Awards and decorations of the United States military

Awards and decorations of the United States military
U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace wearing medals, ribbons, and other insignia.

Awards and decorations of the United States Military are military decorations which recognize service and personal accomplishments while a member of the United States armed forces. Together with military badges, such awards are a means to outwardly display the highlights of a service member's career.


Order of precedence

While each service has its own order of precedence, the following general rules apply to all services:

  1. U.S. military personal decorations
  2. U.S. military unit awards
  3. U.S. non-military personal decorations (After unit awards in order of receipt; if from the same agency, the applicable agency precedence listing should be consulted)
  4. U.S. non-military unit awards
  5. U.S. military campaign awards
  6. U.S. military service and training awards
  7. U.S. Merchant Marine awards and non-military service awards
  8. Foreign military personal decorations
  9. Foreign military unit awards
  10. Non-U.S. service awards (e.g., United Nations, NATO)
  11. Foreign military service awards
  12. Marksmanship awards (Navy and Coast Guard)
  13. State awards of the National Guard (Army & Air Force)
  • Unit awards are worn on the right side in the U.S. Army.

Active United States medals and ribbons

By Order of Precedence

Note: Precedence of particular awards will vary slightly among the different branches of service.

Ribbon/Award Name
Personal decorations
Medal of Honor ribbon.svg  Medal of Honor
Awarded for "Gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty"
Service Cross medals. Awarded for "Extraordinary heroism"

Distinguished Service Cross ribbon.svg  Distinguished Service Cross (Army)

Navy Cross ribbon.svg  Navy Cross

Air Force Cross ribbon.svg  Air Force Cross

Distinguished Service medals

Defense Distinguished Service ribbon.svg  Defense Distinguished Service Medal

Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal.jpg  Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal

Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg  Distinguished Service Medal (Army)

Navy Distinguished Service ribbon.svg  Navy Distinguished Service Medal

Air Force Distinguished Service ribbon.svg  Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

Coast Guard Distinguished Service ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal

Silver Star ribbon.svg  Silver Star Awarded for "Gallantry in action"
US Defense Superior Service Medal ribbon.svg  Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg  Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.svg  Distinguished Flying Cross
Medals for non-combat heroism

Soldier's Medal ribbon.svg  Soldier's Medal

Navy and Marine Corps Medal ribbon.svg  Navy and Marine Corps Medal

Airman's Medal ribbon.svg  Airman's Medal

Coast Guard Medal ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Medal

Gold Lifesaving Medal ribbon.svg  Gold Lifesaving Medal
Bronze Star ribbon.svg  Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart BAR.svg  Purple Heart
Defense Meritorious Service ribbon.svg  Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service ribbon.svg  Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal ribbon.svg  Air Medal
Silver Lifesaving Medal ribbon.svg  Silver Lifesaving Medal

Aerial Achievement Medal ribbon.svg  Aerial Achievement Medal

Commendation medals

Joint Service Commendation ribbon.svg  Joint Service Commendation Medal

Army Commendation Medal ribbon.svg  Army Commendation Medal

Navy and Marine Corps Commendation ribbon.svg  Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal

Air Force Commendation ribbon.svg  Air Force Commendation Medal

Coast Guard Commendation ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Commendation Medal

Achievement medals

Us jointservachiev rib.svg  Joint Service Achievement Medal

Army Achievement Medal ribbon.svg  Army Achievement Medal

Navy and Marine Corps Achievement ribbon.svg  Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal

Air Force Achievement ribbon.svg  Air Force Achievement Medal

Coast Guard Achievement ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Achievement Medal

Commandant's Letter of Commendation Ribbon.svg  Commandant's Letter of Commendation
Combat Action Ribbon.svg  Navy & Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon

USCG Combat Action Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Combat Action Ribbon

USA - AF Combat Action Ribbon.png  Air Force Combat Action Medal

Unit Awards
Presidential Unit Citation

Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg  Army & Air Force Presidential Unit Citation

US Navy Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon.png  Navy & Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation

Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation

Joint Meritorious Unit Award ribbon.svg  Joint Meritorious Unit Award

Valorous Unit Award ribbon.svg  Army Valorous Unit Award

Navy Unit Commendation ribbon.svg  Navy Unit Commendation

Gallant Unit Citation ribbon.svg  Air Force Gallant Unit Citation

Coast Guard Unit Commendation ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Unit Commendation

Meritorious Unit Commendation

Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg  Army Meritorious Unit Commendation

Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg  Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation

Air Force Meritorious Unit ribbon.svg  Air Force Meritorious Unit Award

Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation

Army Superior Unit Award ribbon.svg  Army Superior Unit Award

Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg  Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

Meritorious Team Commendation ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation

