United States Army
The United States Army is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution; as the oldest and most senior branch of the U. S. military in order of precedence, the modern U. S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, formed to fight the American Revolutionary War —before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army; the United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775. As a uniformed military service, the U. S. Army is part of the Department of the Army, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense; the U. S. Army is headed by a civilian senior appointed civil servant, the Secretary of the Army and by a chief military officer, the Chief of Staff of the Army, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It is the largest military branch, in the fiscal year 2017, the projected end strength for the Regular Army was 476,000 soldiers. S. Army was 1,018,000 soldiers; as a branch of the armed forces, the mission of the U. S. Army is "to fight and win our Nation's wars, by providing prompt, land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders"; the branch participates in conflicts worldwide and is the major ground-based offensive and defensive force of the United States. The United States Army serves as the land-based branch of the U. S. Armed Forces. Section 3062 of Title 10, U. S. Code defines the purpose of the army as: Preserving the peace and security and providing for the defense of the United States, the Commonwealths and possessions and any areas occupied by the United States Supporting the national policies Implementing the national objectives Overcoming any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United StatesIn 2018, the Army Strategy 2018 articulated an eight-point addendum to the Army Vision for 2028.
While the Army Mission remains constant, the Army Strategy builds upon the Army's Brigade Modernization by adding focus to Corps and Division-level echelons. Modernization, reform for high-intensity conflict, Joint multi-domain operations are added to the strategy, to be completed by 2028; the Continental Army was created on 14 June 1775 by the Second Continental Congress as a unified army for the colonies to fight Great Britain, with George Washington appointed as its commander. The army was led by men who had served in the British Army or colonial militias and who brought much of British military heritage with them; as the Revolutionary War progressed, French aid and military thinking helped shape the new army. A number of European soldiers came on their own to help, such as Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who taught Prussian Army tactics and organizational skills; the army fought numerous pitched battles and in the South in 1780–1781, at times using the Fabian strategy and hit-and-run tactics, under the leadership of Major General Nathanael Greene, hit where the British were weakest to wear down their forces.
Washington led victories against the British at Trenton and Princeton, but lost a series of battles in the New York and New Jersey campaign in 1776 and the Philadelphia campaign in 1777. With a decisive victory at Yorktown and the help of the French, the Continental Army prevailed against the British. After the war, the Continental Army was given land certificates and disbanded in a reflection of the republican distrust of standing armies. State militias became the new nation's sole ground army, with the exception of a regiment to guard the Western Frontier and one battery of artillery guarding West Point's arsenal. However, because of continuing conflict with Native Americans, it was soon realized that it was necessary to field a trained standing army; the Regular Army was at first small and after General St. Clair's defeat at the Battle of the Wabash, the Regular Army was reorganized as the Legion of the United States, established in 1791 and renamed the United States Army in 1796; the War of 1812, the second and last war between the United States and Great Britain, had mixed results.
The U. S. Army did not conquer Canada but it did destroy Native American resistance to expansion in the Old Northwest and it validated its independence by stopping two major British invasions in 1814 and 1815. After taking control of Lake Erie in 1813, the U. S. Army seized parts of western Upper Canada, burned York and defeated Tecumseh, which caused his Western Confederacy to collapse. Following U. S. victories in the Canadian province of Upper Canada, British troops who had dubbed the U. S. Army "Regulars, by God!", were able to capture and burn Washington, defended by militia, in 1814. The regular army, however proved they were professional and capable of defeating the British army during the invasions of Plattsburgh and Baltimore, prompting British agreement on the rejected terms of a status quo ante bellum. Two weeks after a treaty was signed, Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans and Siege of Fort St. Philip, became a national hero. U. S. troops and sailors captured HMS Cyane and Penguin in the final engagements of the war.
