Five different versions of the Achievement Medal are awarded: one for Joint Service, Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard
|Awarded by United States Armed Forces|
|Eligibility||Military personnel only|
|Awarded for||"Meritorious service or achievement in either combat or noncombat situations based on sustained performance or specific achievement of a superlative nature but which does not warrant a Commendation Medal or higher."|
|Established||U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps (1961)|
U.S. Coast Guard (1963)
U.S. Army (1981)
U.S. Air Force (1981)
U.S. Joint Service (1983)
|Next (higher)||Commendation Medals|
|Next (lower)||Navy and Marine Corps: Combat Action Ribbon |
Army: Prisoner of War Medal
Air Force: Combat Action Medal
Coast Guard: Commandant's Letter of Commendation Ribbon
Service ribbons for the Joint Service, Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Achievement Medals
The Achievement Medal is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces. The Achievement Medal was first proposed as a means to recognize the contributions of junior officers[ citation needed ] and enlisted personnel who were not eligible to receive the higher Commendation Medal or the Meritorious Service Medal.
Each military service issues its own version of the Achievement Medal, with a fifth version authorized by the U.S. Department of Defense for joint military activity. The Achievement Medal is awarded for outstanding achievement or meritorious service not of a nature that would otherwise warrant awarding the Commendation Medal. Award authority rests with local commanders, granting a broad discretion of when and for what action the Achievement Medal may be awarded.[ citation needed ]
The Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (NAM), is the United States Navy and U.S. Marine Corps' version of the Achievement Medal. The U.S. Navy was the first branch of the U.S. Armed Forces to award such a medal, doing so in 1961, when it was dubbed the "Secretary of the Navy Commendation for Achievement Medal". This title was shortened in 1967 to simply, the "Navy Achievement Medal". On 19 August 1994, to recognize those of the United States Marine Corps who had received the Navy Achievement Medal, the name of the decoration was officially changed to the "Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal". The award is still often referred to in shorthand speech as the "Navy Achievement Medal" or "NAM" for short.
From its inception in the early 1960s to 2002, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal could not be approved by the commanding officers of ships, submarines, aviation squadron, or shore activities who held the rank of Commander (O-5). Awards for crewmembers had to be submitted to the Commodore or Air Wing Commander or the first appropriate O-6 in the chain of command for approval, who then signed the award and returned it. This led to a dramatically lower awarding rate when compared to similar size units in the Army or Air Force awarding their own achievement medals, especially considering that those services did not establish their respective achievement medals until the 1980s. Since 2002 the commanding officers of aviation squadrons and ships have had the authority to award NAMs without submission to higher authority.For the Army, battalion commanders (or the first O-5 in a soldier's chain of command for the Army Achievement Medal).
The United States Coast Guard created its own Achievement Medal in 1967; the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force issued their own versions of the award with the Army Achievement Medal in 1981and Air Force Achievement Medal in 1980. Effective 11 September 2001, the Army Achievement Medal may be awarded in a combat area. Since this change over sixty thousand Army Achievement Medals have been awarded in theaters of operations such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Joint Service Achievement Medal was created in 1983.This award was considered a Department of Defense decoration senior to the service department Achievement Medals.
The following devices may be authorized to be worn on the following achievement medals suspension ribbon and service ribbon:
The following ribbon devices were authorized in the past but have now been discontinued:
The Bronze Star Medal is a United States decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone.
The Legion of Merit (LOM) is a military award of the United States Armed Forces that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. The decoration is issued to members of the seven uniformed services of the United States as well as to military and political figures of foreign governments.
The Commendation Medal is a mid-level United States military decoration which is presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. Each branch of the United States Armed Forces issues its own version of the Commendation Medal, with a fifth version existing for acts of joint military service performed under the Department of Defense.
The Defense Superior Service Medal (DSSM) is a senior American military decoration of the Department of Defense, awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who perform "superior meritorious service in a position of significant responsibility".
The Navy Unit Commendation (NUC) is a United States Navy unit award that was established by order of the Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal on 18 December 1944.
The Meritorious Unit Commendation is a mid-level unit award of the United States Armed Forces. The U.S. Army awards units the Army MUC for exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding achievement or service in combat or non-combat, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps award units the Navy MUC for valorous or meritorious achievement or service in combat or non-combat, and the U.S. Coast Guard awards units the Coast Guard MUC for valorous or meritorious achievement or service not involving combat.
