Combat Action Ribbon
The Combat Action Ribbon
was established on February 17, 1969, by Secretary of the Navy John H.
Chafee and announced by SECNAVNOTE 1650 of February 17, 1969. The Annual Defense Authorization
Bill (Public Law 106-65) signed into law by President Clinton on October
authorized the Secretary of the Navy to award the Combat Action Ribbon to
members of the Navy or Marine Coprs who participated
in combat during any period after December 6, 1941.
The Combat Action Ribbon
originally took effect on March 1, 1961; however, with the passage of
Public Law 106-65 (cited above), award of the Combat Action Ribbon may now be
made retroactive to December 7, 1941.
The Combat Action Ribbon
is a personal decoration awarded to members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and
Coast Guard (when operating under the control of the Navy) in the grade of
captain (or colonel in the Marine Corps) and below who have actively
participated in ground or surface combat.
who earned the Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat Medical Badge while a member
of the Army may be authorized to wear the Combat Action Ribbon. The principal criterion is that
the recipient must have participated in a bona fide ground or surface combat
firefight or in an action during which he was under enemy fire and his
performance while under fire was satisfactory.
Order of Precedence
Navy Unit Commendation
Established by order of the Secretary of
the Navy, 18 December 1944, it is awarded by the Secretary to any ship,
aircraft, detachment, or other unit of the naval service of the United States
Navy which has, subsequent to 6 December 1941, distinguished itself by
outstanding heroism in action against the enemy, but not sufficient to justify
award of the Presidential Unit Citation.
India Co NUC 5-8May68; Mike Co NUC 5-8 May 1968 also India NUC 6Apr-0Jul88
Navy Meritorious Unit
Established by order of the
Secretary of the Navy, 17 July 1967, it is awarded by the Secretary to any unit
of the Navy or Marine Corps which has distinguished itself under combat or noncombat conditions, by either valorous or meritorious achievement
compared to other units performing similar service, but not sufficient to
justify the award of the Navy Unit Commendation.
National Defense Service Medal
Criteria: a. The National Defense Service
Medal was awarded for honorable active service for any period between 27
and 27 July 1954; between 1
and 14 August 1974; between 2
and 30 November 1995 and between 11
September 2001 and a closing date to be determined. For the purpose of the award,
the following persons will not be considered as performing active service:
(1) Guard and Reserve
forces personnel on short tours of duty to fulfill training obligations under
an inactive duty training program.
(2) Any person on active duty
for the sole purpose of undergoing a physical examination.
(3) Any person on
temporary active duty to serve on boards, courts, commissions and like
organizations or on active duty for purposes other than extended active duty.
(4) A one time only exception,
for members of the Army National Guard and United States Army Reserve, who were
part of the selected reserve in good standing, was authorized, per executive
orders 12778, dated 18 October 1991, for the period 2
to 30 November 1995.
b. The National Defense
Service Medal may be awarded to members of the Reserve Components who are
ordered to Federal active duty, regardless of duration, except for the
categories listed above. Any member of the Guard or Reserve who, after 31
becomes eligible for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service
Medal or the Southwest Asia Service Medal is also eligible for the National
Defense Service Medal.
c. To signify receipt of a second or subsequent award of
the NDSM, a bronze service star will be worn on the service ribbon by U.S. Army
personnel so qualified. Second or third award of the NDSM is authorized for
soldiers who served in one or more of the four qualifying time periods. It is
not authorized for soldiers who met the criteria in one time period, left
active duty and returned during the same period of eligibility.
Criteria: a. Awarded to all members of the
Armed Forces of the United States serving in Vietnam and contiguous waters or airspace
thereover, after 3 July 1965 through 28
Members of the Armed Forces of the United States in Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia, or the airspace thereover, during the same period and serving in direct
support of operations in Vietnam are also eligible for this award.
To be eligible for award of the medal, individual must- -
(1) Be attached to or regularly serve for one or more days with an organization
participating in or directly supporting military operations; or
(2) Be attached to or regularly serve for one or more days aboard a naval
vessel directly supporting military operations; or
(3) Actually participate as a crewmember in one or more aerial flights into
airspace above Vietnam and contiguous waters directly
supporting military operations; or
(4) Serve on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days
in Vietnam or contiguous areas, except that
the time limit may be waived for personnel participating in actual combat operations.
Individuals qualified for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in Vietnam between 1
and 3 July 1965 shall remain qualified for the medal. Upon request, the
individual may be awarded the Vietnam Service Medal in lieu of the Armed Forces
Expeditionary Medal. In such instances, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
will be deleted from the list of authorized medals in the individualís
personnel records. No person shall be entitled to both awards for Vietnam
Republic of Vietnam
Criteria: The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal is awarded to personnel who meet
one of the following requirements:
Served in the Republic of Vietnam for six months during the period
of 1 March 1961 and 28 March 1973.
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.
Dates of Awards
PUC Entire Bn14†† Apr-23
Dec '65††† (SU 3rd Mar Div)
18 Mar '66 - 1 Apr '67
15 May† 15 Sep '67
MUC†† 3-4 Bn††††† 26 Dec '67-12 Jan '68 (SU 9th Mar)
3-4 Bn††††† 13 - 31 Jan '68 † (Less K
3-4 Bn††††† 5 - 30 Nov '68 †† (SU 9th Mar)
K Co††††††† 13 - 15 May '68†† (SU
2dBn 3rd Mar)
NUC † Co's I & M† 5 - 8
May '68†††† (SU 3rd Marines)