The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who, after July 1, 1958, participate in specified United States operations or those in direct support of the United Nations or friendly foreign nations, as outlined above. However:
Personnel who have earned the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in Vietnam during the period of July 1, 1958 to July 3, 1965, inclusive, may elect to receive the Vietnam Service Medal instead. No individual may be issued both medals for service in Vietnam during the period of July 1, 1958 to March 28, 1973.
Members of the naval service may elect one expeditionary medal (Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal or Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal) for the following operations:
Lebanon: August 25, 1982
Libya: January 20, 1986 to June 27, 1996
Persian Gulf: July 24, 1987 to August 1, 1990
The Combat Action Ribbon is a personal decoration awarded to members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard (when operating under the control of the Navy) in the grade of captain (or colonel in the Marine Corps) and below who have actively participated in ground or surface combat.
Personnel who earned the Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat Medical Badge while a member of the Army may be authorized to wear the Combat Action Ribbon. The principal criterion is that the recipient must have participated in a bona fide ground or surface combat firefight or in an action during which he was under enemy fire and his performance while under fire was satisfactory.
The Navy Expeditionary Medal is awarded to Navy personnel who have landed on foreign territory and engaged in operations against armed opposition or who have operated under circumstances deemed to merit special recognition and for which no campaign medal has been awarded.
This medal is only awarded to personnel attached to one of the ships or units listed in the notice or instruction at some time during the respective periods shown, and who actually participated in the operation. This includes personnel attached to a squadron or unit embarked in a ship during the eligible period for that ship. Members of rear echelons, transients, observers, and personnel assigned for short periods of Temporary Additional Duty (TAD) or Training Duty (TD) are not normally eligible. However, consideration will be given in those instances when the local commander certifies a particular and significant contribution by an individual. For additional clarification, see Paragraph 6a of SECNAVINST 1650.1G, pages 4-17 and 4-18
The Humanitarian Service Medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States and their Reserve components who, subsequent to April 1, 1975, distinguish themselves as individuals or as members of United States military units or ships by meritorious, direct, non-routine participation in specified significant military acts or operations of a humanitarian nature. The Humanitarian Service Medal may not be awarded for services rendered in domestic disturbances involving law enforcement, equal rights demonstrations, or protection of property. The Humanitarian Service Medal is awarded for the following types of military acts or operations:
(1) Must be on active duty at the time of direct participation in a Department of Defense-approved humanitarian act or operation.
(2) Must have directly participated in the humanitarian act or operation within the designated geographical area of operation and within specified time limits. "Direct participation" is defined as "hands on" activity at the site or sites of the military act or operation. Specifically excluded from eligibility for this medal are personnel or elements remaining at geographically separated military headquarters.
The Humanitarian Service Medal is a U.S. service medal and does not preclude or conflict with other service medals or decorations awarded on the basis of valor, achievement or meritorious service.
No person will be awarded more than one Humanitarian Service Medal for participation in the same military act or operation; a service star will be worn to denote direct participation in second or subsequent humanitarian acts or operations.
The Joint Meritorious Unit Award The Joint Meritorious Unit Award is presented in the name of the Secretary of Defense to Joint Activities of the Department of Defense for meritorious achievement or service, superior to that which is normally expected, under one of the following conditions:
During action in combat with an armed enemy of the United States.
For a declared national emergency.
Under extraordinary circumstances that involve the national interest.
The Meritorious Unit Commendation may be awarded by the Secretary of the Navy to any unit of the Navy or Marine Corps that distinguishes itself under combat or noncombat conditions by either valorous or meritorious achievement which renders that unit outstanding compared to other units performing similar service, but not sufficient to justify the award of the Navy Unit Commendation.
It may also be awarded to units of the other branches of the Armed Forces of the United States as well as to units of foreign nations serving with U.S. Forces, provided they meet the same standards established for Navy and Marine Corps units.
To justify this award, the unit must perform service of a character comparable to that which would justify the award of the Bronze Star Medal, or achievement of like caliber in a noncombat situation, to an individual.
The Navy "E" Ribbon denotes permanent duty on ships or in squadrons that won the battle efficiency competition after July 1, 1974. This ribbon replaces the "E" patch previously sewn on the right sleeve of the uniform.
The Navy Unit Commendation may be awarded by the Secretary of the Navy to any unit of the Navy or Marine Corps that distinguishes itself by outstanding heroism in action against an enemy (but not sufficiently to justify the award of the Presidential Unit Citation). It may also be awarded to a unit that distinguishes itself by extremely meritorious service not involving combat (but in support of military operations), which renders that unit outstanding when compared to other units performing similar service.
This award may be conferred upon units of the other branches of the Armed Forces of the United States, as well as to the armed forces of foreign nations serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, provided they meet the standards established for Navy and Marine Corps units.
To justify this award, the unit must have performed service of a character comparable to that which would justify the award of a Silver Star Medal (for heroism) or a Legion of Merit (for meritorious service) to an individual.
The Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Colors) was authorized to be worn by units individually cited for service in military operations in support of the government of South Vietnam. The actions cited are for the same services that would have resulted in the award of a Valorous Unit Citation by the Army or a Navy Unit Citation.
The Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Colors), with palm, was been awarded to all United States military personnel who served in South Vietnam between March 1, 1961 and March 28, 1973.
The Vietnam Service Medal was awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who served at any time between July 4, 1965, and March 28, 1973, in Vietnam or its contiguous waters or airspace; or, for any period of service during the same time period in Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia or the air spaces thereover and in direct support of operations in Vietnam.
The National Defense Service Medal is awarded for honorable active service as a member of the Armed Forces during the Korean War, Vietnam War, the war against Iraq in the Persian Gulf, and for service during the current War on Terrorism. In addition, all members of the National Guard and Reserve who were part of the Selected Reserve in good standing between August 2, 1990, to November 30, 1995, are eligible for the National Defense Service Medal.
In the case of Navy personnel, Midshipment attending the Naval Academy during the qualifying periods are eligible for this award, and Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) Midshipmen are only eligible if they participated in a summer cruise that was in an area which qualified for a campaign medal.