Efficiency Award

Battle-e-ribbon.png  Navy "E" Ribbon

Organizational Excellence ribbon.svg  Air Force Organizational Excellence Award

Coast Guard Excellence Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard "E" Ribbon

Service awards
Prisoner of War ribbon.svg  Prisoner of War Medal
Combat Readiness Medal ribbon.svg  Combat Readiness Medal
Good Conduct medals

Army Good Conduct ribbon.svg  Army Good Conduct Medal

Navy Good Conduct ribbon.svg  Navy Good Conduct Medal

Air Force Good Conduct ribbon.svg  Air Force Good Conduct Medal

Marine Corps Good Conduct ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal

Coast Guard Good Conduct ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal

Reserve good conduct medals

Army Reserve Achievement ribbon.svg  Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal

Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal.svg  Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal

AIR RESERVE FORCES MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL Ribbion.JPG  Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal

Selected Marine Corps Reserve ribbon.svg  Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal

Coast Guard Reserve Good Conduct Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Reserve Good Conduct Medal

Expeditionary medals

Navy Expeditionary ribbon.svg  Navy Expeditionary Medal

Marine Corps Expeditionary ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal

Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon.svg  Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon
Air Force Recognition Ribbon.svg  Air Force Recognition Ribbon
Ribbon/Award Name
Campaign and service medals
Army of Occupation ribbon.svg  Army of Occupation Medal
Army of Occupation ribbon.svg  Navy Occupation Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg  National Defense Service Medal
KSMRib.svg  Korean Service Medal
AnArcRib.svg  Antarctica Service Medal
Coast Guard Arctic Service ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Arctic Service Medal
AFEMRib.svg  Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Ribbon.svg  Vietnam Service Medal
Southwest Asia Service ribbon.svg  Southwest Asia Service Medal
KosovoRib.svg  Kosovo Campaign Medal
Afghanistan Campaign ribbon.svg  Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign ribbon.svg  Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon.svg  Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service ribbon.svg  Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service ribbon.svg  Korea Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal ribbon.svg  Armed Forces Service Medal
Humanitarian Service ribbon.svg  Humanitarian Service Medal
Outstanding Volunteer Service ribbon.svg  Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Air and Space Campaign ribbon.svg  Air and Space Campaign Medal
Service and training awards
Army Sea Duty Ribbon.svg  Army Sea Duty Ribbon

Army Overseas Service Ribbon.svg  Army Overseas Service Ribbon

Army Reserve Overseas Training Ribbon.svg  Army Reserve Overseas Training Ribbon

Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.svg  Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon

Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon.svg  Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon

Special Operations Service Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbon

Arctic Service Ribbon.svg  Navy Arctic Service Ribbon

Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon

Naval Reserve Sea Service Ribbon.svg  Naval Reserve Sea Service Ribbon

Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon.svg  Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon

Restricted Duty Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Restricted Duty Ribbon

Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon.svg  Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon

USCG Overseas Service Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Overseas Service Ribbon

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon.svg  Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold border.png  Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon (with gold border)

Air Force Longevity Service ribbon.svg  Air Force Longevity Service Award
Recruiting service ribbon

Navy Recruiting Service Ribbon.svg  Navy Recruiting Service Ribbon

Air Force Recruiter Ribbon.svg  Air Force Recruiter Ribbon

Marine Corps Recruiting Ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Recruiting Ribbon

Coast Guard Recruiting Service Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Recruiting Service Ribbon

Training service ribbon

Military Training Instructor Ribbon.svg  Air Force Military Training Instructor Ribbon

Navy Recruit Training Service Ribbon.svg  Navy Recruit Training Service Ribbon

Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon

Guard ribbon

Navy Ceremonial Guard Ribbon.svg  Navy Ceremonial Guard Ribbon

Marine Corps Security Guard Ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Security Guard Ribbon

ResMedRib.svg  Armed Forces Reserve Medal
Professional Development Ribbon

NCO Professional Development Ribbon.svg  Army NCO Professional Development Ribbon

USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon.svg  Air Force NCO PME Graduate Ribbon

Army Service Ribbon.svg  Army Service Ribbon

USAF Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon.svg  Air Force Honor Graduate Ribbon

Coast Guard Honor Graduate Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Honor Graduate Ribbon

Air Force Training Ribbon.svg  Air Force Training Ribbon
Marksmanship awards
USAF Marksmanship ribbon.svg  Air Force Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon

USCG Distinguished Marksman Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Distinguished Marksman

USCG Silver Rifle EIC Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Silver Rifle Excellence in Competition

USCG Bronze Rifle EIC Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Bronze Rifle Excellence in Competition

USN Expert Rifle Ribbon.png  Navy Expert Rifleman Medal

USCG Expert Rifle Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Expert Rifle Medal

