heroism and meritorious service.  If the valorous action that earns the Army Commendation Medal is performed in direct contact with an enemy force, the Valor Device "V" may be worn on the decoration.  The actions for which these US military medals and ribbons are awarded are considered to be of a lesser degree than those required to win the Bonze Star.  The Army Commendation Medal is worn below the Silver Life Saving Medal and the Joint Service Commendation Medal, but above the Joint Services Achievement Medal in the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all military insignia.  The Army denotes additional awards of these military ribbons with bronze and silver Oak Leaf Clusters.  The Army Commendation Medal is generally available as full size military medals, military mini medals, military ribbons, and lapel pins.  They are typically available from commercial suppliers as traditional slide-on, full size military medals or mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons.  In more recent times and the sleek new thin military medals, mini-medals and the ultra thin military ribbons have garnered a wide following with military personnel who have realized the importance of always looking their best to enhance their chances of advancement in their respective military services.


Aerial Achievement Medal

October 8th 2010 - 11:35 am

The Aerial Achievement Medal is a relatively new addition to the pantheon of medals of America, and is awarded to Air Force personnel only.  It was created in 1988 and is awarded in the name of the Secretary of the Air Force.  These military medals are designed to recognize sustained meritorious achievement of aircrew members whose actions in flight might not qualify for the Air Medal.  These Air Force ribbons and medals are recommended by local commanders, but must be approved by a major Air Force Command. The Aerial Achievement Medal is awarded to aircrew members for meritorious service over the course of 20 separate flights of at least 2 hours duration.  These US military medals rank just below the Air Medal and just above the Commendation Medals in the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all Air Force medals and ribbons.  Subsequent awards are made with Oak Leaf Clusters. The Aerial Achievement Medal can be worn as full size military medals and mini medals, military ribbons and lapel pins.  These Air Force awards are available as traditional slide-on full size military medals or mini-medals, and traditional slide-on military ribbons.  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.


Air Medal

October 7th 2010 - 6:10 am

The Air Medal was established to honor those that displayed courage and valor while in either direct combat missions or in support therof.  Air Medal military decorations were created by Franklin D.Roosevelt with an Executive Order effective on May11, 1942, which also made provisions for retroactive awards to September 8, 1939.  These medals of America are awarded to servicepersons in any branch of the United States Armed Forces, who distinguish themselves by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.  These military medals and military ribbons are primarily intended to recognize those personnel who are on current crew member or non-crew member flying status requiring them to participate in aerial flight on a regular basis in the performance of their primary duties.  Air Medals may recognize single acts of heroism, or meritorious service.  In certain circumstances, servicepersons who make discernable contributions to the mission of the aircraft in flight while functioning as a crew member, but who are not on flying status, may also be awarded these military ribbons and medals. A partial list of the many famous people who have received Air Medals includes  Jimmy Doolittle, Clark Gable, James Stewart, Ed McMahon, Ted Williams, Gene Roddenberry, Chuck Yeager, George H. W. Bush, John McCain, Colin Powell, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Gus Grissom, and Jim Lovell. Air Medals may be awarded multiple times, and each branch of service handles it their own way.  During the Vietnam War, the number of Air Medals awarded by the U.S. Army became too large for the original Oak Leaf Clusters to represent, so they now issue Award Numerals.  The U.S. Air Force still uses traditional Oak Leaf Clusters to denote multiple awards of the Air Medal.  Both the Army and the Air Force have approved the Valor Device, awarded for acts of heroism, to be worn on the Air Medal, but in the Air Force, the Valor Device may only be worn on Air Medal decorations awarded after October 21, 2004. There are two types of Air Medal awards made for U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine personnel.  The individual Air Medal is presented for singular meritorious acts; and the strike/flight Air Medal is awarded for participation in sustained aerial flight operations.  Subsequent awards of these US military medals are displayed differently, depending on when the awards were made.  If the awards were made during the period between November 22, 1989 and September 27, 2006, Gold and Silver Stars were used to denote multiple awards.  Gold Stars were used to indicate the second through fifth, and seventh through tenth presentations, while Silver Stars were used to denote six or eleven cumulative awards.  Before November 22, 1989, and after September 27, 2006, Gold Numerals denote multiple awards for individual Air Medals, and Bronze Numerals indicate multiple awards for strike/flight Air Medals.  Individual Air Medals may also display the Valor Device, when authorized. Air Medals issued in the U.S. Coast Guard handle subsequent awards with Gold or Silver Stars, but have not authorized any additional devices for display on these military medals. The Air Medal is worn below the Meritorious Service Medal and above the Aerial Achievement Medal in the general order of precedence which controls the proper display of all military medals and ribbons for the United States military services.  They can be worn as full size military medals, military mini medals, military ribbons, and lapel pins.  These military decorations are available as traditional slide-on, full size military medals or mini-medals, and traditional slide-on military ribbons; or in the newer, custom thin mini-medals and ultra thin military ribbons which are being embraced by members of the modern military who value their sleeker appearance as a competitive edge that promotes their advancement through the ranks of their respective services. All those that have been awarded one of these medals of honor should be proud of their accomplishments, and we should be thankful for their couragous service.


