Armed Forces Reserve Medal is 5 Different Medals

Armed Forces Reserve Medal is 5 Different Medals

This medal was authorized in 1950 for ten years of honorable and satisfactory service within a 12 year period as a member of one or more of the Reserve Components of the Armed Forces of the United States.

An executive order on Aug. 8, 1996, authorized the award of a bronze letter “M” mobilization device to U.S. reserve component members who were called to active-duty service in support of designated operations on or after August 1, 1990 (the M device was not authorized for any operations prior to August 1, 1990, although it had been previously proposed). Units called up in support of Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield were the first units to be authorized the “M” device. If an “M” is authorized, the medal is awarded even though service might be less than ten years. Previous to this change, only bronze hourglasses were awarded at each successive 10-year point (first hourglass at the 20-year point).

The front of the medal depicts a flaming torch placed vertically between a crossed bugle and powder horn; thirteen stars and thirteen rays surround the design. The front of the medal is the same for all services; only the reverse design is different (see designs below). Bronze numerals beginning with “2” are worn to the right of the bronze “M” on the ribbon bar and below the “M” on the medal, indicating the total number of times the individual was mobilized. Bronze, silver, and gold hourglasses are awarded for 10, 20, and 30 years service, respectively.

Contact us if you have any questions about military medals or one of our many publications?

RVN Armed Forces Honor Medal – January 7, 1953

RVN Armed Forces Honor Medal – January 7, 1953

This medal without ribbon devices was widely presented to U.S. officers and men after six months of staff service in combat or non-combat units. The award was originally entitled in French as La Medaille du Merite Vietnamien and was intended for “French or foreign military men who participate in the capacity of advisors or contribute to the organization of the National Army. There are French-made versions, and American made versions which most closely follow the original Vietnamese design. Large images of the medals are Vietnamese, while miniature medals are American made. They were presented by the Republic of Vietnam for contributions to the formation and organization of the Armed Forces and the training of troops and technical cadres of the various branches and intended for non-combat achievements.

Medal Descriptions

Description: Front: a cross form couped with additional points reflected down the arms and with thin blade points coming between the arms, and in the central disk, a coiled dragon with a ribbon around inscribed, with a wreath of oak leaves around the design of the cross arms, 38mm. Back: plain. Suspension is by a laurel wreath.

First Class
Purpose: For officers.
Description: Gold. The ribbon is yellow 1˚mm, red 6mm, yellow 3mm, light blue 3mm, yellow 3mm, light blue 3mm, yellow 3mm, light blue 3mm, yellow 3mm, red 6mm, yellow 1˚ mm. Device on the service bar is a gold eagle with a shield on breast and holding swords.

Second Class
Purpose: For NCO’s and enlisted men.
Description: Silver. The ribbon is 7˚mm, yellow 3mm, light blue 3mm, yellow 3mm, light blue 3mm, yellow 3mm, light blue 3mm, yellow 3mm, red 7˚mm. Device on the service bar is a silver eagle with a shield on its breast and holding swords.

Contact us if you have any questions about military medals or one of our many publications?

Korea Defense Service Medal, Do you have the Old version or the New?

Korea Defense Service Medal, Do you have the Old version or the New?

The Korea Defense Service Medal was authorized in 2003 for Armed Forces members who served in the Korean theater for at least 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days after July 28, 1954. The medal is also awarded for service to include reservists on annual training in Korea. While only one award of the Korea Defense Service Medal is authorized, the question is, do you have the old one or the new one?

Distinctions Between the Two Medals

The Institute of Heraldry changed the specifications for the first  Korea Defense Service Medal. At first glance, you might not notice the change, but the new medals being manufactured have a slightly different look or a bit smaller, and the word “medal” has been removed from the front of the medallion. The original medal is still authorized for wear and may still be issued as long as they are in the supply system. It should undoubtedly be the medal of choice if you want something a bit special.

The current medal is a bronze disc with a Korean circle dragon within a scroll inscribed, “KOREA DEFENSE SERVICE,” with two sprigs of laurel at the base. The four-clawed dragon is a traditional Korean symbol representing intelligence and strength of purpose. The sprig of laurel denotes honorable endeavor and victory; the bamboo refers to the land of Korea. The reverse displays two swords placed over a map of Korea to signify the defense of freedom and the readiness to engage in combat. The enclosing circlet represents the five-petal symbols common in Korean armory. The Korea Defense Service Medal is worn after the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and before the Armed Forces Service Medal. The dark green ribbon represents the land of Korea; blue indicates overseas service and commitment to achieving peace. Gold denotes excellence; white symbolizes idealism and integrity, and light blue with a thin white stripe in the center and narrow white stripes at the edges.

Contact us if you have any questions about other medals or one of our publications?