Per the treaty, both sides (the United S
European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
The European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal is a military award of the United States Armed Forces, first created on November 6, 1942 by Executive Order 9265 issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt The medal was intended to recognize those military service members who had performed military duty in the European Theater during the years of the Second World War; the EAME Campaign Medal was established by Executive Order 9265, dated 6 November 1942, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, announced in War Department Bulletin 56, 1942; the European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal was awarded as a service ribbon throughout the entire Second World War due to the ribbon design being approved by the Secretary of War in December 1942. The medal design was submitted to the Commission of Fine Arts on 17 September 1946 and the first sample was completed in July 1947; the first recipient of the European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal was General of the Army Dwight Eisenhower on 24 July 1947 in recognition of his service as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force during World War II.
The criteria were announced in Department of the Army Circular 84, dated 25 March 1948, subsequently published in Army Regulation 600-65, dated 22 September 1948. The Pacific Theater counterpart to the European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal was the Asiatic–Pacific Campaign Medal. Known as the "EAME Ribbon", the European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal is awarded for any service performed between December 7, 1941 and March 2, 1946 inclusive, provided such service was performed in the following geographical theater areas: West boundary. -- From the North Pole, south along the 75th meridian west longitude to the 77th parallel north latitude, thence southeast through Davis Strait to the intersection of the 40th parallel north latitude and the 35th meridian west longitude, thence sough along that meridian to the 10th parallel north latitude, thence southeast to the intersection of the equator and the 20th meridian west longitude, thence along the 20th meridian west longitude to the South Pole.
East boundary—From the North Pole, south along the 60th meridian east longitude to its intersection with the eastern border of Iran, thence south along that border to the Gulf of Oman and the intersection of the 60th meridian east longitude, thence south along the 60th meridian east longitude to the South Pole. The medal's obverse was designed by Mr. Thomas Hudson Jones based on General Eisenhower's request that the medal include an invasion scene; the reverse side was designed by Adolph Alexander Weinman and is the same design as used on the reverse of the Asiatic–Pacific and American Campaign Medals. The Bronze medal is 1 3⁄8 inches in diameter. On the obverse is a LST landing craft and troops landing under fire with an airplane in the background below the words EUROPEAN AFRICAN MIDDLE EASTERN CAMPAIGN. On the reverse, an American bald eagle close between the dates 1941 - 1945 and the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; the ribbon is 1 3⁄8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 3⁄16 in Brown 67136 which represents the sands of Africa.
For those service members who participated in one or more designated military campaigns, campaign stars are authorized to be worn on the medal. The Arrowhead device is authorized to be worn on the medal for those who participated in airborne or amphibious assault landings; the Fleet Marine Force Combat Operation Insignia is authorized for wear on the medal for sailors attached to the Marine Corps. The following military campaigns are recognized by campaign stars on the European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. For those service members who saw combat but did not participate in a designated campaign, the following "blanket campaigns" are authorized to the European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, denoted by campaign stars. Arrowhead device Awards and decorations of the United States military
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations; the term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander"; the ancestors of modern Native Americans arrived in what is now the United States at least 15,000 years ago much earlier, from Asia via Beringia. A vast variety of peoples and cultures subsequently developed. Native Americans were affected by the European colonization of the Americas, which began in 1492, their population declined precipitously due to introduced diseases as well as warfare, territorial confiscation and slavery.
After the founding of the United States, many Native American peoples were subjected to warfare and one-sided treaties, they continued to suffer from discriminatory government policies into the 20th century. Since the 1960s, Native American self-determination movements have resulted in changes to the lives of Native Americans, though there are still many contemporary issues faced by Native Americans. Today, there are over five million Native Americans in the United States, 78% of whom live outside reservations; when the United States was created, established Native American tribes were considered semi-independent nations, as they lived in communities separate from British settlers. The federal government signed treaties at a government-to-government level until the Indian Appropriations Act of 1871 ended recognition of independent native nations, started treating them as "domestic dependent nations" subject to federal law; this law did preserve the rights and privileges agreed to under the treaties, including a large degree of tribal sovereignty.
For this reason, many Native American reservations are still independent of state law and actions of tribal citizens on these reservations are subject only to tribal courts and federal law. The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 granted U. S. citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States. This emptied the "Indians not taxed" category established by the United States Constitution, allowed natives to vote in state and federal elections, extended the Fourteenth Amendment protections granted to people "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. However, some states continued to deny Native Americans voting rights for several decades. Bill of Rights protections do not apply to tribal governments, except for those mandated by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968. Since the end of the 15th century, the migration of Europeans to the Americas has led to centuries of population and agricultural transfer and adjustment between Old and New World societies, a process known as the Columbian exchange.
