Armed Forces Service Medal
Display Recognition

Site Index

      • Example Display Recognition
      • Applicable Military Branches
      • Display Types
      • Issue Requirements
      • Issue Regulations
      • Who May Apply
      • Executive Order 12985
      • Administration Processing and Delivery
      • How To Apply For This Display Recognition and/or Medal
      • Mailing Address
      • Questions?
      • Other Display Recognitions
      • Military Medals Website
      • Military Medals Discussion Forum
      • Example Display Recognition:
        Actual Size: 8 1/2 x 11
        Displayed: U.S. Army.
        All Five Service Branches, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard,
        Marine and Navy are Applicable.



        Military Branches

        All Military Service branches are applicable:
        Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy

        Who May Apply

        • Veteran recipients
        • Active Duty recipients
        • Family Members of recipients
        • Estate Inheritors

        Display Types

        You have four display types to choose from:
        Black & White (No Color)
        Heavy Bond Enclosure

        Heavy Bond Enclosure
        Colors: Regal, Black, Navy
        Trimmed in Appearance Gold

        Ready for Mantle or Shelf Display

        Issue Requirements
        You must submit the followind:

      • An unaltered photocopy of your DD-214 or DD-214 and DD-215 (post WW2), OR unaltered photocopy of WD AGO 53-55 (WW2). (See below for KIA information)
      • Contact The War Library if you do not have a DD-214: 1-310-532-0634.
      • A DD-214, DD-215 or WD AGO 53-55 is not required when requesting a display Recognition for hostile or friendly fire KIA's
      • NOTICE

        This Display Recognition is available ONLY to authorized recipients who possess orders, or authorization form, or release documentation that confirms award eligibility. (See "Issue Requirements"). To obtain either a Display Medal or a Display Recognition for your authorized award you will be required to provide military-issued documentation authorizing your award. There are no exceptions.

        WARNING!
        You must NOT submit a military issued document or photocopy that:

        • has been altered in any way by you after
          the original's official issue
        • contains information or corrections or
          additions that you entered
        • lists awards or training you knowingly did not receive
        • contains highlighting, colorizing or other markings you entered

        Be advised that on request any knowingly fraudulent document sent by you will be released to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that may result in prosecution and/or fine/imprisonment.

        Email Questions, or Phone: 310-532-0634

        Personnel Branch
        Processing and Delivery

        Style Admin Shipping Total
        Full Color .PDF (Printable) $7.50 Emailed $7.50
        Published Document only (Full Color) $14.00 $7.15 $21.15
        Published Document in Heavy Bond Enclosure (Full Color) $19.00 $7.15 $26.15
        Full Color Printable Certificates
        on CD-Rom (minimum 20 Certificates)
        $7.50 $7.50 By Count

      • Total/Shipping fees, above, apply to 50 U.S. states
      • Contact The War Library for international shipping cost
      • How to Apply

        You may apply for your Display Recognition using a...

      • Check Debit card (* Shipped within 1 week)
      • Charge card (* Shipped within 1 week)
      • Personal, Business, Bank or Cashiers Check ( Shipped in 6 weeks)
      • Money Order (* Shipped within 1 week)
      • (* Upon reception of required documentation)

        Complete and MAIL this APPLICATION FORM.
        Don't forget to include an unaltered COPY of your DD-214, DD-215 or other pre-arranged document(s).

        DISPLAY RECOGNITION and/or MEDAL APPLICATION FORM

        Mailing Address

        Records Chief (REC-AMW)
        The American War Library
        16907 Brighton Avenue
        Gardena CA 90247-5420

        Questions?

        Click here for answers to common questions

        Email: Recognition Inquiry

        Telephone: 1-310-532-0634

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        Issue Regulations
        The Armed Forces Service Medal


        Click for larger image
        The Armed Forces Service Medal was created by Executive Order 12985, signed into law Jan. 11, 1996, by President Bill Clinton.

        The medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who, as a unit, participate in a United States military operation deemed to be a significant activity and who encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action. In many respects, this provision makes the award a non-combat parallel of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

        The medal shall be awarded only for operations for which no other United States service medal is approved. For operations in which only personnel of the Navy or Marine Corps participate, the medal shall be awarded only if the Navy or Marine Corps expeditionary medals are deemed inappropriate. No more than one medal shall be awarded to any one person, but for each succeeding operation justifying such award, a bronze service star shall be added to the suspension ribbon and ribbon bar.

