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Bronze Star Medal

a. The Bronze Star Medal was established by Executive Order 9419, 4 February 1944 (superseded by Executive Order 11046, 24 August 1962).

b. The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Army of the United States after 6 December 1941, distinguished himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection with military operations against an armed enemy; or while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

c. Awards may be made for acts of heroism, performed under circumstances described above, which are of lesser degree than required for the award of the Silver Star.

d. The Bronze Star Medal may be awarded for meritorious achievement or meritorious service according to the following:

(1) Awards may be made to recognize single acts of merit or meritorious service. The lesser degree than that required for the award of the Legion of Merit must nevertheless have been meritorious and accomplished with distinction.

(2) Award may be made by letter application to Commander, ARPERCEN, ATTN: DARP-VSE-A, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132-5200 (enclosing documentary evidence, if possible), to each member of the Armed Forces of the United States who after 6 December 1941, has been cited in orders or awarded a certificate for exemplary conduct in ground combat against an armed enemy between 7 December 1941 and 2 September 1945, inclusive, or whose meritorious achievement has been other wise confirmed by documents executed prior to 1 July 1947. For this purpose, an award of the Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat Medical Badge is considered as a citation in orders. Documents executed since 4 August 1944 in connection with recommendations for the award of decorations of higher degree than the Bronze Star Medal will not be used as the basis for an award under this paragraph.

(3) Upon letter application, award of the Bronze Star Medal may be made to eligible soldiers who participated in the Philippine Islands Campaign between 7 December 1941 to 10 May 1942. Performance of duty must have been on the island of Luzon or the Harbor Defenses in Corregidor and Bataan. Only soldiers who were awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation (Presidential Unit Citation) may be awarded this decoration. Letter application should be sent to the Commander, ARPERCEN, ATTN: DARP-VSE-A, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132-5200.

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Meritorious Service Medal

a. The Meritorious Service Medal was established by Executive Order 11448, 16 January 1969 as amended by Executive order 12312, 2 July 1981.

b. The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or to any member of the Armed Forces of a friendly foreign nation who, while serving in a noncombat area after 16 January 1969, has distinguished himself or herself by outstanding meritorious achievement or service.

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Air Medal

a. The Air Medal was established by Executive Order 9158, 11 May 1942 as amended by Executive Order 9242-A, 11 September 1942.

b. The Air Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the U.S. Army, will have distinguished himself or herself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. Awards may be made to recognize single acts of merit or heroism, or for meritorious service as described below.

c. Awards may be made for acts of heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy or while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party, which are of a lesser degree than required for award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

d. Awards may be made for single acts of meritorious achievement, involving superior airmanship, which are of a lesser degree than required for award of the Distinguished Flying Cross, but nevertheless were accomplished with distinction beyond that normally expected.

e. Awards for meritorious service may be made for sustained distinction in the performance of duties involving regular and frequent participation in aerial flight for a period of at least 6 months. In this regard, accumulation of a specified number of hours and missions will not serve as the basis for award of the Air Medal. Criteria in paragraph c above, concerning conditions of conflict, are applicable to award of the Air Medal for meritorious service.

f. Award of the Air Medal is primarily intended to recognize those personnel who are on current crewmember or noncrewmember flying status which requires them to participate in aerial flight on a regular and frequent basis in the performance of their primary duties. However, it may also be awarded to certain other individuals whose combat duties require regular and frequent flying in other than a passenger status, or individuals who perform a particularly noteworthy act while performing the function of a crewmember, but who are not on flying status as prescribed in AR 600-l06. These individuals must make a discernible contribution to the operational land combat mission or to the mission of the aircraft in flight. Examples of personnel whose combat duties require them to fly include those in the attack elements of units involved in air/land assaults against an armed enemy and those directly involved in airborne command and control of combat operations. Involvement in such activities, normally at the brigade/group level and below, serves only to establish eligibility for award of the Air Medal; the degree of heroism, meritorious achievement or exemplary service determines who should receive the award. Awards will not be made to individuals who use air transportation solely for the purpose of moving from point to point in a combat zone.

g. Numerals, starting with 2 will be used to denote second and subsequent awards of the Air Medal. See chapter 6.

