|Oak leaf cluster|
Bronze and silver oak leaf clusters
|Awarded by the |
Department of Defense
Department of the Army
Department of the Air Force
|Awarded for||To denote subsequent decorations and awards.|
|Status||Currently in use|
An oak leaf cluster is a ribbon device to denote subsequent decorations and awards consisting of a miniature bronze or silver twig of four oak leaves with three acorns on the stem that is authorized by the United States Armed Forces as for a specific set of decorations and awards of the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, and Department of the Air Force .
The bronze oak leaf cluster represents one additional award, while the silver oak leaf cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze oak leaf clusters.
Oak leaf clusters are worn with the stems of the leaves pointing to the wearer’s right. For medals, 13⁄32-inch (10 mm) oak leaf clusters are worn on the medal's suspension ribbon. If four oak leaf clusters are worn on the suspension ribbon, the fourth is placed above the middle one in the row of three. For service ribbons, 5⁄16-inch (7.9 mm) oak leaf clusters are worn, with no more than four oak leaf clusters being worn side by side. If the number of authorized oak leaf clusters exceeds four, a second ribbon is authorized for wear and is worn after the first ribbon. The second ribbon counts as one additional award, after which more leaf clusters may be added to the second ribbon. If future awards reduce the number of oak leaf clusters worn on the first ribbon due to bronze oak leaf clusters being replaced by a silver oak leaf cluster, the second ribbon is removed and the appropriate number of devices is placed on the first ribbon.
The following are examples of the first through twenty-first awards of an Army Commendation Medal with the bronze and silver oak leaf clusters:
Oak leaf clusters may be worn on Department of Defense, Department of the Army, and Department of the Air Force decorations and awards presented to members of the seven uniformed services: the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service, and the NOAA Commissioned Corps.
|Army personnel||Air Force personnel||Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, PHS, and NOAA personnel|
|Distinguished Service Cross and Air Force Cross||Distinguished Service Cross and Air Force Cross||Distinguished Service Cross and Air Force Cross|
|Defense Distinguished Service Medal||Defense Distinguished Service Medal||Defense Distinguished Service Medal|
|Distinguished Service Medal and Air Force Distinguished Service Medal||Distinguished Service Medal and Air Force Distinguished Service Medal||Distinguished Service Medal and Air Force Distinguished Service Medal|
|Silver Star||Silver Star|
|Defense Superior Service Medal||Defense Superior Service Medal||Defense Superior Service Medal|
|Legion of Merit||Legion of Merit|
|Distinguished Flying Cross||Distinguished Flying Cross|
|Soldier's Medal and Airman's Medal||Soldier's Medal and Airman's Medal||Soldier's Medal and Airman's Medal|
|Bronze Star Medal||Bronze Star Medal|
|Purple Heart||Purple Heart|
|Defense Meritorious Service Medal||Defense Meritorious Service Medal||Defense Meritorious Service Medal|
|Meritorious Service Medal||Meritorious Service Medal|
|Aerial Achievement Medal|
|Joint Service Commendation Medal||Joint Service Commendation Medal||Joint Service Commendation Medal|
|Army and Air Force Commendation Medal||Army and Air Force Commendation Medal||Army and Air Force Commendation Medal|
|Joint Service Achievement Medal||Joint Service Achievement Medal||Joint Service Achievement Medal|
|Army and Air Force Achievement Medal||Army and Air Force Achievement Medal||Army and Air Force Achievement Medal|
|Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal||Combat Readiness Medal|
|Air Force Good Conduct Medal|
|Air Force Longevity Service Award|
|Presidential Unit Citation||Overseas Service Ribbon (long and short tours)|
|Joint Meritorious Unit Award||Presidential Unit Citation||Joint Meritorious Unit Award|
|Valorous Unit Award||Joint Meritorious Unit Award|
|Meritorious Unit Commendation||Gallant Unit Citation|
|Superior Unit Award||Meritorious Unit Award|
|Outstanding Unit Award|
|Organizational Excellence Award|
|Air Force NCO PME Graduate Ribbon|
|Air Force Training Ribbon|
Except for the Air Medal, unique decorations and awards issued by Department of the Army or Department of the Air Force, and those decorations and awards issued by the Department of Defense, the other uniformed services use 5⁄16 inch stars to indicate subsequent personal decorations only; a gold 5⁄16 inch star is equivalent to a bronze oak leaf cluster, while a silver 5⁄16 inch star is equivalent to a silver oak leaf cluster. While the Air Force uses oak leaf clusters for the Air Medal, since the Vietnam War, the Army has used 3⁄16-inch (4.8 mm) bronze Arabic numerals to denote subsequent awards, in which case the ribbon denotes the first award and numerals starting with the numeral "2" denote additional awards.