        Regulations place the Armed Forces Service Medal in an order of precedence immediately before the Humanitarian Service Medal. The medal may be awarded posthumously.

        These are representative operations approved to date for award of the Armed Forces Service Medal:

          Operation Provide Promise
          Operation Joint Endeavor
          Operation Joint Guard (successor to Joint Endeavor)
          Operation Able Sentry
          Operation Deny Flight
          Operation Maritime Monitor
          Operation Sharp Guard

        (The above Operations must be within the total land area and air space of the former Republic of Yugoslavia, Italy, and Hungary and the air space above that portion of the Adriatic Sea that lies north of 40 degrees north latitude from 1 June 1992 to a date to be determined.) Also, service with the United Nations Mission in Haiti, U.S. Forces Haiti and U.S. Support Group Haiti is qualifying service for the Armed Forces Service Medal.

        To qualify for the medal, service members must be bonafide members of a unit participating for one or more days in the operation within the designated areas of eligibility, or meet one or more of the following criteria:

        (1) Be engaged in direct support for 30 consecutive days in the area of eligibility or for 60 non-consecutive days provided this support involves entering the area of eligibility.

        (2) participate as a regularly assigned crew member of an aircraft flying into, out of, within, or over the area of eligibility in support of the operation.

        The Armed Forces Service Medal is an individual theater award awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who, after 1 June 1992, have participated in a U.S. military operation deemed to be a significant activity encountering no foreign armed opposition or imminent threat of hostile action.

        The AFSM provides recognition to participants who deploy to the designated area of eligibility for the qualifying operation.

        Outstanding or meritorious performance of nondeployed or remotely located support units and individuals is not justification for award of the AFSM. Such performance may be recognized by appropriate unit and/or individual decorations instead of the AFSM.

        Definitions:

        Significant Activity: A United States military operation considered to be of such high degree of scope, impact, and national or international significance as to warrant the permanent commemoraton and recognition afforded by award of a campaign or service medal.

        Area of Eligibility:

        The foreign territory on which troops have actually landed or are present and specifically deployed for the operation. Adjacent water areas in which ships are operating, patrolling, or providing direct support of the operation. The air space above and adjacent to the area in which operations are being conducted.

        Direct Support:

        Services being supplied to participating forces in the area of eligibility by ground units, ships, and aircraft, provided it involves actually entering the designated area of eligibility. Such support includes units, ships and aircraft providing logistic, patrol, guard, reconnaissance, or other military support within the designated area of eligibility.

        Limitations:

        The AFSM shall be awarded only for operations for which no other U.S. campaign medal is approved. The military service of the Service member for which qualification for the award of the AFSM is based shall have been honorable. For operations in which personnel of only one Military Department participate, the AFSM shall be awarded only if there is no other suitable award available to that Department. Award of the AFSM is not authorized for participation in national or international exercises. The AFSM shall not be awarded for NATO or UN operations not involving significant, concurrent United States military support operations.

        Award Approval Authority: The Joint Chiefs of Staff designate U.S. military operations after 1 June 1992 that qualify for the AFSM. Executive Order 12985, "Establishing the Armed Forces Service Medal," dated January 9, 1993, establishes the award.

        Guidelines about the AFSM and the Humanitarian Service Medal (HSM)

        Because the AFSM may be awarded for a prolonged humanitarian operation, distinction between the AFSM and the HSM must be maintained.

        The HSM is an individual award, presented to individuals who are physically present at the site of immediate relief and who directly contribute to and influence the humanitarian action. The HSM is only awarded for service during the identified period of immediate relief. Eligibility for the HSM terminates should the humanitarian action evolve into an "established ongoing operation beyond the initial emergency condition." The AFSM is a theater award, authorized for presentation to all participants who meet eligibility requirements established for a designated operation. The AFSM is not authorized for operations in which all deployed participants are awarded the HSM and for which the period of immediate relief coincides with the duration of significant deployed operations.

        Quick Facts about the AFSM

        The AFSM is worn immediately before the Humanitarian Service Medal. No more than one medal shall be awarded to any one Service member. Second and subsequent awards will be denoted by 3/16-inch bronze service stars. A 3/16-inch silver star will be worn instead of 5 bronze stars. The AFSM may be awarded posthumously and presented to representative(s) of the deceased as deemed appropriate by the Secretary concerned.