As most Native American groups had preserved their histories by oral traditions and artwork, the first written sources of the conflict were written by Europeans. Ethnographers classify the indigenous peoples of North America into ten geographical regions with shared cultural traits, called cultural areas; some scholars combine the Plateau and Great Basin regions into the Intermontane West, some separate Prairie peoples from Great Plains peoples, while some separate Great Lakes tribes from the Northeastern Woodlands. The ten cultural areas are as follows: Arctic, including Aleut and Yupik peoples Subarctic Northeastern Woodlands Southeastern Woodlands Great Plains Great Basin Northwest Plateau Northwest Coast California Southwest At the time of the first contact, the indigenous cultures were quite different from those of the proto-industrial and Christian immigrants; some Northeastern and Southwestern cultures, in particular, were matrilineal and operated on a more collective basis than that with which Europeans were familiar.
The majority of Indigenous American tribes maintained their hunting grounds and agricultural lands for use of the entire tribe. Europeans at that time had patriarchal cultures and had developed concepts of individual property rights with respect to land that were different; the differences in cultures between the established Native Americans and immigrant Europeans, as well as shifting alliances among different nations in times of war, caused extensive political tension, ethnic violence, social disruption. Before the European settlement of what is now the United States, Native Americans suffered high fatalities from contact with new European diseases, to which they had not yet acquired immunity. Smallpox epidemics are thought to have caused the greatest loss of life for indigenous populations. William M Denevan, noted author and Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said on this subject in his essay "The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the Americas in 1492".
Old World diseases were the primary killer. In many regions the tropical lowlands, populations fell by 90 percent or more in the first century after the contact. "Estimates of the pre-Columbian population of what today constitutes the U. S. vary ranging from William M Denevan's 3.8 million in his 1992 w
A "V" device is a metal 1⁄4-inch capital letter "V" with serifs which, when worn on certain decorations awarded by the United States Armed Forces, distinguishes an award for heroism or valor in combat instead of for meritorious service or achievement. The decorations with which a "V" may be authorized differ among the military services, as well as the manner in which the "V" is worn and the name by which it is referred to; until 2 February 2017, the services used different criteria in determining whether a "V" could be authorized. The Department of Defense and Air Force refer to the "V" as the "V" Device; the Coast Guard refers to it as the Valor Device, while the Navy and Marine Corps refer to it as the Combat Distinguishing Device or Combat "V". On 22 December 1945, in War Department Circular 383, the United States Army decided to introduce the "V" device to distinguish the award of a Bronze Star Medal for acts of valor and heroism rather than meritorious service. Soldiers, including Army airmen, who were awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroism in combat were now authorized to wear a bronze "V" on the suspension and service ribbon of the medal.
Only one "V" was allowed to be worn on a ribbon. The Department of the Navy introduced the "V" as the "Combat Distinguishing Device", on 15 February 1946, authorized the "V" device to be worn on the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star Medal for services or acts performed in actual combat with the enemy. Most World War II veterans who were entitled to the "V" did not know about or apply for the device, since large scale separations from the services were taking place after the war ended. Stocks of the device were not available for issue for at least a year since the Army circular. To be worn on a decoration, the "V" device must have been authorized in the written award citation issued with the medal. In 1996, the "V" device garnered public attention after the suicide of Admiral Jeremy Boorda, the Chief of Naval Operations; the news media reported that his death by suicide may have been caused by a Navy investigation following a story by Newsweek about Boorda wearing two "combat valor pins" on the service ribbons of his uniform, which he received for duty as a weapons officer and executive officer aboard two naval ships off the coast of Indochina during the Vietnam War.
