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Presidental Unit Citation
The Distinguished Unit Citation
Criteria:

The Presidential Unit Citation is awarded to units of the Armed Forces of the United States and co-belligerent nations for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy occurring on or after 7 December 1941. The unit must display such gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions as to set it apart and above other units participating in the same campaign. The degree of heroism required is the same as that which would warrant award of a Distinguished Service Cross to an individual. Extended periods of combat duty or participation in a large number of operational missions, either ground or air is not sufficient.  This award will normally be earned by units that have participated in single or successive actions covering relatively brief time spans. It is not reasonable to presume that entire units can sustain Distinguished Service Cross performance for extended time periods except under the most unusual circumstances.  Only on rare occasions will a unit larger than battalion, qualify for award of this decoration.

Prisoner of War Medal
Criteria: 

a. The Prisoner of War Medal is issued only to those U.S. military personnel who were taken prisoner and held captive after 5 April 1917;

(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 forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

b. Civilians who have been credited with military service which included the period of captivity are also eligible for the medal.

c. Hostages of terrorists and persons detained by governments with which the United States is not engaged actively in armed conflict are not eligible for the medal.

Air Force Combat Readiness Medal

Effective Dates: The Combat Readiness Medal has been awarded for qualifying service retroactive to August 1, 1960.

Criteria:

The Combat Readiness Medal is awarded to military service members after August 1, 1960, for sustained individual combat or mission readiness or preparedness for direct weapon system employment.

Specifically, a service member must meet the following criteria:

(1) Be a member of a unit subject to combat readiness as specified in appropriate directives;

(2) Be individually certified as combat or mission ready; and, Complete 24 months of sustained combat or mission readiness with no more than a 120 calendar day break.

(3) Have completed 24 months of sustained combat or mission readiness with no more than a 120 calendar day break.

Army Good Conduct Medal
Good Conduct Medal
Criteria: 

a. The Good Conduct Medal is awarded for exemplary behavior, efficiency, and fidelity in active Federal Military service. It is awarded on a selective basis to each soldier who distinguishes himself from among his/her fellow soldiers by their exemplary conduct, efficiency, and fidelity throughout a specified period of continuous enlisted active Federal military service. Qualifying periods of service include each three years completed after 27 August 1940 or, for first award only, upon completion of at least one year upon termination of service if separated prior to three years. The immediate commander must approve the award and the award must be announced in permanent orders.

b. Effective 1 September 1982, Active Guard Reserve personnel became eligible for award of the Good Conduct Medal. For Active Guard Reserve personnel, the Good Conduct Medal qualification period may commence at a time during the three years immediately preceding the 1 September 1982 effective date, provided no portion of service for the Good Conduct Medal is included in a period of service for which the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal was awarded.

American Defense Medal
Criteria: 

a. The American Defense Service Medal was awarded to personnel for active duty service from 8 September 1939 to 7 December 1941 for a period of twelve months or longer.

Background:

a. The American Defense Service Medal was established per Executive Order 8808, dated 28 June 1941, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and announced in War Department Bulletin 17, 1941. The criteria was announced in Department of the Army Circular 44, dated 13 February 1942.

b. The ribbon design was approved by the Secretary of War and the Secretary of Navy on January 7, 1942. The golden yellow color was symbolic of the golden opportunity of the youth of the United States to serve the National colors, represented by the blue, white and red pin stripes on each side.

c. The medal was designed by Mr. Lee Lawrie, a civilian sculptor from Easton, Maryland. The model was approved by the Commission of Fine Arts on May 5, 1942.

d. The foreign service clasp is worn on the suspension ribbon to indicate service outside the Continental United States. A bronze star is worn on the service ribbon in lieu of the foreign service clasp.

American Campaign Medal
American Campaign Medal
Criteria: 

a. The American Campaign Medal was awarded to personnel for service within the American Theater between 7 December 1941 and 2 March 1946 under any of the following conditions. 

(1) On permanent assignment outside the continental limits of the United States. 

(2) Permanently assigned as a member of a crew of a vessel sailing ocean waters for a period of 30 days or 60 nonconsecutive days. 

(3) Permanently assigned as a member of an operating crew of an airplane actually making regular and frequent flights over ocean waters for a period of 30 days. 

(4) Outside the continental limits of the United States in a passenger status or on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 days not consecutive. 

(5) In active combat against the enemy and was awarded a combat decoration or furnished a certificate by the commanding general of a corps, higher unit, or independent force that he actually participated in combat. 

(6) Within the continental limits of the United States for an aggregate period of one year.

b. The eastern boundary of the American Theater is from the North Pole, south along the 75th meridian west longitude to the 77th parallel north latitude, then southeast through Davis Strait to the intersection of the 40th parallel north latitude and the 35th meridian west longitude, then south along the meridian to the 10th parallel north latitude, then southeast to the intersection of the Equator and the 20th meridian west longitude, then south along the 20th meridian west longitude to the South Pole. The western boundary is from the North Pole, south along the 141st meridian west longitude to the east boundary of Alaska, then south and southeast along the Alaska boundary to the Pacific Ocean, then south along the 130th meridian to its intersection with the 30th parallel north latitude, then southeast to the intersection of the Equator and the 100th meridian west longitude to the South Pole. The American Theater included North America (excluding Alaska) and South America.


Service Awards Page [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ]
Source: Grunt's MIlitary Site - http://www.gruntsmilitary.com/index.htm