        Operations in the European Theater awarded the AFSM

        Operations Relating to the Former Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) (Announced in Joint Staff message 051708Z MAR 96) beginning 1 Jun 92 through:

        OPERATION PROVIDE PROMISE (OPP) - 15 Mar 96
        OPERATION JOINT ENDEAVOR (OJE) - 19 Dec 96 Task Force ABLE SENTRY (TFAS) - 31 Mar 99
        OPERATION DENY FLIGHT (ODF) - 20 Dec 95
        OPERATION MARITIME MONITOR (OMM) - 20 Sep 96
        OPERATION SHARP GUARD (OSG) - 20 Sep 96 The AREA OF ELIGIBILITY (AOE) for the above
        operations is the total land area and air space of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, Hungary and Italy and the waters and air space above that portion of the Adriatic Sea that lies north of forty degrees North Latitude. Members must be: Bona Fide members of unit participating for one or more days in the above operations within the designated AOE. (This means the entire unit entered the AOE as a unit). Engaged in direct support for 30 consecutive days in the AOE. Engaged in direct support for 60 nonconsecutive days in the AOE. Participating as a regularly assigned crew member of an aircraft flying into, out of, within, or over the AOE. Units that provided DIRECT SUPPORT to OJE, outside the area of eligibility are alos eligible for award of the AFSM. These units are identified in Joint Staff Message 271355Z Oct 99.

        Operation JOINT GUARD (OJG) (Announced in Joint Staff message 102123Z OCT 97) beginning 20 Dec 96 through 20 Jun 98. The AREA OF ELIGIBILITY (AOE) for OJG is the total land area and air space of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia and Hungary and the waters and air space above that portion of the Adriatic Sea that lies north of forty degrees North Latitude. Members must be: Bona Fide members of unit participating for one or more days in OJG within the designated AOE. (This means the entire unit entered the AOE as a unit). Engaged in direct support for 30 consecutive days in the AOE. Engaged in direct support for 60 nonconsecutive days in the AOE. Participating as a regularly assigned crew member of an aircraft flying into, out of, within, or over the AOE. OJG is the follow on peace process begun by OJE in the European Theater. As the AFSM is a theater award, service members are authorized only one AFSM for service in either/or both OGE and OJG (No Oak Leaf Clusters authorized). Units that provided DIRECT SUPPORT to OJG, outside the area of eligibility are alos eligible for award of the AFSM. These units are identified in Joint Staff Message 271355Z Oct 99.

        Operation JOINT FORGE (OJF) (Announced in JOINT STAFF 201447 MAY 99) beginning 21 Jun 98 to a date to be determined. The AREA OF ELIGIBILITY (AOE) for OJF is the total land area and air space of Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary. Members must be: Bona Fide members of unit participating for one or more days in OJF within the designated AOE. (This means the entire unit entered the AOE as a unit). Engaged in direct support for 30 consecutive days in the AOE. Engaged in direct support for 60 nonconsecutive days in the AOE. Participating as a regularly assigned crew member of an aircraft flying into, out of, within, or over the AOE. OJF is the continuation of the peace process begun by OJE in the European Theater. As the AFSM is a theater award, service members are authorized only one AFSM for service in either OGE, OJG and OJF (No Oak Leaf Clusters authorized).

        Operation PROVIDE COMFORT (OPC) (Announced in Joint Staff message 181108Z JUN 98) beginning 1 Dec 95 through 31 Dec 96. The AREA OF ELIGIBILITY (AOE) for OPC is the total land area and air space of the Northern Iraq, north of the 36th Parallel, and Incirlik Air Base and Pirinclik Air Base, Turkey. Members must be: Bona Fide members of unit participating for one or more days in OPC within the designated AOE. (This means the entire unit entered the AOE as a unit). Be deployed as an individual by official orders to OPC for 30 consecutive days in the AOE. Be deployed as an individual by official orders to OPC for 60 nonconsecutive days in the AOE. Participating as a regularly assigned crew member of an aircraft flying Operations, to include OPC, during the period 2 Aug 92 and 31 Dec 96.into, out of, within, or over the AOE. Service members who earned the Southwest Asia Service Medal (SWASM), which terminated 30 Nov 95, and subsequently became eligible for the AFSM awarded to OPC may elect to receive the AFSM instead of the SWASM. However, no service member may be issued or wear both medals - SWASM and AFSM - (or service ribbons) for service in the Southwest Asia Theater of

        Order of Precedence:

        The Armed Forces Service Medal is worn after the Southwest Asia Service Medal and before the Humanitarian Service Medal.