Although there were indications these "combat distinguishing devices" were authorized to be worn on his Navy Commendation Medal and Navy Achievement Medal, the Department of the Navy Board For Correction of Naval Records determined after his death that both of the devices were not authorized to be worn on the two decorations. In 2011, the Department of Defense changed its awards manual regulations concerning the Medal of Honor, specifying that the "V" device instead of the oak leaf cluster and 5⁄16 inch star would be used to denote additional citations in the rare event of a service member being awarded a second MoH. By May 2015, the Department of Defense changed its awards manual again concerning the Medal of Honor, specifying that a separate MOH is presented to an individual for each succeeding act that justifies an award. There has not been a living repeat Medal of Honor recipient since the World War I era, so the "V" device was never worn in this fashion; until 2017, the criteria and conditions under which the "V" device could be awarded differed among the services.
For the Army, the "V" was worn to denote "participation in acts of heroism involving conflict with an armed enemy". For the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, the "V" could be worn to denote combat heroism, or to recognize individuals who were "exposed to personal hazard during direct participation in combat operations". For the Air Force, the "V" could be worn on the Bronze Star Medal to denote heroism in combat, but on the Commendation Medal and Achievement Medal to denote heroism or for being "placed in harm's way" during contingency deployment operations. Prior to 1 January 2014, the device was authorized on Outstanding Unit Awards and Organizational Excellence Awards to indicate the unit participated in direct combat support actions; the "V" device is authorized for the Air Medal by all the services where heroism in aerial combat was involved on an individual mission. On 15 August 2016, the Coast Guard changed their criteria such that new awards of the "V" would be for valor only, to denote a heroic act or acts while participating in conflict or combat with an armed enemy.
On 6 January 2016, the Department of Defense announced that it was revising its military decorations and awards program to include a "V" device change to its original 1940s use of denoting heroism in combat only on specific decorations for the military services. Two new "C" and "R" devices will be used on relevant awards. On 2 February 2017, new silver plated and gold plated "V" devices were introduced, followed by wreathed versions in September which led to speculation that the various versions of the "V" device would now indicate how many times a specific medal was awarded with the "V" such that the silver and gold "V" device would be used to denote second and third awards with the "V" and a fourth and sixth awarding with the "V" to be issued with a bronze and gold "V" device atop a wreath. On 21 December 2016, the "V" device ceased being authorized for Achievement Medals. Retroactive to January 2016, the "V" device ceased being authorized for the Legion of Merit, being replaced by the "C" device.
The following decorations of the United States Armed Forces are eligible to be awarded with a "V" device. For the Army and the Air Force, the "V" is positioned to the right of any bronze or silver oak leaf clusters
Awards and decorations of the United States Armed Forces
The United States Armed Forces awards and decorations are the medals, service ribbons, specific badges which recognize military service and personal accomplishments while a member of the U. S. Armed Forces; such awards are a means to outwardly display the highlights of a service member's career. While each service has its own order of precedence, the following general rules apply to all services: U. S. military personal decorations U. S. military unit awards U. S. non-military personal decorations Presidential awards National Medals DoD and JCS Distinguished Service awards Agency-specific Distinguished Service awards Agency-specific Superior Service awards Agency-specific Meritorious Service awards Agency-specific Commendation awards Agency-specific Achievement awards Civilian unit awards Civilian service awards U. S. non-military unit awards U. S. military campaign and service medals U. S. military service and training awards U. S. Merchant Marine awards and non-military service awards Foreign military personal decorations Foreign military unit awards Non-U.
S. Service awards Foreign military service awards Marksmanship awards Awards of U. S. military societies and other organizations6a 6b State awards of the National Guard Notes on branch-specific exceptions to the above: 1a In the Army, unit awards are worn as a separate grouping, on the right side of the uniform and without frames, are worn in the order of precedence from the wearer’s right to left. 1b In the Navy, unit award ribbons are only worn on the right side of the uniform, when wearing full medals on the left side. Arrange ribbons in order of precedence in rows from top down, inboard to outboard. For U. S. Navy, the USPHS unit awards are considered unit awards. However, if Navy personnel are awarded USPHS personal decorations the USPHS order of precedence would apply. 2 Some awards, despite being ribbon-only, are higher in precedence. The Navy & Coast Guard Combat Action Ribbons and the Coast Guard's Commandant's Letter of Commendation Ribbon are included with personal decorations, while two Air Force ribbon-only awards and the Coast Guard Enlisted Person of the Year Ribbon are considered in the same category as service medals.