USN Sharpshooter Rifle Ribbon.png  Navy Sharpshooter Rifle Ribbon

USCG Sharpshooter Rifle Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Sharpshooter Rifle Ribbon

Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon.svg  Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon

Coast Guard Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon


USCG Distinguished Pistol Shot Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Distinguished Pistol Shot

USCG Silver Pistol Shot EIC Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Silver Pistol Excellence in Competition

USCG Bronze Pistol Shot EIC Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Bronze Pistol Excellence in Competition

USN Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon.png  Navy Expert Pistol Medal

USCG Expert Pistol Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Expert Pistol Medal

USN Sharpshooter Pistol Shot Ribbon.png  Navy Sharpshooter Pistol Ribbon

USCG Sharpshooter Pistol Ribbon.png  Coast Guard Sharpshooter Pistol Ribbon

Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon.svg  Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon

Coast Guard Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon.svg  Coast Guard Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon


By military department

To denote additional achievements or multiple awards of the same decoration, the United States military maintains a number of award devices which are pinned to service ribbons and medals.

National Guard and State Defense Forces decorations

Unofficial and obsolete decorations

Obsolete Decorations and Service Medals

Main articles: Obsolete military awards of the United States and United States service medals of the World Wars
Ribbon/Award Name
Personal decorations
Certificate of Merit Medal ribbon.svg  Certificate of Merit Medal
Marine Corps Brevet Medal ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Brevet Medal
Army Wound Ribbon.svg  Army Wound Ribbon
Specially Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg  Specially Meritorious Service Medal
Unit awards
Secretary of Transportation Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg  Secretary of Transportation Outstanding Unit Award
Coast Guard Bicentennial Unit Commendation.svg  Coast Guard Bicentennial Unit Commendation
19th and early 20th century Campaign Medals
Civil War Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Civil War Campaign Medal
Indian Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Indian Campaign Medal
China Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  China Campaign Medal (Army)
China Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  China Relief Expedition Medal (Navy)
Spanish-American War campaign and occupation medals
Spanish Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Spanish Campaign Medal
West Indies Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  West Indies Campaign Medal
Sampson Medal ribbon.JPG  West Indies Naval Campaign Medal (Sampson Medal)
Blueyellowribbon.jpg  Battle of Manila Bay Medal (Dewey Medal)
Spanish War Service Medal ribbon.svg  Spanish War Service Medal
Army of Cuban Occupation ribbon.svg  Army of Cuban Occupation Medal
Army of Cuban Pacification ribbon.svg  Army of Cuban Pacification Medal
Army of Puerto Rican Occupation ribbon.svg  Army of Puerto Rican Occupation Medal
Philippine-American War campaign medals
Philippine Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Philippine Campaign Medal
Philippine Congressional Medal ribbon.svg  Philippine Congressional Medal
Navy & Marine Corps expedition medals (1920s and 1930s)
Nicaraguan Campaign ribbon 1912.svg  Nicaraguan Campaign Medal (1912)
Dominican Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Dominican Campaign Medal
Haitian Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Haitian Campaign Medal (1917)
Nicaraguan Campaign ribbon 1933.svg  Nicaraguan Campaign Medal (1933)
Haitian Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  Haitian Campaign Medal (1921)
Yangtze Service Medal ribbon.svg  Yangtze Service Medal
Ribbon/Award Name
World War I and Pre-WWI service medals
Mexican Service Medal ribbon.svg  Mexican Service Medal
Mexican Border Service Medal ribbon.svg  Mexican Border Service Medal
World War I Victory Medal ribbon.svg  World War I Victory Medal
Army of Occupation of Germany ribbon.svg  Army of Occupation of Germany Medal
World War II and Pre-WWII service medals
China Service Medal ribbon.svg  China Service Medal
American Defense Service ribbon.svg  American Defense Service Medal
Women's Army Corps Service ribbon.svg  Women's Army Corps Service Medal
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg  American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg  European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg  Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg  World War II Victory Medal
Post World War II occupation and Service medals
Medal for Humane Action ribbon.svg  Medal for Humane Action
Service and Training awards
Naval Reserve Medal ribbon.svg  Naval Reserve Medal
Fleet Marine Force Ribbon.svg  Fleet Marine Force Ribbon
Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon.svg  Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon
Reserve Special Commendation Ribbon.svg  Reserve Special Commendation Ribbon

Distinguished Marksman and Pistol Shot Ribbon.svg  Navy Distinguished Marksman and Pistol Shot Ribbon

Distinguished Marksmanship Ribbon.svg  Navy Distinguished Marksman Ribbon

Distinguished Pistol Shot Ribbon.svg  Navy Distinguished Pistol Shot Ribbon

Unofficial decorations

Foreign and international decorations


To display devices on Wikipedia pages, use Template:Ribbon devices.

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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