Vietnam Campaign Medal
Sample Replacement Recognition
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This Replacement Recognition is available ONLY to authorized recipients who have already received their award and possess orders, or authorization form, or release documentation as confirmation. (See "Issue Requirements"). To obtain either a Replacement Medal or a Replacement Recognition for your authorized award you will be required to provide military-issued documentation authorizing your award. There are no exceptions.
You must NOT submit a military issued document or photocopy that:
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You may apply for your Replacement Recognition using a...
(* Upon reception of required documentation)
Complete and MAIL this APPLICATION FORM.
Don't forget to include an unaltered COPY of your WD AGO 53-55 or other pre-arranged document(s).
Vietnam Campaign Medal Replacement Recognition Inquiry
Establishing Authority (Non-French Authority)
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The Repulic of Vietnam Campaign Medal was established by Armed Forces Order Number 48 of March 24, 1966.
Acceptance by the United States
The authority for U.S. military personnel to accept and wear this medal was announced in Department of Defense Instruction 1348.17 of June 20, 1966, as amended.
The effective dates for the Republic of Vietnam Campaign medal for United States military personnel are March 1, 1961 and March 28, 1973. In April 1975 the GVN decided a second time against establishing a retro-active 1970's device but re-authorized the VCM to all foreign military personnel who served in Vietnam until the end of the war, including foreign personnel who risked their lives in the final evacuation operations (General Order 8, MACV) and the last officially designated MACV (Allied Forces) campaign: Operation Frequent Wind.
The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal was originally authorized by the Government of Vietnam to members of the Armed Forces of the United States and its Allies who:
In 1975 this medal's authorization was amended by the Government of Vietnam to include all foreign military personnel who served in Vietnam and Vietnamese waters from the beginning to the end of the conflict. Non-US Vietnam veterans should consult your government regarding their acceptance of the amendment.
This medal was designed by the Emporer of Vietnam Bao Dai (See French Medal, below).
Order of Precedence
The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal is worn on the Army uniform after the Multinational Force and Observers Medal and before the Kuwait Liberation Medal; all other Services wear it after the Inter-American Defense Board Medal and before the Kuwait Liberation Medal.
Republic of Vietnam Campaign medals authorized for United States personnel have a swallow-tailed banner, with folded ends, that bears the date 1960 - (and a blank space for an ending date).
Description and Symbolism
A white six-pointed star with cut-line, broad gold star points between its arms, and a central green disc with a map of Vietnam in silver surmounted with three pained flames in red. The three red flames stand for the three regions of Vietnam.
In the center of the reverse is the inscription VIET-NAM within a lined circle with CHIEN-DICH above and BOI-TINH below, separated by short lines.
The ribbon is a field of green with three white stripes (one in the center and one inside each edge) The white stripe in the center is slightly larger than the ones inside each edge.
1. Description: A Gold six pointed star with rays, 32cm in diameter, superimposed by a White enameled star, 42cm in diameter, overall in center a Green disc, 18cm in diameter, with the outline of the Vietnamese Country with a Red flame of three rays between North and South Vietnam. On the reverse of the medal is a circle with a designation band containing the word "CHIEN-DICH" (Campaign) at the top and "BOI-TINH" (Medal) at the bottom. Across the center of the circle is the word "VIET-NAM".
2. Ribbon: The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 1/16 inch Gherkin Green 67183; 3/16 inch White 67101; 5/16 inch Gherkin Green; 1/4 inch White; 5/16 inch Gherkin Green; 3/16 inch White; and 1/16 inch Gherkin Green.
3. Criteria: The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal is awarded to personnel who meet one of the following requirements:
a. Served in the Republic of Vietnam for six months during the period of 1 March 1961 and 28 March 1973.
b. Served outside the geographical limits of the Republic of Vietnam and contributed direct combat support to the Republic of Vietnam and Armed Forces for six months. Such individuals must meet the criteria established for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (for Vietnam) or the Vietnam Service Medal, to qualify for the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
c. Six months service is not required for individuals who were wounded by hostile forces; killed in action or otherwise in line of duty; or captured by hostile forces.
4. Components: The following are authorized components:
a. Medal (regular size): Available commercially.
b. Medal (miniature size): Available commercially.
c. Ribbon: MIL-R-11589/158. Available commercially.
d. Ribbon Attachment: MIL-R-41819/23. Available commercially.
5. Background: a. The Secretary of Defense approved a request for approval of foreign awards to US Military personnel on 7 February 1966. As a result of this approval, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with device bar (1960- ) was awarded to US Armed Forces personnel by the Government of the Republic of Vietnam per Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Order No. 48, dated 24 March 1966. The acceptance, criteria and description was announced in the Federal Register, Volume 31, No. 147, 30 July 1966 (Title 32, Code of Federal Regulation 47).
b. The Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Memorandum 2655 prescribed there were two devices to be worn on the ribbon. The first device was for the period 8 March 1949 - 20 July 1954 and is not authorized for wear by American Military Personnel. (The 1949-1954 VCM was authorized solely to French military personnel.) The second period was from 1 January 1960 with the last period to be decided after the war was over. The ending period remains blank, since the Republic of Vietnam Government ceased to exist before the ending period was established. The devices for the medal are in two sizes - - the large size is 1 13/64 inches in width and is worn on the suspension ribbon of the full size decoration. The regular size is 19/32 inch wide and is worn on the miniature decoration and service ribbon bar.
c. Since the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal is a foreign award, it is not issued by the United States Government. The medal may be purchased from commercial sources.
Establishing Authority (French Authority)
The (first) VCM was created in 1949 by Emperor Bao Dai to be awarded to French military personnel for their service in Vietnam to free ("cleanse") Vietnam of Communist "infiltration". The color white was chosen for represent purity. The color green was chosen to represent freedom. Upon the fall of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and the UN charter establishing the Northern and Southern republics the (second) Vietnam Campaign Medal (as were all Vietnamese medals awarded to French and British military personnel) passed to the Southern Government in Saigon. Issue of the VCM was suspended until 1966 shortly after the establishment of the U.S. Vietnam Service Medal. In 1966 the United States set the criteria for naming its own military campaign periods (under MACV authority) retroactive to 1961, however, the VCM remained the official custody of the Republic of (South) Vietnam although its production passed from French military medal manufacturer to US manufacturer.
In 1966 two devices were created to define the (first) French VCM and the (second) American (Allied) VCM. Great optimism over the anticipated successful American and Allied military effort to "cleanse" the Republic of (South) Vietnam of northern (Democratic Republic of Vietnam) influence and attack led to the placement of a dash ("-") after 1960. Most Vietnamese believed in 1966 that the American, Australian, South Korean, New Zealand and other members of the coalition would achieve final victory within one to two years.
All campaigns served by the second VCM were designated by the four US military service branches but applied to all members of the international coalition under MACV regardless of country or service branch.
In 1970 the Thieu Government in Saigon rejected U.S. and Allied requests to re-dedicate the "1960-" device as the "1960-1969" device and create a new device designated as the "1970-" device because issue authority and manufacture of the VCM had been passed from RVN to Allied control in 1966. (Note: At this time all Vietnamese military medal manufacture ceased in Japan and France. All Vietnamese military medals were now officially manufactured in the United States.) However, due to the Vietnamization Program leading to the reduction and cessation of US and Allied combat operations in Vietnam, MACV (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam) refused to endorse the creation of a "1970-" device.