Soldier's Medal
Display Recognition

Site Index

      • Example Display Recognition
      • Applicable Military Branches
      • Display Types
      • Issue Requirements
      • Issue Regulations
      • Who May Apply
      • 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:
        The Soldier's Medal can be awarded to a member
        of any service branch or civilian serving with
        The United States Army

        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 DD-214, WD AGO, NAVPERS, NG or other military issued document clearly displaying your award of the Soldier's Medal.
      • Contact The War Library if you do not have a DD-214, WD AGO, NAVPERS, NG or other Report of Separation: 1-562-422-4100.
      • 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 DD-214, WD AGO 53-55 or other pre-arranged document(s).

        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: Soldier's Medal Display Recognition Inquiry

        Telephone: 1-562-422-4100

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        Issue Regulations


        Soldier's Medal (Army)


        Click for larger image

        For heroism by those serving with the Army in any capacity that involves the voluntary risk of life under conditions other than those of conflict with an opposing armed force.

        Established in 1926 and one of the Army's most distinguished awards, the Soldier's Medal denotes acts of heroism in a non-combat situation. It is awarded for such heroic actions on behalf of either fellow soldiers or civilians.

        1. Description: On a 1 3/8 inch wide Bronze octagon an eagle displayed, standing on a fasces, between two groups of stars of six and seven, above the group of six a spray of leaves. On the reverse is a shield paly of 13 pieces, on the chief the letters "US", supported by sprays of laurel and oak, around the upper edge the inscription "SOLDIER'S MEDAL" and across the face the words "FOR VALOR." In the base is a panel for the name of the recipient to be engraved. The medal is suspended from the ribbon by a rectangular-shaped metal loop with corners rounded.

        2. Ribbon: The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 3/8 inch Ultramarine Blue 67118 on each side and the center containing 13 White and Red stripes of equal width (7 White 67101 and 6 Old Glory Red 67156).

        3. Criteria: The Soldiers Medal is awarded to any person of the Armed Forces of the United States, or of a friendly foreign nation who while serving in any capacity with the Army of the United States, distinguished him/herself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy. The same degree of heroism is required as for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. The performance must have involved personal hazard or danger and the voluntary risk of life under conditions not involving conflict with an armed enemy. Awards will not be made solely on the basis of having saved a life.

        4. Components: The following are authorized components of the Soldier's Medal.

        a. Decoration (regular size): MIL-D-3943/16. NSN 8455-00-269-5759 for decoration set. NSN 8455-00-246-3835 for individual medal.

        b. Decoration (miniature size): MIL-D-3943/16. NSN 8455-00-996-5014.

        c. Ribbon: MIL-R-11589/137. NSN 8455-00-252-9956.

        d. Lapel Button: MIL-L-11484/12. NSN 8455-00-253-0820.

        5. Background: a. A need to recognize acts of heroism in 1922 resulted in the War Department issuing War Department orders for acts of bravery during peacetime. This led to an Act of Congress (Public Law 446-69th Congress, 2 July 1926 (44 Stat. 780)) which established the Soldier's Medal for acts of heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy. The Secretary of War directed that the Quartermaster General prepare and submit appropriate designs of the Soldier's Medal per letter signed by The Adjutant General dated 11 August 1926.

        b. The Secretary of War requested assistance in preparing a design from the Secretary of Treasury by letter dated 18 January 1927. In a response to the Secretary of War by letter dated 22 January 1927, the Secretary of Treasury indicated that the Director of the Mint had been instructed to request the Engraver of the Mint at Philadelphia to submit designs and model. A proposed design was completed and forwarded from the Philadelphia Mint on 22 June 1927 and forwarded to the Commission of Fine Arts for comments. The Commission of Fine Arts in a letter to the Secretary of War dated 27 February 1928 stated.. "It would be a very serious disappointment to this Commission, after all its struggles to obtain good medals, to have to rely on work of this character. One of the fundamental objections to the designs submitted is a lack of that simplicity which should characterize all medals of the highest class. The designs and casts are disapproved and returned". Subsequent designs were submitted and rejected by the Commission in November 1929. The Quartermaster General forwarded a letter to Mr. Gaetano Cecere, New York, NY on 20 January 1930, requesting a design and indicating the War Department would pay not more than $1500.00 for an approved design and cast. Mr. Cecere provided a proposed design in April 1930 that was approved by the Commission on 5 May 1930.