        Devices:

        Additional awards of the Armed Forces Service Medal are denoted by 3/16-inch bronze stars. A 3/16-inch silver star will be worn in lieu of five bronze stars.

        Designer:

        The Armed Forces Service Medal was designed by Nadine Russell of the Army's Institute of Heraldry.

        First Recipient:

        The identity of the first recipient of the Armed Forces Service Medal is not known.

        Description and Symbolism

        Obverse:

        In the center of a bronze medallion one and three-eighths inches in diameter, a demi-torch (as on the Statue of Liberty) is shown encircled at the top by the inscription, ARMED FORCES SERVICE MEDAL.

        The torch, adapted from the Statue of Liberty, represents the principles of democracy as well as leadership and guidance.

        Reverse:

        In the center of a bronze medallion one and three-eighths inches in diameter, an eagle (as on the seal of the Department of Defense) is shown between a wreath of laurel at the base and the inscription IN PURSUIT OF DEMOCRACY at top.

        The eagle, adapted from the seal of the Department of Defense, reflects the scope of the award and its applicability. Laurel is for honor and achievement.

        Ribbon:

        The medal is suspended from a ribbon one and three-eighths inches in width consisting of the following stripes: 1/16" Goldenlight; 1/8" Bottle (Jungle) Green; 1/8" Green; 1/8" Mosstone; 1/8" Goldenlight; 1/4" Bluebird; 1/8" Goldenlight; 1/8" Mosstone; 1/8" Green; 1/8" Bottle (Jungle) Green; and 1/16" Goldenlight.

        Green denotes life and growth; medium blue is the color used by the Department of Defense, and gold is for honor.

        Qualifying Operations:

        The following operations qualify for the Armed Forces Service Medal:

      • Able Sentry (July 1993 - TBD)
      • Deny Flight (April 1993 - December 1995)
      • Maritime Monitor (June 1992 - December 1992)
      • Provide Promise (July 1992 - February 1996)
      • Sharp Guard (June 1993 - September 1996)
      • Joint Endeavor (December 1995 - December 1996)
      • Joint Endeavor (December 1995 - 20 June 1998)
      • Haiti Operations (April 1995 - TBD)
      • United Nations Mission Haiti
      • U.S. Forces Haiti
      • U.S. Support Group, Haiti
      • Provide Comfort (1 December 1995 - 31 December 1996)
      • Joint Forge (21 June 1998 - TBD)

      • Executive Order 12985
        Authorizing award of the Armed Forces Service Medal

        Executive Order 12985 Establishing The Armed Forces Service Medal

        By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including my authority as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

        Section 1. Establishment. There is hereby established the Armed Forces Service Medal with accompanying ribbons and appurtenances, for award to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, on or after June 1, 1992, in the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: (a) Participate, or have participated, as members of United States military units in a United States military operation in which personnel of any Armed Force participate that is deemed to be significant activity; and (b) Encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action.

        Sec. 2. Approval and Award. The medal, with ribbons and appurtenances, shall be of an appropriate design approved by the Secretary of Defense and shall be awarded by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Transportation with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, under uniform regulations, as prescribed by the Secretary of Defense. The regulations shall place the Armed Forces Service Medal in an order of precedence immediately before the Humanitarian Service Medal.

        Sec. 3. Criteria. The medal shall be awarded only for operations for which no other United States service medal is approved. For operations in which personnel of only one Military Department or the Coast Guard participate, the medal shall be awarded only if there is no other suitable award available to the department or the Coast Guard. No more than one medal shall be awarded to any one person, but for each succeeding operation justifying such award a suitable device may be awarded to be worn on the medal or ribbon as prescribed by appropriate regulations.

        Sec. 4. Posthumous Provision. The medal may be awarded posthumously and, when so awarded, may be presented to such representative of the deceased as may be deemed appropriate by the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of Transportation.

        WILLIAM J. CLINTON THE WHITE HOUSE, January 11, 1996.

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