3a Marksmanship Awards in the Air Force are considered training awards. 3b The Army and Marine Corps issue Marksmanship Qualification Badges instead of Marksmanship awards. 4 For Navy, Merchant Marine awards are considered U. S. non-military awards. 5 The obsolete Philippine Commonwealth service awards, when still listed in the order of precedence, come before the United Nations medals or before the Merchant Marine awards. 6a For Navy and ribbons from military societies, such as the Army and Navy Union of the United States, worn in the order earned may be worn after marksmanship awards. Medals and badges issued by these societies may be worn only while attending meetings or conventions or while participating in parades or other ceremonies as a member of these organizations. 6b For Army, no allowance of military society medals or ribbons is prescribed. More badges of the Army and Navy Union of the United States of America are authorized for such active duty ANU members without further restriction.
Badges of other civic and quasi-military societies of the United States, international organizations of a military nature may be worn with restrictions. These include badges of organizations composed of members who served in a U. S. force during the Revolutionary War. The badges are worn only while the wearer is attending meetings or functions of such organizations, or on occasions of ceremony. Personnel will not wear these badges to and from such events. Notes: Precedence of particular awards will vary among the different branches of service. All awards and decorations may be awarded to any service member unless otherwise designated by name or notation. Note: ^ The precedence of the Purple Heart was before the Good Conduct Medals until changed to its current precedence in 1985. Inter-service Air Force Army Coast Guard Navy and Marine CorpsTo denote additional achievements or multiple awards of the same decoration, the United States military maintains a number of award devices which are pinned to service ribbons and medals.
Awards and decorations of the National Guard Awards and decorations of the state defense forces U. S. military personnel having received these awards have either been discharged or retired for a substantial length of time and/or are deceased. The following decorations were designed for issuance with an approved medal, but were either never approved for presentation or were discontinued bef
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
The Afghanistan Campaign Medal is a military award of the United States military, created by Executive Order 13363 of President George W. Bush on November 29, 2004, became available for general distribution in June 2005; the medal was designed by the U. S. Army Institute of Heraldry; the Afghanistan Campaign Medal is awarded to any member of the United States military who has performed duty within the borders of Afghanistan for a period of thirty consecutive days or sixty non-consecutive days. The medal is retroactive to October 24, 2001, is active until a date to be determined. Personnel who have been engaged in combat with an enemy force, or personnel who have been wounded in combat within Afghanistan, may receive the ACM regardless of the number of days spent within the country; the medal is awarded posthumously to any service member who dies in the line of duty within Afghanistan, including from non-combat injuries such as accidents and mishaps. The medal is bronze in 1 1⁄4 inches in diameter.
It depicts above a range of mountains a map of Afghanistan. Around the top is the inscription "AFGHANISTAN CAMPAIGN." On the reverse, a radiating demi-sun superimposed by an eagle’s head couped. Inscribed across the bottom half of the reserve side are the three lines "FOR SERVICE IN AFGHANISTAN", enclosed by a laurel wreath; the following are the established campaign phases for the Afghanistan Campaign Medal: The Afghanistan Campaign Medal is authorized the following devices: Arrowhead device - For qualified Army and Air Force service members. Campaign stars - For each campaign phase that a service member participates in for 1 or more days, a 3⁄16 inch bronze campaign star is worn on the suspension and service ribbon of the medal, with a 3⁄16 inch silver star being worn in lieu of five bronze stars. Fleet Marine Force Combat Operation Insignia - The ICM may be awarded with the Fleet Marine Force Combat Operation Insignia for qualified Navy service members such as hospital corpsmen assigned to Marine Corps units that participate in combat during the assignment.