In other nations, oak leaf clusters are also used as symbols for various awards and decorations. In Germany, the German oak is the national tree of Germany, thus oak leaves are a prominent symbol on most German military orders. During World War II, the Knight's Cross of the German Iron Cross could be awarded with the additional distinction of oak leaves (mit Eichenlaub). Of the 7,313 awards of the Knight's Cross, only 882 received oak leaves. After World War II, Iron Crosses awarded previously could be worn by the recipient provided the swastika was replaced by oak leaves. The Bundeswehr awards the Cross of Honour for Bravery for extraordinary bravery. The Cross of Honour for Bravery differs from the Badge of Honour by an adornment in the shape of stylized double oak leaves.Furthermore, it was featured on the Pfennig in Germany and since the introduction of the euro in 2001 it is used on the obverse side of the German euro coinage. In earlier times, the Pour le Mérite, the highest military order in the Kingdom of Prussia, could also be awarded with oak leaves. A civil version of the order, for accomplishments in the arts and sciences, still exists in the Federal Republic of Germany.
In Commonwealth countries, a bronze oak leaf signifies a Mention in Despatches, and is worn as a gallantry award in its own right, rather than to signify multiple instances of campaign service. The Commonwealth equivalent of a United States oak leaf cluster is a medal bar worn with a campaign medal.
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 eight 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 Soldier's Medal is an individual decoration of the United States Army. It was introduced as Section 11 of the Air Corps Act, passed by the Congress of the United States on July 2, 1926. The criteria for the medal are: "The Soldier's Medal is awarded to any person of the Armed Forces of the United States or of a friendly foreign nation who, while serving in any capacity with the Army of the United States, including Reserve Component soldiers not serving in a duty status at the time of the heroic act, distinguished himself or herself by heroism not involving conflict with an enemy."
The Air Medal is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces. It was created in 1942 and is awarded for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.
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 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 and enlisted personnel who were not eligible to receive the higher Commendation Medal or the Meritorious Service Medal.
A member of the armed forces mentioned in dispatches is one whose name appears in an official report written by a superior officer and sent to the high command, in which his or her gallant or meritorious action in the face of the enemy is described.
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.
A 5⁄16 inch star is a miniature gold or silver 5⁄16-inch (7.9 mm) star that is authorized by the United States Armed Forces as a ribbon device to denote subsequent awards for specific decorations of the Department of the Navy, Coast Guard, Public Health Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A gold star indicates one additional award, while a silver star is worn in lieu of four gold stars.
A service star is a miniature bronze or silver five-pointed star 3⁄16 inch in diameter that is authorized to be worn by members of the seven uniformed services of the United States on medals and ribbons to denote an additional award or service period. The service star may also be referred to as a campaign star or battle star depending on which award is authorized the star and the manner in which the device is used for the award.
An Arabic numeral device or numeral device sometimes called an "award numeral", is a United States Armed Forces service device that may be authorized for wear on specific service ribbons and suspension ribbons of medals. Arabic numeral devices are bronze or gold in color and are 3⁄16 inch in height.
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.
The Citation Star was a Department of War personal valor decoration issued as a ribbon device which was first established by the United States Congress on July 9, 1918. When awarded, a 3⁄16-inch (4.8 mm) silver star was placed on the suspension ribbon and service ribbon of the World War I Victory Medal to denote a Citation (certificate) for "Gallantry In Action" was awarded to a soldier, or to a marine or attached to the Army's Second Division, American Expeditionary Forces. The Citation Star was replaced in 1932 with the introduction of the Silver Star Medal.
The Armed Forces Reserve Medal (AFRM) is a service medal of the United States Armed Forces that has existed since 1950. The medal recognizes service performed by members of the reserve components and is awarded to both officers and enlisted personnel. The medal is considered a successor award to the Naval Reserve Medal and the Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon, which were discontinued in 1958 and 1967, respectively.
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.
The United States Armed Forces authorizes certain medal and ribbon devices that may be worn if authorized on a defined set of United States military decorations and awards. The devices vary between 3⁄16 inch to 13⁄32 inch in size and are usually attached to suspension and service ribbons of medals and to unit award ribbons. The devices are usually made of brass or metal alloys that appear gold, silver, or bronze in color with either a dull or polished look. The devices may denote additional awards of the same decoration or award, an award for valor or meritorious combat service, participation in a particular campaign, periods of honorable service, specific events, and other special meanings. These are sometimes referred to as award devices, but are most commonly referred to in service regulations and Department of Defense instructions simply as "devices" for awards and decorations.
The Texas Medal of Valor, officially the Lone Star Medal of Valor, is the second highest military decoration that can be conferred to a service member of the Texas Military Forces. It can also be conferred to service members of the United States Armed Forces or other state militaries. Subsequent decorations are conferred by a silver twig of four oak leaves with three acorns on the stem device. A lapel button is also conferred with this decoration.
The Texas Governor's Unit Citation is the highest unit award of the Texas Military Forces. Subsequent awards are issued by a bronze or silver twig of four oak leaves with three acorns on the stem device.