Outstanding Volunteer Service
Medal and Display Recognition

Site Index

      • Example Display Recognition
      • Applicable Military Branches
      • Display Types
      • Issue Requirements
      • Issue Regulations
      • Forms
      • Who May Apply
      • Executive Order 12830
      • Administration Processing and Delivery
      • How To Apply For This Display Recognition and/or Medal
      • Mailing Address
      • Questions?
      • Other Display Recognitions
      • Air Service Websites
      • Example Display Recognition:
        Actual Size: 8 1/2 x 11



        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 following:

      • An unaltered photocopy of your DA-638 (Army), or CG-1650 (Coast Guard), or OPNAV 1650 (Navy/Marines), or AF 1206 (Air Force) clearly displaying your award of the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
      • NOTE: The OVSM is not budgeted by congress or military protocol to generate Special or General Orders. Aside from the Recognition, forms DA-638, CG-1650, OPNAV 1650 or AF 642 are the only other documents necessary to officially RECOMMEND and ISSUE recognition of the OVSM to an individual. Active, Guard and Reserve commands can obtain ARMY 638, USN/USMC 1650, USCG 1650, and USAF 1206 here. (An associated AF file is AF 3994).These forms are printable by any Adobe Acrobat reader.

        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 / Fax: 1-562-422-4100

        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 $8.35 $22.35
        Published Document in Heavy Bond Enclosure (Full Color) $19.00 $8.35 $27.35
        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 DA-638.

        DISPLAY RECOGNITION and/or MEDAL APPLICATION FORM

        Mailing Address

        Records Chief (REC-AMW)
        The American War Library
        817 East Via Carmelitos Ste 319
        Long Beach CA 90805-7549

        Questions?

        Click here for answers to common questions

        Email: Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal Display Recognition Inquiry

        Telephone: 1-562-422-4100

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        Issue Regulations


        Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal


        Click for larger image

        Paragraph 2-16, Army Regulation 600-8-22 (Military Awards) 25 February 1995

        a. The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (MOVSM) was established by Executive Order 12830, 9 January 1993. It may be awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States and their Reserve Components, who anytime after 31 December 1992, perform outstanding volunteer community service of a sustained direct and consequential nature. (The OVSM is not applicable or retroactive to discharged veterans.)

        b. To qualify for award of the MOVSM a service members volunteer service must meet the following requirements:

        (1) Be to the civilian community, to include the military family community.

        (2) Be significant in nature and produce tangible results.

        (3) Reflect favorably on the Military Service and the Department of Defense.

        (4) Be of a sustained and direct nature.

        c. While there is no specific time period to qualify for the MOVSM (for example, 500 hours of community service within 24 calendar months), approval authorities shall ensure the service to be honored merits the special recognition afforded by this medal. The MOVSM is intended to recognize exceptional community support over time and not a single act or achievement. Further, it is intended to honor direct support of community activities. For the purpose of this award, attending membership meetings or social events of a community service group is not considered qualifying service, while manning a community crisis action telephone line is considered qualifying service

        d. Approval authority for award of the MOVSM will be commanders (overseas and conus) serving in the rank of brigadier general or higher and colonel level commanders who exercise general court-martial authority. Before the recommendation is forwarded to the award approval authority, the recommender must certify that the service member meets the eligibility criteria for award of the MOVSM. Substantiating documentation, such as record of hours contributed, letters or recognitions from activity supervisors, or other proof of the service member's volunteer services may be attached as enclosures to the recommendation.

        1. Description: A bronze medal, 1 3/8 inches in diameter bearing on the obverse, five annulets interlaced enfiled by a star and environed by a wreath of laurel. On the reverse is a sprig of oak between the inscription "OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER SERVICE" at the top and "UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES" at the bottom.

        2. Ribbon: The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 1/8 inch Bluebird 67117; 1/8 inch Goldenlight 67107; 3/16 inch Bluebird; 1/16 inch Green 67129; 5/32 inch Goldenlight; center 1/16 inch Green; 5/32 inch Goldenlight; 1/16 inch Green; 3/16 inch Bluebird; 1/8 inch Goldenlight; and 1/8 inch Bluebird.

        3. Criteria: Awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, subsequent to 31 December 1992, performed outstanding volunteer community service of a sustained, direct and consequential nature. To be eligible, an individuals service must (1) be to the civilian community, to include the military family community; (2) be significant in nature and produce tangible results; (3) reflect favorably on the Military Service and the Department of Defense; and (4) be of a sustained and direct nature. While there is no specific time threshold to qualify for the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (MOVSM), approval authorities shall ensure the service to be honored merits the special recognition afforded by this medal. The MOVSM is intended to recognize exceptional community support over time and not a single act or achievement. Further, it is intended to honor direct support of community activities.

        4. Components: The following are authorized components of the MOVSM:

        a. Medal (regular size): MIL-DTL-3943/160. NSN 8455-01-400-3295.

        b. Medal (miniature size): MIL-DTL-3943/160. Available commercially.

        c. Ribbon: MIL-DTL-11589/374. Available commercially.

        d. Lapel Button: MIL-DTL-11484.