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Army Commendation Medal

a. The Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM) was established by War Department Circular 377, 18 December 1945 (amended in DA General Orders 10, 31 March 1960).

b. The ARCOM is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving in any capacity with the Army after 6 December 1941, distinguishes himself or herself by heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service. Award may be made to a member of the Armed Forces of a friendly foreign nation who, after 1 June 1962, distinguishes himself or herself by an act of heroism, extraordinary achievement, or meritorious service which has been of mutual benefit to a friendly nation and the United States.

c. Awards of the ARCOM may be made for acts of valor performed under circumstances described above which are of lesser degree than required for award of the Bronze Star Medal. These acts may involve aerial flight.

d. An award of the ARCOM may be made for acts of noncombatant-related heroism which do not meet the requirements for an award of the Soldier's Medal.

e. The ARCOM will not be awarded to general officers.

f. Awards of the ARCOM may be made on letter application to Commander, ARPERCEN, ATTN DARP-VSE-A, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132-5200, to any individual commended after 6 December 1941 and before 1 January 1946 in a letter, certificate, or order of commendation, as distinguished from letter of appreciation, signed by an officer in the grade or position of a major general or higher. Awards of the Army Commendation Ribbon and of the Commendation Ribbon with Metal Pendant were redesignated by DA General Orders 10, 31 March 1960, as awards of the Army Commendation Medal, without amendment of orders previously issued.

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Army Achievement Medal

a. The Army Achievement Medal (AAM) was established by the Secretary of the Army, 10 April 1981.

b. The AAM is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States, or to any member of the Armed Forces of a friendly foreign nation, who while serving in any capacity with the Army in a noncombat area on or after 1 August 1981, distinguished himself or herself by meritorious service or achievement of a lesser degree than required for award of the Army Commendation Medal.

c. The AAM will not be awarded to general officers.

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  • 1 month later...

Wasps,

Nice. I've got to book mark this one. Thanks.

In regards to MOH's awarded in peacetime, there have been more than a handful. While researching the namesake of one of my father's ships, the USS John King, I discovered he won it twice. Both times were peacetime boiler accidents.

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Another correction, there were 2 Navy Crosses awarded in OEF to SEALs. Both recipients are friends of mine and are very much alive! http://www.homeofheroes.com/verify/02_wot/nc_slabinski.html

http://www.homeofheroes.com/verify/02_wot/nc_bass.html

From reading the second citation you can tell that the SEAL was serving in an exchange billet w/ the UK SBS at the time of his actions. As the story goes, the Brit commanders wanted to award Steph the Victoria Cross, but that wasn't feasible politically for a number of reasons. There was also a US Army officer present on the scene who was awarded the DSC for his actions, so Steph..an enlisted man...ended up w/ the equivalent Navy award. There is actually quite a bit more to the story than what is reflected in the citation, and Steph probably deserved the MoH.

Edited by Andy Hopkins
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Andy, that's the second time I made that type of error. For some reason on another forum I wrote that the Army DSC for Afghanistan was posthumous even though I had actually seen the officer in question being decorated. Major league brain fart there.

The Air Force Crosses were both posthumous, and somewhere I did manage to put together a list of most Air Force Silver Stars for Afghanistan.

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The Distinguished Flying Cross is a medal awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself in combat in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight, subsequent to November 11, 1918." The decoration may also be given for an act performed prior to that date when the individual has been recommended for, but has not received the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, or Distinguished Service Medal.

The Distinguished Flying Cross, was authorized by an Act of Congress of July 2, 1926, an act amended by Executive Order 7786 on January 8, 1938. It was awarded first to Captain Charles Lindbergh, of the U.S. Army Corps Reserve, for his solo flight of 3600 miles across the Atlantic in 1927.

The first D.F.C. to be awarded to a Navy man was to Commander Richard E. Byrd, of the U.S. Navy Air Corps, on May 9, 1926, for his flight to and from the North Pole. Both of these aviators also received the Medal of Honor for their feats.

At least two civilians have received the award: Amelia Earhart and Eugene Ely.

During wartime, members of the Armed Forces of friendly foreign nations serving with the United States are eligible for the D.F.C. It is also given to those who display heroism while working as instructors or students at flying schools.

[edit]

Design

The Distinguished Flying Cross was designed by Elizabeth Will and Arthur E. DuBois. It is a bronze cross pattee, with rays between the arms of the cross. On the obverse is a propeller of four blades, with one blade in each arm of the cross and in the re-entrant angles of the cross are rays which form a square. The cross is suspended by a recatgular-shaped bar and centered on this is a plain shield. The reverse is blank and suitable for engraving the recipients name and rank.

The ribbon has a narrow red center stripe, flanked on either side by a thin white stripe, a wide stripe of dark blue, a narrow white stripe and narrow dark blue at the edge of the ribbon.

Subsequent awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross are indicated by oak leaf clusters, for Army and Air Force personnel, and by award stars for members of the Naval services.