Meritorious Service Medal

October 6th 2010 - 3:11 pm

All five branches of the US military award Meritorious Service Medals.  These are the same military ribbons and medals, with almost identical criteria.  These medals of America were created by President Lyndon Johnson with an Executive Order issued on January 16, 1969.  These US military medals are presented to service members of all U.S. Armed Forces for outstanding non-combat meritorious service to the U.S., where the acts or services performed are similar to those for which the Legion of Merit is awarded, but entailing slightly lower levels of responsibility.  On July 2, 1981, President Ronald Regan authorized the granting of these military medals to members of friendly armed forces.  Normally these military decorations would only be awarded to field grade officers, senior warrant officers, and senior noncommissioned officers. The Meritorious Service Medal ranks just below the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and just above the Air Medal in the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all military decorations.  Subsequent awards of these military medals are denoted by Oak Leaf Clusters. The Meritorious Service Medal can be worn as full size military medals, military mini medals, military ribbons, and lapel pins.  These military awards are available as traditional slide-on, full size military medals or mini-medals, and traditional slide-on military ribbons.  In more recent times and the sleek new thin military medals, mini-medals and the ultra thin military ribbons have garnered a wide following with military personnel who have realized the importance of always looking their best to enhance their chances of advancement in their respective military services.


Defense Meritorious Service Medal

October 5th 2010 - 9:51 am

All five branches of the US military award Meritorious Service Medals, but the highest version is a separate issue by the Department of Defense, called the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.  These military ribbons and medals were created by President Lyndon Johnson with an Executive Order issued on January 16, 1969.  These medals of America are presented to service members of all U.S. Armed Forces for outstanding non-combat meritorious service to the U.S., where the acts or services performed are similar to those for which the Legion of Merit is awarded, but entailing slightly lower levels of responsibility.  On July 2, 1981, President Ronald Regan authorized the granting of these US military medals to members of friendly armed forces.  Normally these military medals would only be awarded to field grade officers, senior warrant officers, and senior noncommissioned officers. The Defense Meritorious Service Medal ranks just below the Purple Heart and just above the five services versions of the Meritorious Service Medal in the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all military decorations.  Subsequent awards of these military medals are denoted by Oak Leaf Clusters in all branches of service. The Defense Meritorious Service Medal can be worn as full size military medals, mini medals, military ribbons, and lapel pins.  These military awards are available as traditional slide-on, full size military medals or mini-medals, and traditional slide-on military ribbons.  In more recent times and the sleek new thin military medals, mini-medals and the ultra thin military ribbons have garnered a wide following with military personnel who have realized the importance of always looking their best to enhance their chances of advancement in their respective military services.


Bronze Star

October 3rd 2010 - 2:27 pm

On February 4, 1944 President Roosevelt created the Bronze Star with an Executive Order.  These US military medals were intended to be the ground equivalent of the Air Medal.  These military ribbons and medals are presented to individual members of the U.S. armed forces for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service.  When bestowed with a Valor Device for bravery these military medals are considered the fourth highest combat award in the pantheon of military medals of America. Currently, Bronze Star Medals may be awarded to any person serving in any capacity in or with the U.S. Armed Forces, including foreign troops.  These military decorations are awarded for heroic or meritorious service in ground operations against an armed enemy.  The acts of heroism are considered to be of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Silver Star, and the acts of merit are considered to be inferior to those required for the Legion of Merit.  Only service members in combat and receiving imminent danger pay are eligible to receive the Bronze Star.  In the U.S. Army and Air Force, additional awards of the Bronze Star are denoted by Oak Leaf Clusters.  In the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, each additional award is shown by an Award Star.  All branches of the U.S. military award the Valor Device to signify that the Bronze Star was won for heroism in combat rather than meritorious achievement awards.  Regardless of multiple awards, only one "V" device may be worn on these military medals. The Bronze Star is worn below the individual Service Medals, and above the Purple Heart in the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all military medals and ribbons for United States service personnel.  The Bronze Star can be worn as full size military medals, military mini medals, military ribbons, and lapel pins.  These decorations are available as traditional slide-on, full size military medals or mini-medals, and traditional slide-on military ribbons.  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 are choosing 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.