        5. Background: a. The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal was established by Executive Order 12830, dated 9 January 1993. A proposed design, prepared by The Institute of Heraldry, was submitted to the Office of the Secretary of Defense on 12 April 1993. The design was approved by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Manpower and Personnel Policy on 15 Jun 1993.

        b. The interlaced annulets emphasize the interaction of the military services with the civilian community and symbolize continuity and cooperation. The star commemorates outstanding service; the wreath of laurel denotes honor and achievement. Oak is symbolic of strength and potential. Medium blue is the color traditionally associated with the Department of Defense. Gold is for excellence and green alludes to the nurturing of life and growth.

        Eligibility Requirements. Members of the Armed Forces of the United States and their Reserve Components who, subsequent to 31 December 1992, perform outstanding volunteer community service of a sustained, direct, and consequential nature. To be eligible the individual's service must: 1. be to the civilian community, to include the military family community; 2. be significant in nature and produce tangible results; 3. reflect favorably on the military service and the Department of Transportation; and 4. be of a sustained and direct nature. While there is no specific time threshold to qualify for the MOVSM, approval authorities shall ensure the service to be honored merits and the special recognition afforded by this medal. The MOVSM is intended to recognize exceptional community support over an extended period of time and not a single act or achievement. It is intended to honor direct support of community activities. While all members, as good citizens, should become involved in some level of community support, this award recognizes the truly outstanding volunteers. Examples of qualifying volunteer service include but are not limited to: Boy/Girl Scouts/Camp Fire/YMCA/4-H Volunteer Youth Sports Programs Hot Line Volunteer (abuse/rape/suicide) Hospital Volunteer Volunteer Teachers/Mentors March of Dimes, Easter Seal, etc./Walkathons Volunteer Fire Dept./Rescue Squad/Medics Literacy Programs Salvation Army or Red Cross Volunteer Drug Abuse/Child Abuse Programs Big Brother/Big Sister

        Awarding Authority. Authority to award the MOVSM is delegated to those flag officers and Senior Executive Service officials who have authority to award the Coast Guard Commendation Medal and below. The MOVSM may be awarded posthumously.

        Award Elements and Manner of Wearing. The MOVSM is comprised of a large medal and ribbon bar and shall be worn immediately after the Humanitarian Service Medal. Subsequent awards will be denoted by 3/16-inch bronze stars. A 3/16-inch silver star will be worn in lieu of a sixth award. The award shall be accompanied by a one-page letter, prepared on Commandant stationery and signed by the awarding authority, specifically citing the individual's volunteer service.

        The complete eligibility requirement for the MOVSM are explained in the Medals and Awards Manual (COMDTINST M1650.25B)

        Order of Precedence

        The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal is worn after the Humanitarian Service Medal and before Armed Forces Reserve Medal.

        Devices

        Additional awards of the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal are denoted by bronze stars.

        Designer

        The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal was designed by Nadine Russell of the Army's Institute of Heraldry.

        First Recipient

        The identity of the first recipient of the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal is unknown.

        Description and Symbolism

        Obverse

        In the center of a bronze medal one and three-eighths inches in diameter, five annulets are shown interlaced enfiled by a five-pointed star (Point up). The star and annulets are surrounded by a wreath of laurel which follows the contour of the medal.

        The interlaced annulets emphasize the interaction of the military services with the civilian community and symbolize continuity and cooperation. The star, a traditional symbol of military service, commemorates outstanding service. The laurel wreath denotes honor and achievement.

        Reverse

        The central feature of the reverse is a sprig of oak bearing three leaves and two acorns. Above and to the right of the sprig of oak is the inscription, OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER SERVICE in raised letters. Following the contour of the lower half of the medal is the inscription UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES, also in raised letters.

        The oak leaf was selected as the central feature of the reverse because oak is symbolic of strength and potential.

        Ribbon

        The ribbon has a center pinstripe of green edged with goldenlight (light yellow) stripes five thirty-seconds of an inch wide, which are in turn edged with a green pinstripe. The outer pinstripe of green is bordered on both sides by a stripe of bluebird blue three-sixteenths of an inch wide, which is in turn edged by a stripe of goldenlight five thirty-seconds of an inch wide. The outer edges of the ribbon are bluebird blue, one-eighth of an inch wide. Blue is the traditional color associated with the Department of Defense; gold represents excellence, and the green alludes to the nurturing of life and growth.

        Executive Order 12830

        Establishing The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal

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

        Section 1. There is hereby established a Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, with accompanying ribbons and appurtenances, for award by the Secretary of Defense or, with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, the Secretary of Transportation. Members of the Armed Forces of the United States (including Reserve components) who perform outstanding volunteer service to the civilian community of a sustained, direct, and consequential nature are eligible for the medal.

        Sec. 2. The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and ribbons and appurtenances thereto shall be of appropriate design approved by the Secretary of Defense. The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe regulations to govern the award and wear of the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. The regulations shall place the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal in order of precedence immediately after the Humanitarian Service Medal.

        Sec. 3. No more than one award of the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal may be made to any one person, but for each subsequent act justifying such an award, a suitable device may be awarded to be worn with that medal as prescribed by appropriate regulations issued by the Secretary of Defense.

        Sec. 4. The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal may be awarded posthumously, and when so awarded, may be presented by such representatives of the deceased as may be deemed of the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, the Secretary of Transportation.

        /s/George Bush

        THE WHITE HOUSE January 9, 1993.

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