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Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

 

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Awarded by the United States Department of Defense
Type Single-grade Medal
Eligibility

Served in the armed forces who, after July 1, 1958:

  • participated in one of the following categories of operations: U.S. military operations; U.S. military operations in direct support of the United Nations; and U.S. operations of assistance to friendly foreign nations.
Status Currently awarded
Statistics
Established Executive Order 10977, Dec. 4, 1961
Precedence
Next (higher) Antarctica Service Medal
Next (lower) Vietnam Service Medal


The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) is a military award of the United States military, which was first created in 1961 by Executive Order of President John Kennedy. The medal is awarded for participation in "any military campaign of the United States for which no other service medal is authorized." [1]

Contents

  • Criteria 1
  • Appearance 2
    • Ribbon devices 2.1
  • Approved operations 3
    • U.S. military operations 3.1
    • U.S. operations in direct support of the United Nations 3.2
    • U.S. operations of assistance for a friendly foreign nation 3.3
  • Similar awards 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7

Criteria

The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal may be authorized for three categories of operations: U.S. military operations; U.S. military operations in direct support of the United Nations; and U.S. operations of assistance to friendly foreign nations. The medal shall be awarded only for operations for which no other U.S. campaign medal is approved, where a foreign armed opposition or imminent threat of hostile action was encountered.[1]

Since its original conception in 1961, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal has been awarded for United States participation in over forty five designated military campaigns. The first campaign of the AFEM was the Cuban Missile Crisis and the award was issued for military service between October 1962 and June 1963. Following this original issuance, the AFEM was made retroactive to 1958 and issued for actions in Lebanon, Taiwan, Republic of the Congo, Quemoy and Matsu, and for duty in Berlin between 1961 and 1963.[2]

During the early years of the Vietnam War, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was issued for initial operations in South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was intended to replace the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal and Navy Expeditionary Medal.[3] In 1965, with the creation of the Vietnam Service Medal, the AFEM was discontinued for Vietnam War service. As the Vietnam Service Medal was retroactively authorized, those personnel who had previously received the AFEM were granted the option to exchange the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for the Vietnam Service Medal. In 1968, the AFEM was awarded for Naval operations in defense of the USS Pueblo (AGER-2), which was seized by North Korea, as well as for Korean Service, and awarded for Thailand and Cambodia operations in 1973. Because of these awards during the Vietnam war period, some military personnel have been awarded both the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal & the Vietnam Service Medal. In 2003, with the creation of the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the AFEM was discontinued for Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. After 18 March 2003, some personnel became eligible for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, as well as the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. Only one medal may be awarded, however, and individuals or units that deployed to the Gulf for Operation Southern Watch, and then immediately transitioned to Operation Iraqi Freedom, are not eligible for both medals.

Beginning in 1992 an effort was begun to phase out the AFEM in favor of campaign specific medals and the newly created Armed Forces Service Medal. The Armed Forces Service Medal was originally intended to be a replacement for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, however the two awards are considered separate awards with different award criteria. The primary difference between the two is that the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal is normally awarded for combat operations and combat support missions.

Appearance

The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal is issued as a bronze medal, 1-1/4 inches in diameter. The obverse side consists of an eagle, with wings addorsed and inverted (representing the strength of the United States Armed Forces), standing on a sword loosened in its scabbard, and super- imposed on a radiant compass rose of eight points, (representing the readiness to serve wherever needed) all within the circumscription "ARMED FORCES" above and "EXPEDITIONARY SERVICE" below with a sprig of laurel on each side. On the reverse is the shield from the United States Coat of Arms above two laurel branches separated by a bullet, all within the circumscription "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA".[1] The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 3/32 inch Green; 3/32 inch Golden Yellow ; 3/32 inch Spicebrown ; 3/32 inch Black ; 7/32 inch Bluebird ; 1/16 inch Ultramarine Blue ; 1/16 inch White ; 1/16 inch Scarlet; 7/32 inch Bluebird; 3/32 inch Black; 3/32 inch Spicebrown; 3/32 inch Golden Yellow; and 3/32 inch Green.

