5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 2, 2020 9:39 AM by Thomas Richardson

    How to request additional medals and ribbons

    Tammy Wills Newbie

      My father served during the Vietnam Era, (1966-1972 with 3 years active and 3 years in Reserves).  He was honorably discharged.  We have a copy of his DD-214.  The following are a list of Medals/Ribbons that he never received and are not listed on his DD-214 but he feels that he should be entitled: Good Conduct (Ribbon) Medal, Soldier’s Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Oversea Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Cold War Medal (Ribbon), Honorable Discharge Commemorative Ribbon, and Army Commendation Ribbon.  How do I inquire about obtaining these for my father?  Thank you.

        • Re: How to request additional medals and ribbons
          Elliot Schneider Guide



          There is a lot of information here but sound like he will most likely be eligible for Good Conduct Medal plus was he with a unit that was deployed to Vietnam then he could qualify Vietnam War era medals.


          Soldiers Medal is actually awarded for the following. He would need to have documentation within his military record of such an event within his files.


          Criteria: 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, distinguished him/herself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy. The same degree of heroism is required as for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. The performance must have involved personal hazard or danger and the voluntary risk of life under conditions not involving conflict with an armed enemy. Awards will not be made solely on the basis of having saved a life.



          Armed Forces Reserve Medal:



          Service: Army

          Instituted: 1950

          Dates Awarded: 1949 to present

          Criteria: 10 years of honorable service in any reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve or was awarded the bronze "M" device, for mobilization

          Devices: Bronze, silver, gold hourglass, bronze letter "M", bronze numeral

          Authorized in 1950 for 10 years of honorable and satisfactory service within a 12 year period as a member of one or more of the Reserve Components of the Armed Forces of the United States.


          Army Overseas Service Ribbon

          Criteria: The Army Overseas Service Ribbon (OSR) is presented to any member of the United States Army after the completion of a standard overseas tour. First issued in 1981, additional awards of the ribbon are represented by wearing a bronze numeral on the service ribbon. The Overseas Service Ribbon maybe awarded retroactively before 1981, just as long as the service member was still on active duty when the ribbon was created.


          Army Commendation Medal Award and Ribbon


          The Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM) is a mid-level award that is granted for consistent acts of heroism or meritorious service. The award is given by local commanders, allowing for generous interpretation of the criteria for which the medal is given. For actions where such performance was in immediate contact with an enemy force, the Valor device is approved as an attachment to the decoration. The ARCOM is frequently given to enlisted members and junior officers as an end-of-tour award. Additional awards are denoted by oak leaf clusters.

          *****These were issued generally by the commander for the following this award was not an automatic award it would need to come from his chain of command on a recommendation usually typically commander would recommend a solider or officer on a DA 638.


          Hope this helps,


          Elliot Schneider



          3 people found this helpful
          • Re: How to request additional medals and ribbons
            David Braner Newbie

            I would suggest you start with this website:


            I Want To Know All of the

            Military Medals and Awards

            I am Authorized

            (Email me my Form 201A Award Report)

            Here are other links that may prove useful.



            • Re: How to request additional medals and ribbons

              Hi Tammy,


              It is possible some of the awards would have been established after your father's service and therefore he wouldn't qualify for them such as:


              Overseas Service Ribbon - August 1981

              Army Service Ribbon - 1 August 1981

              The Cold War Medal (Ribbon) is an unofficial decoration that's recognized by the Alaska and Louisiana National Guards

              The Honorable Discharge Commemorative Ribbon is a commemorative and unofficial decoration that would not be recognized by the US Armed Forces.


              Attached are documents from the US Army Human Resources Command website in regards to the eligibility requirements for the following: Good Conduct Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal




              Attached are documents from the Code of Federal Regulations dated in 2006 in regards to the eligibility requirements for the following: Soldier's Medal & Army Commendation Medal




              Here are two additional documents from the US Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command's Clothing & Heraldy PSID in regards to Veteran's Medals which may provide the exact information you're looking for.




              3 people found this helpful
              • Re: How to request additional medals and ribbons
                Jeremy Crabb Adventurer

                You need to contact the National Personnel Records Center for verifying medals and awards. They don't issue them though; they just send the information from the record, to the service branch, and then the branch issues them from there. Medals and awards aren't high on the priority list because of COVID; they're only doing emergency work like burials.


                Some of the awards like the Overseas Service Ribbon and Army Service Ribbon weren't created until after Vietnam so he wouldn't be eligible for those and the Honorable Discharge and Cold War medals are unofficial awards that the DoD doesn't give out. Did you mean to say the Overseas Service Bar instead? They give those when someone travels to a combat zone or are stationed in places like Germany or Korea.


                Check out the Army TACOM website. They can help with replacing medals: https://www.veteranmedals.army.mil/

                1 person found this helpful
                • Re: How to request additional medals and ribbons
                  Thomas Richardson Navigator

                  Dear Ms. Wills,


                  Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


                  For Air Force (including Army Air Corps), Army, and Navy personnel, NARA's National Personnel Records Center will verify the awards to which a veteran is entitled and forward the request with the verification to the appropriate service department for issuance of the medals.  For requesting medals and awards, please use eVetRecs on NARA’s website at https://www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/ or complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and send it to NARA's Military Personnel Records, National Personnel Records Center, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002.  Provide as much information as possible in Section II under "other."


                  Veterans that served overseas in Vietnam from 4 July 1965 to 28 March 1973 are entitled to the Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon w/60 device, and the National Defense Service Medal. If the veteran served with the Army, he is also entitled to the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry; both this and the campaign ribbon w/60 device are foreign awards not issued by the Department of Defense and can be purchased from a commercial source.


                  The Soldier’s Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Good Conduct Medals are personal awards for valor, gallantry, and meritorious service. The Armed Forces Reserve Medal is awarded to service members of reserve units who complete a number of years in service or are mobilized. Issuance of these awards would be recorded in his Official Military Personnel File.


                  The Army Service Ribbon was established on 1 August 1981 and is retroactive to veterans who served on active duty prior to 1 August 1981, provided they also served on active duty on or after 1 August 1981. The Overseas Army Ribbon was also established in 1981, but it is not retroactive. If the veteran served overseas in a combat zone such as Vietnam, he is entitled to wear Overseas Service Bars. One OSB is issued for each six months of service for postings outside the continental United States.


                  The Cold War Medal / Ribbon is an unofficial military medal that is not issued by any of the service branches with the exception of National Guard units in Louisiana, Texas, and Alaska. The Honorable Discharge Commemorative Ribbon is another unofficial military award not issued by the Department of Defense. This is meant to recognize those veterans honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces. Both of these awards may be purchased from commercial sources.


                  Due to the coronavirus public health emergency, the NPRC closed again as of November 7, 2020 until further notice. NPRC will respond only to requests involving burials, medical emergencies, and homeless veterans.  If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines or emergency requests may be faxed to (314) 801-0764.  Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for any inconvenience.


                  We hope this is helpful.

                  2 people found this helpful