Examples of campaign stars worn on the ACM service ribbon: The Afghanistan Campaign Medal replaces the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for service in Afghanistan and personnel who received the GWOT-EM for Afghanistan service may elect to exchange the medal for the ACM. Both medals may not be received for the same period of service in Afghanistan and any current Afghanistan service will only be recognized with the Afghanistan Campaign Medal. War in Afghanistan Awards and decorations of the United States military United Kingdom Afghanistan medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal is a military award of the United States Armed Forces, first created in 1961 by Executive Order of President John Kennedy. The medal is awarded to members of the U. S. Armed Forces who, after July 1, 1958, participated in U. S. military operations, U. S. operations in direct support of the United Nations, or U. S. operations of assistance for friendly foreign nations. The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal is issued as 1-1/4 inches in diameter; the obverse side of the medal consists of an eagle, with wings addorsed and inverted, standing on a sword loosened in its scabbard, super- imposed on a radiant compass rose of eight points, all within the circumscription "ARMED FORCES" above and "EXPEDITIONARY SERVICE" below with a sprig of laurel on each side. On the reverse side of the medal is the shield from the United States Coat of Arms above two laurel branches separated by a bullet, all within the circumscription "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA"; the ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 3/32 inch Green.
Ribbon devicesA bronze service star is authorized for participation in subsequent U. S. Military operations authorized for award of the AFEM. A silver service star is worn in lieu of five bronze service stars; the Arrowhead device is authorized for United States Army and United States Air Force personnel who are awarded the medal through participation in an airborne or amphibious assault. The Fleet Marine Force Combat Operation Insignia is authorized for U. S. Navy service members assigned to Marine Corps units that participate in combat during the assignment; the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal may be authorized for three categories of operations: U. S. military operations. S. military operations in direct support of the United Nations. S. operations of assistance for friendly foreign nations. The medal shall be awarded only for operations for which no other U. S. campaign medal is approved, where a foreign armed opposition or imminent threat of hostile action was encountered. Since its original conception in 1961, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal has been awarded for United States participation in over forty five designated military campaigns.
The first campaign of the AFEM was the Cuban Missile Crisis and the award was issued for military service between October 1962 and June 1963. Following this original issuance, the AFEM was made retroactive to 1958 and issued for actions in Lebanon, Republic of the Congo and Matsu, for duty in Berlin between 1961 and 1963. During the early years of the Vietnam War, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was issued for initial operations in South Vietnam and Cambodia; the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was intended to replace the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal and Navy Expeditionary Medal, but this never occurred and both services continue to award their service expeditionary medals and the AFEM, though not concurrently for the same action. In 1965, with the creation of the Vietnam Service Medal, the AFEM was discontinued for Vietnam War service; as the Vietnam Service Medal was retroactively authorized, those personnel who had received the AFEM were granted the option to exchange the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for the Vietnam Service Medal.
In 1968, the AFEM was awarded for Naval operations in defense of the USS Pueblo, seized by North Korea, as well as for Korean Service, awarded for Thailand and Cambodia operations in 1973. Because of these awards during the Vietnam War period, some military personnel have been awarded both the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal & the Vietnam Service Medal; some military advisers involved in the 1973 Arab–Israeli War were awarded the medal for their involvement in the supply and training of the IDF on the use and deployment of anti-tank weapons. In 2003, with the creation of the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the AFEM was discontinued for Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait. After 18 March 2003, some personnel became eligible for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, as well as the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. Only one medal may be awarded and individuals or units that deployed to the Gulf for Operation Southern Watch, immediately transitioned to Operation Iraqi Freedom, are not eligible for both medals.
Beginning in 1992 an effort was begun to phase out the AFEM in favor of campaign specific medals and the newly created Armed Forces Service Medal. The Armed Forces Service Medal was originally intended to be a replacement for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, however the two awards are considered separate awards with different award criteria; the primary difference between the two is that the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal is awarded for combat operations and combat support missions. After the close of the Vietnam War, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was issued for various military operations in Panama and Libya Operation El Dorado Canyon; the medal is authorized for several United Nations actions, such as peacekeeping efforts in Somalia. The medal is authorized for NATO peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Croatia; the AFEM has been issued for numerous operations in the Persian Gulf, most notably Operation Earnest Will, which began in 1987 and lasted until the eve of Operation Desert Shield.