        c. Title 10, United States Code (USC), Section 3750 contains current statutory requirements for the Soldier's Medal. Enlisted personnel may be entitled to an increase in retired pay under Title 10, USC 3991 when credited with heroism equivalent to that required for the award of the Distinguished Service Cross.

        d. Order of precedence and wear of decorations is contained in Army Regulation 670-1. Policy for awards, approving authority, supply, and issue of decorations is contained in Army Regulation 600-8-22.

        e. The Soldier's Medal, section 3750, title 10, United States Code (10 USC 3750) was established by Act of Congress 2 July 1926.

        f. The Soldier's Medal is awarded to any person of the Armed Forces of the United States or of a friendly foreign nation who, while serving in any capacity with the Army of the United States, distinguished himself or herself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy. The same degree of heroism is required as for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. The performance must have involved personal hazard or danger and the voluntary risk of life under conditions not involving conflict with an armed enemy. Awards will not be made solely on the basis of having saved a life.

        AR 600-8-22 25 February 1995 3-12

        Establishing Authority

        The Soldier's Medal was established by Act of Congress (Public Law 446, 69th Congress), approved July 2, 1926.

        Effective Dates

        The Soldier's Medal has been awarded for qualifying service since July 2, 1926.

        Order of Precedence

        The Soldier's Medal is worn after the Distinguished Flying Cross and before the Bronze Star Medal.

        Devices

        Additional awards of the Soldiers Medal are denoted by oak leaf clusters.

        Designer

        The Soldier's Medal was designed and sculpted by Gaetano Cecere.

        First Recipients

        On Monday, October 17, 1927, the War Department announced the first four awards of the Soldier's Medal to the following individuals:

        -- PFC John F. Burns, 56th Ordnance Company, for heroism during a fire at the Pig Point Ordnance Reserve Depot, Pig Point, Virginia, on August 18, 1926.

        -- Warrant Officer James K. Wilson, for heroism on August 12, 1926, near Fort McPherson, Georgia in saving a boy from drowning.

        -- Private Cleophas C. Burnett, 62nd Service Squadron, Air Corps, for heroism on August 16, 1926, for heroism in rescuing two women from drowning at San Antonio, Texas.

        -- PFC James P. Martin, 56th Ordnance Company, for heroism during a fire at the Pig Point Ordnance Reserve Depot, Pig Point, Virginia, on August 18, 1926.

        Description and Symbolism

        Obverse

        In the center of a bronze octagon one and three-eighths inches wide, an eagle with its wings displayed upward. The eagle is centered between two groups of stars (the group on the eagle's left contains seven stars, and the group to its right has six) and a spray of laurel above them. The eagle is standing over a fasces. The octagon shape was adopted to distinguish the Soldier's Medal from all other American decorations. The eagle is the American bald eagle, representing the United States. The fasces alludes to the lawful authority of the State and symbolically represents the fact that this medal is an award from the Government to an individual. The stars refer to the thirteen original colonies and thereby to all of the States, and hence to the United States of America. The spray of laurel is used to make the groups of stars symmetrical and also represents the ancient symbol of achievement.

        Reverse

        In the center of the bronze octagon, a shield pay of thirteen pieces and the letters US centered in the chief. To the right of the shield, an oak branch extends upward to the top of the medal; to its left, a laurel branch, also extends upward to the top of the medal thereby framing the shield on both sides. The base of the shield terminates at a decorative scroll which surmounts a plaque used for engraving the recipient's name. The raised words FOR VALOR are separated by the base of the shield, the branches and scroll and appear perpendicular to the base of the medal. The raised words SOLDIER'S MEDAL follow the upper contour of the medal. The shield is from the Great Seal of the Untied States, and the sprays of laurel and oak allude to achievement and strength.

        Ribbon

        The consists of thirteen alternating stripes of white (seven) and red (six) in the center, bordered by blue. The colors employed in this ribbon are the National colors and are taken from the flag of the United States. The thirteen red and white stripes are arranged in the same manner (white alternating with red) as the thirteen vertical stripes in the shield of the Coat of Arms of the United States.

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