Ribbon devices

Additional participation in subsequent U.S. Military operations that are authorized for the award are denoted by service stars. The arrowhead device is authorized for United States Army personnel who are awarded the medal through participation in an airborne or amphibious assault and the Fleet Marine Force combat operation insignia is authorized for U.S. Navy service members assigned to Marine Corps units that participate in combat during the assignment.[1]

Approved operations

U.S. military operations

After the close of the Vietnam War, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was issued for various military operations in Panama, Grenada, and Libya Operation El Dorado Canyon.[1]

U.S. operations in direct support of the United Nations

The medal is also authorized for several United Nations actions, such as peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia and Somalia.[1]

U.S. operations of assistance for a friendly foreign nation

The AFEM has been issued for numerous operations in the Persian Gulf, most notably Operation Earnest Will, which began in 1987 and lasted until the eve of Operation Desert Shield.[4] Following the close of Desert Storm,[5] and the engagement in peacekeeping and sanction missions against Iraq, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was issued again for several operations such as Operation Northern Watch, Operation Southern Watch, and Operation Vigilant Sentinel.[1]

Similar awards

The Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal is similar in nature to the AFEM, it is still awarded for deploying abroad, on or after Sept. 11, 2001 and a future date to be determined, for service in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) or Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Service stars are also authorized for the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (GWOT-EM) effective February 9, 2015 retroactive to September, 11, 2001.[6] Each star represents a deployment in support of an approved GWOT operation. Only one GWOT-EM is awarded for each operation (four bronze service stars are authorized for five approved deployment operations). The five GWOT-EM approved operations by inclusive dates are:[6]

Enduring Freedom: Sep. 11, 2001 - TBD (to be determined)
Iraqi Freedom: Mar. 19, 2003 - Aug. 31, 2010
Nomad Shadow: Nov. 05, 2007 - TBD
New Dawn: Sep. 01, 2010 - Dec. 31, 2011
Inherent Resolve: Jun. 15, 2014 - TBD

The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal is no longer currently issued for operations in the Middle East, but may be reactivated for future campaigns which may not qualify for either the GWOTEM, the Iraq Campaign Medal or Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

The United States Navy and Marine Corps issue two similar awards, the Navy Expeditionary Medal and the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal. In the modern age, service members authorized one of these medals are occasionally permitted to choose between receipt of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or the service specific expeditionary medal. The AFEM and the Navy/Marine Expeditionary Medal cannot be bestowed simultaneously for the same action.

The United States Air Force also maintains an award known as the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon. Despite the similarity in names, however, this award is unrelated to the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and rather is presented for duty performed on Air Force deployments.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ >Also eligible for the Korean Defense Service Medal for same timeframe as a DOD exception to policy, Code of Federal Regulations Title 32 National Defense Volume 3, dated 7 July 2008
  2. ^ >May exchange AFEM for Vietnam Service Medal, Code of Federal Regulations Title 32 National Defense Volume 3, dated 7 July 2008
  3. ^ a b >The Kosovo Campaign Medal transitioned to the AFEM effective 1 Jan 2014; hence, start date for award of the AFEM does not coincide with the start date of Operation JOINT GUARDIAN
  4. ^ >Only for participants deployed in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, The Institute of Heraldry: Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal". The Institute of Heraldry: Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the ARMY. Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  2. ^ Air Force Personnel Center Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  3. ^ Service Medals and Campaign Credit of the United States Navy,Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  4. ^ Army Regulations 600-8-27 p. 26 paragraph 9-14
  5. ^ Army Regulations 600-8-27 p. 26 & 28
  6. ^ a b "DoD Authorizes Service Stars on Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  • Foster, Frank C. (2002). A complete guide to all United States military medals, 1939 to present. Fountain Inn, S.C.: MOA Press.  
  • Kerrigan, Evans E. (1971). American war medals and decorations. New York: Viking Press.  
  • Kerrigan, Evans E. (1990). American medals and decorations. Noroton Heights, CT: Medallic.  
  • Robles, Philip K. (1971). United States military medals and ribbons. Rutland, VT: C. E. Tuttle.  
  • (US) Army Regulation 600-8-22 Chapter 2-12, Tables 2-2, 2-3 and 2-4, dated 11 December 2006.


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