Army Commendation Medal

On a 1 3/8 inches wide bronze hexagon, one point up, an American bald eagle with wings displayed horizontally, grasping three crossed arrows and bearing on its breast a shield paly of thirteen pieces and a chief. On the reverse, a name panel between the words "FOR MILITARY" and "MERIT", all above a sprig of laurel. 

2. Ribbon: The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 3/32 inch white 67101; 25/64 inch myrtle green 67190; 1/32 inch white; 1/16 inch myrtle green; 1/32 inch white; 1/16 inch myrtle green; center 1/32 inch white; 1/16 inch myrtle green; 1/32 inch white; 1/16 inch myrtle green; 1/32 inch white; 25/64 inch myrtle green; and 3/32 inch white. 

Criteria - 

The Army Commendation Medal is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States other than General Officers who, while serving in any capacity with the Army after 6 December 1941, distinguished himself by heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service. Award may be made to a member of the Armed Forces of a friendly foreign nation who, after 1 June 1962, distinguishes himself by an act of heroism, extraordinary achievement, or meritorious service which has been of mutual benefit to a friendly nation and the United States.

Awards may be made for acts of valor performed under circumstances described above which are of lesser degree than required for award of the Bronze Star Medal. These acts may involve aerial flight. An award may be made for acts of noncombatant-related heroism which do not meet the requirements for an award of the Soldier’s Medal.

Components - 

The following are authorized components of the Army Commendation Medal:

  • Decoration (regular size): MIL-D-3943/27. NSN 8455-00-269-5750 for the decoration
     set. NSN 8455-00-246-3820 for individual replacement medal.

  • Decoration (miniature size): MIL-D-3943/27. NSN 8455-00-996-5003.

  • Ribbon: MIL-R-11589/37. NSN 8455-00-257-3898.

  • Lapel Button: MIL-L-11484/20. NSN 8455-00-269-5423.


Bronze Oak Leaf
Silver Oak Leaf
Bronze Letter "V" 


In a summary sheet, 5 November 1945, WDGAP, Personnel Division recommended that an Army Commendation Ribbon of distinctive design be established to recognize meritorious service in an area at a time for which the Bronze Star Medal may not be awarded. The recommendation was approved by the Secretary of War and the ribbon was established by War Department Circular 377, dated 18 December 1945. This circular authorized award to "members of the Armed Forces of the United States serving in any capacity with the Army for meritorious service rendered since 7 December 1941, not in sustained operational activities against an enemy nor in direct support of such operation, i.e., in areas and at times when the Bronze Star Medal may not be awarded because of its operational character". Authority to award the Commendation Ribbon was delegated to Major Generals or commanders of any command, force or installation normally commanded by Major Generals.

In a DF, 29 April 1948, from the D/PA to the Quartermaster General, the Personnel & Admin. Division indicated that the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Air Force had authorized a medal pendant to be established for the Commendation Ribbon and requested that a proposed design be prepared. The design was approved by both Secretaries on 8 July 1948. The Medal Pendant for Commendation Ribbon was announced in Department of the Army (DA) Circular 91 (AF Letter 35-25) dated 20 July 1949. On 20 March 1950, the Secretary of the Navy approved the Navy Commendation Ribbon, and authorized use of the same pendant with a different ribbon on 6 April 1950.

DA General Order No. 10, dated 31 March 1960, renamed the Commendation Ribbon with Medal Pendant to the Army Commendation Medal. President Kennedy, in a memorandum to the Secretary of Defense, dated 1 June 1962, authorized the award of the Army Commendation Medal to members of the Armed Forces of friendly foreign nations who, after 1 June 1962, distinguished themselves by an act of heroic, extraordinary achievement, or meritorious service.

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


Return to Medals