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Executive Order Creates Armed Forces Service Medal

By Master Sgt. Stephen Barrett, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 1996 – President Clinton signed an executive order authorizing the Armed Forces Service Medal. The new medal will go to service members participating in peaceful U.S. military operations on or after June 1, 1992.

Under the guidelines, the Joint Chiefs of Staff will decide which operations are eligible for the award. Service members receiving the award must not face foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action. All military service members, including U.S. Coast Guard personnel, may receive the award.

The new medal covers operations not covered by other U.S. service medals. DoD will not give the award to service members already eligible for other awards. For example, personnel receiving the Southwest Asia Service Medal or Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in the Persian Gulf are not eligible for the new medal. Service members who qualify for the Humanitarian Service Medal will not receive the award either.

Service members may receive the medal once. Suitable devices, such as numerals or oak leaf clusters, will indicate subsequent awards.

Service members in singleservice operations may receive the medal provided no other suitable award is available. The U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry at Fort Belvoir, Va., designed the medal. It is not yet available. Officials could not say when the medal will be available.

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