The United States Armed Forces awards and decorations are primarily the medals, service ribbons, and specific badges which recognize military service and personal accomplishments while a member of the U.S. Armed Forces. Such awards are a means to outwardly display the highlights of a service member's career.
The Joint Meritorious Unit Award (JMUA) is a military award that was established on June 4, 1981 by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and was implemented by Department of Defense Directive 1348.27 dated July 22, 1982. The Joint Meritorious Unit Award was made retroactive to January 23, 1979.
The Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM) is an award bestowed upon members of the United States military by the United States Department of Defense. In the order of precedence of the United States Armed Forces, it is worn between the Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal. The medal is awarded in the name of the Secretary of Defense to members of the Armed Forces who, while serving in a joint activity, distinguish themselves by non-combat outstanding achievement or meritorious service, but not of a degree to warrant award of the Defense Superior Service Medal.
The Vietnam Service Medal is a military award of the United States Armed Forces established on 8 July 1965 by order of President Lyndon B. Johnson. The medal is awarded to recognize service during the Vietnam War by all members of the United States Armed Forces provided they meet the award requirements.
A "V" device is a metal 1⁄4-inch (6.4 mm) capital letter "V" with serifs which, when worn on certain decorations awarded by the United States Armed Forces, distinguishes an award for heroism or valor in combat instead of for meritorious service or achievement.
The Good Conduct Medal is one of the oldest military awards of the United States Armed Forces. The U.S. Navy's variant of the Good Conduct Medal was established in 1869, the Marine Corps version in 1896, the Coast Guard version in 1923, the Army version in 1941, and the Air Force version in 1963; the Air Force Good Conduct Medal was temporarily discontinued from February 2006 to February 2009, followed by its subsequent reinstatement.
A Reserve Good Conduct Medal refers to any one of the five military conduct awards, four of which are currently issued and one of which was previously issued, by the United States Armed Forces to enlisted members of the Reserve and National Guard. The primary difference between the regular Good Conduct Medal and the Reserve Good Conduct Medal is that the regular Good Conduct Medal is only issued for active duty service while the reserve equivalent is bestowed for reserve duties such as drills, annual training, and additional active duty for either training or operational support to the active duty force or, in the case of the Army National Guard and Air National Guard, in support of Title 32 U.S.C. state active duty (SAD) such as disaster response and relief.
The Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) is a military award presented to members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguished themselves by outstanding meritorious achievement or service to the United States subsequent to January 16, 1969.
The Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Medal also known as the Vietnam Civil Actions Medal or Civil Actions Medal, is a military decoration of the former South Vietnamese government (1955–75). The medal was created on May 12, 1964 during the Vietnam War. The Civil Actions Medal was awarded to the South Vietnamese military and its allies' military personnel or units that performed outstanding achievements in the field of civil affairs. The medal was awarded in two classes, with the first-class intended for commissioned officers and the second class for enlisted personnel. Individuals who were cited received the medal, ribbon, and a citation.
Campaign streamers are decorations attached to military flags to recognize particular achievements or events of a military unit or service. Attached to the headpiece of the assigned flag, the streamer often is an inscribed ribbon with the name and date denoting participation in a particular battle, military campaign, or theater of war; the ribbon's colors are chosen accordingly and frequently match an associated campaign medal or ribbon bar. They often are physical manifestations of battle honours, though this does not mean all streamers are battle honours. They should not be confused with a tassel, which is usually purely decorative in nature.
The United States military inter-service awards and decorations are those medals and ribbons which may be awarded to all members of the five military branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Each military branch awards inter-service awards under the same criteria.
Awards and decorations of the United States government are civilian awards of the U.S. federal government which are typically issued for sustained meritorious service, in a civilian capacity, while serving in the U.S. federal government. Certain U.S. government awards may also be issued to military personnel of the United States Armed Forces and be worn in conjunction with awards and decorations of the United States military. In order of precedence, those U.S. non-military awards and decorations authorized for wear are worn after U.S. military personal decorations and unit awards and before U.S. military campaign and service awards.
Awards and decorations of the state defense forces are presented to members of the state defense forces in addition to regular United States military decorations and state National Guard military decorations. Each of the state governments of the United States maintains a series of decorations for issuance to members of the state defense forces, with such awards presented under the authority of the various state adjutants general and/or respective state defense force commanders.
Phillip 'Endel' Lee, Jr. is a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy Reserve.
Includes Army Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and Air Force Achievement Medal.
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