Not NARA, but the Naval History and Heritage Command has a list of ships that were authorized the Armed Forces
Expeditionary Medal during the crisis. A Russian submarine was depth charged, but did not utilize its
nuclear torpedoes. Marines are under the chain of command of the Navy, and while deployed aboard
ships would have been authorized the award. Engaging the enemy or responding with counter fire would
also qualify a naval unit for the Combat Action Ribbon. The US vessels of the Cuban Missile crises are listed
at the NHHC link below. The Army and Air Force would also have qualifying factors toward the award of
the AFEM for units that deployed to the area of operations during the crisis.
This is a very valid point in history while evaluating the global condition at this time.
The economic incentives and control of resources usually leads to extreme measures.
The important statements concerning the development of nuclear propulsion programs
in Russia have not been fully recognized and conceptualized.
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Dear Mr. Clemens,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
Without knowing the special unit designation for the medical detachment or the Marines, we are unable to determine why one unit received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for participating in the Cuban Missile Crisis and they other one did not.
The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was authorized for service during the Cuban quarantine from October 24 - December 31, 1962. As Mr. Tomko mentioned, the Naval History and Heritage Command has a listing of the ships involved during the crisis. If the Army medical detachment or Marine Corps unit were on one of these ships, then the unit was eligible for the medal.
Keep in mind that many ships and units took part in contingency operations during the crisis but, since they were not in the specific geographical area defined for Cuban service, or did not perform service as defined below, they are not credited with it. Personnel must be bona fide members of a unit engaged in an operation, or meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Serve not less than 30 consecutive days in the area of operations;
- Engage in direct support of the operation for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days, provided support involves entering the area of operations;
- Participate as a regularly-assigned member of an aircraft flying into, out of, within, or over the area in support of military operations;
- Be recommended, by the commander of a unified or specified command, for award of the medal for duty of particular value to the operation although the criteria above may not have been fulfilled.
We hope that this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!