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US ARMY DISTINGUISHED

SERVICE CROSS

Established by an Act of Congress on 9 July 1918, the United States Army Distinguished Service Cross is awarded to any person, who while serving with the Army, distinguishes himself by extraordinary heroism in combat.

Ranking just below the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for bravery, the award of the DSC may be made to civilians serving with the Armed Forces during wartime only if approved by the President of the United States.

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  • 1 month later...

It is ordained that the Cross shall only be awarded for most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy

This is not the case for the Medal of Honour as it can be awarded in peacetime.

Not to get into the issue of which is "better", but I don't know where this concept that the MOH can be awareded in peacetime came from.

To quote from AR (Army Regulation) 600-8-22, 25 February 1995

Para 3-6

a. The Medal of Honor, section 3741, title 10, United States

Code (10 USC 3741), was established by Joint Resolution of Congress,

12 July 1862 (amended by acts 9 July 1918 and 25 July

1963).

b. The Medal of Honor is awarded by the President in the name

of Congress to a person who, while a member of the Army, distinguishes

himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity

at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while

engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while

engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing

foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged

in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the

United States is not a belligerent party. The deed performed must

have been one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous

as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must

have involved risk of life. Incontestable proof of the performance of

the service will be exacted and each recommendation for the award

of this decoration will be considered on the standard of extraordinary

merit.

No way can it be awarded for actions during peacetime!! (at least not according to current regulations). Doc

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You are misreading the regulations. The distinction under current law is not wartime vs. peacetime, but action against an enemy/opposing foreign force vs. not. As 10 U.S. Code ? 3741, and the parallel statute for the Navy, 10 U.S. Code ? 6241, and Air Force, 10 U.S. Code ? 8741, note, the Medal may be awarded: (1) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; (2) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or (3) while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

Category 1 normally obtains only during wartime when there is a declared enemy.

Category 2 may be in wartime or peacetime; the distinction is conflict with an opposing foreign force. Both Somalia Medals of Honor fall into this category, as Aideed's militiamen were an opposing foreign force, but there was no declared war and the Somalis were not the enemy. An even clearer case is William L. McGonagle, USN, of the USS Liberty, whose ship was attacked by the Israelis in international waters. There was a war going on, but the U.S. was not a party.

I don't know of any Category 3 awards as the opportunities would be small. U.S. exchange officers and NCOs have found themselves in conflicts where the U.S. was not a belligerent, such as Malaya during the Emergency, but these situations are uncommon. There was some talk of awarding the Medal of Honor to a U.S. sailor serving with the Special Boat Service in Afghanistan, but the U.S. was a belligerent party there. In any event, he received the Navy Cross. Andy mentioned him a few posts up. But for purposes of this post, note that this category requires that it is the friendly foreign force that is in armed conflict, while the U.S. may be at peace.

Also, these regulations are post-1963 (Public Law 88?77, ? 1(1), July 25, 1963). Until 1942, I believe, the Navy allowed peacetime awards for noncombatant heroism (many of these 19th century lifesaving awards).

The most famous non-combatant recipients of the Army Medal of Honor would be Adolphus Greely, whose award is arguably the least justified ever, and Charles Lindbergh. With Frederick William Gerber, whose peacetime award was for "distinguished gallantry in many actions and in recognition of long, faithful, and meritorious services covering a period of 32 years," these are the only "peacetime" recipients of the Army Medal of Honor.

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You are misreading the regulations. The distinction under current law is not wartime vs. peacetime, but action against an enemy/opposing foreign force vs. not. As 10 U.S. Code ? 3741, and the parallel statute for the Navy, 10 U.S. Code ? 6241, and Air Force, 10 U.S. Code ? 8741, note, the Medal may be awarded: (1) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; (2) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or (3) while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

Category 1 normally obtains only during wartime when there is a declared enemy.

Category 2 may be in wartime or peacetime; the distinction is conflict with an opposing foreign force. Both Somalia Medals of Honor fall into this category, as Aideed's militiamen were an opposing foreign force, but there was no declared war and the Somalis were not the enemy. An even clearer case is William L. McGonagle, USN, of the USS Liberty, whose ship was attacked by the Israelis in international waters. There was a war going on, but the U.S. was not a party.

I don't know of any Category 3 awards as the opportunities would be small. U.S. exchange officers and NCOs have found themselves in conflicts where the U.S. was not a belligerent, such as Malaya during the Emergency, but these situations are uncommon. There was some talk of awarding the Medal of Honor to a U.S. sailor serving with the Special Boat Service in Afghanistan, but the U.S. was a belligerent party there. In any event, he received the Navy Cross. Andy mentioned him a few posts up. But for purposes of this post, note that this category requires that it is the friendly foreign force that is in armed conflict, while the U.S. may be at peace.

