List of Important Military Medals


Bronze Star

This is possibly the most well-known and recognized medals in the armed forces. This medal has been awarded to those members of the U.S. Armed Forces for the meritorious achievement, heroic service, heroic achievement or even meritorious service in a combat zone. When the Bronze Star has been awarded to a member of the Air Force for bravery, a device in the shape of a “V” is placed on the medal. When the Bronze Star is placed on the uniform of a Coast Guard, Marine Corps or Navy for meritorious service or acts of valor in combat, a combat “V” is issued for wear on the Medal. The “V” device is an indication of Valor and is placed on the center of the medal as a testament to this. This award is also available to certain persons outside of the U.S. Armed Forces. Foreign soldiers who have served with the U.S. military as well as Civilians who have served with the military may also be eligible for this honor. One example was that of civilian Joe Galloway who was serving with the armed forces and received the bronze star. Joe was a reporter who was awarded the star with the “V” device for saving the life of a wounded soldier under fire in the Vietnam War, in 1965. This medal was first established in 1944 on the fourth of February.

Purple heart

For me and many more, this is probably the second most well-known award from the US military. This decoration is a reward presented in honor of the President to those who have been wounded in the line of duty since April 5th, 1917. This is the oldest award that is still being given to those serving in the U.S. armed forces. The first Purple Heart was awarded in February 1932. Since then 2 million more soldiers have been granted this award. There is an annual commemorative celebration help in Michigan in honor of those bearing this medal.

Medal of Honor

This is the highest honor any person serving in the US Armed Forces can attain and may be awarded in recognition of a service member who has distinguished themselves with feats of great valor. The first Medal of Honor was awarded in 1863. As of 2016, over three thousand five hundred service members of the U.S. Armed Forces have received this prestigious medal. Nevertheless, out of the three thousand five hundred that received this medal, only a mere seventy-five have been granted to living service members. The most recent recipient of this honor was Navy SEAL Edward Byers. Edward Byers received this medal for his role in rescuing a hostage from Taliban terrorist in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Campaign Medal

This medal was first instituted in 2004. This medal of recognition was established to honor those men and women who served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on and after October 2001. This time will continue to a future date determined by the Secretary of Defense. This medal includes all operations in the air and ground of Afghanistan. What this medal indicates in that the armed forces member was involved in combat during an armed engagement. It could also mean that they participated as a crew member flying sorties in and around Afghani airspace.

Iraq Campaign Medal

This medal was first established in 2004 and designed for Military service personnel supporting the war efforts within the borders of Iraq or those that served in support of the Operation Iraqi Freedom on or after March 19, 2003. This is award is given to those who were attached, mobilized or assigned to a unit operating in Iraq for 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days. Other criteria for this prestigious medal include participating in an armed engagement, conducting official duties or participating in any other operations within Iraq. Being assigned to an air crew that equality fields sorties into, around or out of the specified zones of military operations.

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

This medal was originated in 2004 and awarded for active participation or service in the operations included in the ongoing War on Terror. It can be awarded for services on or after the September 11, 2001. This awards is available to any members of the US Armed Forces that have contributed to the war on terror since the date mentioned until a date that will be set by the Secretary of Defence. Tthis medal was reserved to those that participated in the Airport Security Operations between September 27th, 2001 and also issued to those that participated in Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Noble Eagle.

Those that qualify for this medal have been serving in, attached or mobilized within a unit participating in or supporting the efforts for 30 consecutive days or 60 days total (non-consecutive). It should be noted that support for the war on terror and eligibility to receive the coveted Global War on Terrorism Service Medal has been defined as support in a non-deployed status and can be be granted to those deployed overseas and those stationed at home.

Those eligible for this medal may also receive the Battlestar. This is given to those who have participated in an armed conflict that involves the enemy and also being in circumstances that involve grave danger and the possibility of injury. The commanding officer must initiate the request to receive a battle star.

Korea Defense Service Medal

This medal was instituted in 2003 to award those serving in the Pacific in support of the Armistice between South and North Korea. The Korea Defense Medal is given to those soldiers who served in the Republic of Korea or the waters and airs of this region from the date of July 28th, 1954 and a date to be established later by the Secretary of Defense.


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