Also, these regulations are post-1963 (Public Law 88?77, ? 1(1), July 25, 1963). Until 1942, I believe, the Navy allowed peacetime awards for noncombatant heroism (many of these 19th century lifesaving awards).

The most famous non-combatant recipients of the Army Medal of Honor would be Adolphus Greely, whose award is arguably the least justified ever, and Charles Lindbergh. With Frederick William Gerber, whose peacetime award was for "distinguished gallantry in many actions and in recognition of long, faithful, and meritorious services covering a period of 32 years," these are the only "peacetime" recipients of the Army Medal of Honor.

Dave, thanks for the clarification, but I am not sure we are really arguing more than semantics here. The original question was whether the MOH can, under todays rules, be awarded in peacetime. You seem to define peace as anything when war has not been declared (categories 2 and 3). Category 1 does, as you state, only apply in case of declared war. However, Peace is not defined by the absence of a declaration of war. I interpret category 2 as being war, even though not declared. This issue was discussed specifically during my time at the Army War College, and it was pointed out that legally war can take place even in the absence of a formal declaration-- In fact, I don't think the US has had a formally declared war since WW2, and I have real problems trying to define Viet-Nam, Korea, Somalia, etc., not to mention current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as peace. To the soldier on the ground, when an enemy soldier is trying to kill you, that's war, not peace. In my mind, stating that the award can today be awarded for actions during "peacetime" simply justifies the types of awards given to Greely, Lindburgh, and Gerber. Today, they can be given only for actions involving conflict, whether or not a formal state of war exists (i.e. if it has been declared). My original comments basically were trying to address the issue of could a strictly peactime act (no conflict, no shooting, no enemy-- e.g. Lindburg, Greely) be considered worthy of the MOH, and I think that both of us agree that is no longer possible. Doc

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There are a number of awards for civilians now then there was during the time of Lindburg and the others. The Presidential Medal of Freedom for example and other Government agency awards.

Going back to armed conflicts what is lacking I think is a true MOH equivalent civil award like the British George Cross.

I could see something along the line of a MOH to a civilian who single handlely subdues a terrorist on a flight or destroy/remove a bomb before it kills many people. But for other achievements let's say a civilian manages to privately finance and flies a rocket to the moon that would certainly be today's equal to Lindbergh's trip across the Atlantic. In which case he would probably get a Congressional Gold Medal. So most bases are covered.

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  • 6 months later...

I noticed on this old thread that the conversation started to veer from the original topic once the American posters started making some valid points.

As someone else here correctly pointed out, there was a short period where the VC was awarded in "peace time". While this was also once true of the two respective US services' MOHs (mainly the Navy) it is not any more.

Truth be told, you cannot compare the two medals based upon the number awarded; this is just common sense since the US is a much larger country. Two wars, the Civil War and Vietnam (where Britain was not present), had well over a million people wear the uniform. And I'm not even counting the Indian Wars or Cuba and the Philippines.

Something like 78% of the Korean War MOH's were posthumous. Over half the Vietnam MOH's were posthumous.

I've also read the citations for the very early Victorian-era VC's and they're not substantially different from their contemporary MOH citations. There's no difference.

As for the price discrepancy, that's in part because it is illegal to sell or trade the MOH in the states.

You must understand that many of the medals sold in Great Britain, as far as I have seen ARE CURRENT MANUFACTURE AND NEVER AWARDED. They were a part of the lot of HLI Lordship medals that were sold out the back door of that manufacturer's business and some made their way to Europe. Nobody in the UK understands this. Imagine for a moment if it was illegal to sell VC's, and the official government manufacturer pawned off a large number of current strikes. Would you pay 180,000 pounds? No. Just like anything else, if it's "hot" it's going to go for much less on the street. Especially if the medal's basically some current issue. All the VC's in existence are medals that were actually awarded.

Getting back to the price disparity, aside from the point I just made, is that the British will always be the stylish, witty, funny people and we Yanks will always be regarded as a bunch of louts. The Brits have this romantic history what with the Charge of the Light Brigade and the Battle of Britain and the SAS and putting DSO or MC after your name all the rest of it. That's why the VC has that mystique about it. That's why its value has been over-inlated beyond what it probably should be. It's a prestigious award given to brave men but it has a sort of cult status in regards collectors.

Edited by Mike Page
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  • 2 months later...

I noticed people trashing the MOH based on value. By that same analyisis, the Legion of Honor, France's highest award, must be worthless since I can pick one up for $50. Obviously, this is not true. Give me a break people. :angry:

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