The Commendation Medal is a mid-level United States military decoration, presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. For valorous actions in direct contact with an enemy, but of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Bronze Star Medal, a Commendation Medal with "V" Device or Combat "V" is awarded. On January 7 2016, The "C" Device or Combat "C” was created and may be authorized for wear on the service and suspension ribbon of the Commendation Medal to distinguish an award for meritorious service or achievement under the most arduous combat conditions. A Commendation Medal with Combat Device is unofficially named the “Combat Commendation” and is considered to be a higher level form of the Commendation Medal, regardless of the Awarding Branch. Retroactive award of the “C” device is not approved for medals awarded before 7 January 2016; each branch of the United States Armed Forces issues its own version of the Commendation Medal, with a fifth version existing for acts of joint military service performed under the Department of Defense.
The Commendation Medal was only a service ribbon and was first awarded by the U. S. Navy and U. S. Coast Guard in 1943. An Army Commendation Ribbon followed in 1945, in 1949, the Navy, Coast Guard, Army Commendation ribbons were renamed the "Commendation Ribbon with Metal Pendant". By 1960, the Commendation Ribbons had been authorized as full medals and were subsequently referred to as Commendation Medals. Additional awards of the Army and Air Force Commendation Medals are denoted by bronze and silver oak leaf clusters; the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Coast Guard Commendation Medal are authorized gold and silver 5/16 inch stars to denote additional awards. The Operational Distinguishing Device is authorized for wear on the Coast Guard Commendation Medal upon approval of the awarding authority. Order of Precedence is following the Air Medal but before the Prisoner of War Medal and all campaign medals; each of the military services awards separate Achievement Medals which are below the Commendation Medals in precedence.
The Joint Service Commendation Medal was authorized on 25 June 1963 and is awarded in the name of the Secretary of Defense to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, after 1 January 1963, distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement or service in a joint duty capacity. This award is intended for senior service on a joint military staff and is senior in precedence to service-specific Commendation Medals; as such, it is worn above the service Commendation Medals on a military uniform. DevicesOak leaf cluster "V" Device 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 U. S. Army after December 6, 1941, distinguished themselves by heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service; the medal may be awarded to a member of another branch of the U. S. Armed Forces or of a friendly foreign nation who, after June 1, 1962, distinguishes themselves by an act of heroism, extraordinary achievement, or significant meritorious service, of mutual benefit to the friendly nation and the United States.
Criteria and appearanceThe Army Commendation Medal is awarded to American and foreign military personnel in the grade of O-6 and below who have performed noteworthy service in any capacity with the United States Army. Qualifying service for the award of the medal can be for distinctive meritorious achievement and service, acts of courage involving no voluntary risk of life, or sustained meritorious performance of duty. Approval of the award must be made by an officer in the grade of higher; the medallion of the Army Commendation Medal is a bronze hexagon, 13⁄8 inches wide. On the medallion is an American bald eagle with wings spread horizontally, grasping in its talons three crossed arrows. On its breast is a shield paly of thirteen pieces and a chief; the reverse bears a panel for naming between the words FOR MILITARY above and MERIT below, all placed above a laurel sprig. The ribbon is 13⁄8 inches wide of myrtle green, it is edged in white and in the center are five thin white stripes spaced apart.
DevicesOak leaf cluster "V" Device "C" Device "R" Device The U. S. Air Force began issuing its own Air Force Commendation Medal in 1958 with additional awards denoted by oak leaf clusters. Prior to this time, USAF recipients received the Army Commendation Medal, it was not until 1996. On January 7, 2016, the "C" device and "R" device was authorized on the Air Force Commendation Medal as well. For USAF enlisted personnel, the Air Force Commendation Medal is worth three points under the Air Force enlisted promotion system. Criteria and appearanceThe Air Force Commendation Medal is awarded to both American and foreign military personnel of any service branch in the U. S. military grade of O-6 and below
A service ribbon, medal ribbon, or ribbon bar is a small ribbon, mounted on a small metal bar equipped with an attaching device, issued for wear in place of a medal when it is not appropriate to wear the actual medal. Each country's government has its own rules on what ribbons can be worn in what circumstances and in which order; this is defined in an official document and is called "the order of precedence" or "the order of wearing." In some countries, some awards are "ribbon only," having no associated medal. According to the Defense Logistics Agency, the U. S. military's standard size for a ribbon bar is 1 3/8 in wide, 3/8 inches tall, with a thickness of 0.8mm. The service ribbon for a specific medal is identical to the suspension ribbon on the medal. For example, the suspension and service ribbon for the U. S. government's Purple Heart medal is purple with a white vertical stripe at each end. However, there are some military awards that do not have a suspension ribbon, but have an authorized ribbon and unit award emblem.
The Soviet Order of Victory is a badge, worn on the military parade uniform. However, a ribbon bar representing the Order of Victory was worn on a military field uniform. Ribbon bars come in a variety of colors. In the case of the U. S. military, it maintains a specific list of colors used on its ribbons, based on the Pantone Matching System and Federal Standard 595 color systems: There is a variety of constructions of service ribbons. In some countries, service ribbons are mounted on a "pin backing", which can be pushed through the fabric of a uniform and secured, with fasteners, on the inside edge; these ribbons can be individually secured and lined up, or they can be all mounted on to a single fastener. After the Second World War, it was common for all ribbons to be mounted on a single metal bar and worn in a manner similar to a brooch. Other methods of wearing have included physically sewing each service ribbon onto the uniform garments. "Orders of wearing" define which ribbons may be worn on which types of uniform in which positions under which circumstances.
For example, miniature medals on dinner dress, full medals on parade dress, ribbons on dress shirts, but no decorations on combat dress and working clothing. Some countries maintain a standard practice of wearing full service ribbons on combat utility clothing. Others prohibit this; these regulations are similar to the regulations regarding display of rank insignia and regulations regarding saluting of more senior ranks. The reasoning for such regulations is to prevent these displays from enabling opposing forces to identify persons of higher rank and therefore aid them in choosing targets which will have a larger impact on the battlefield. In times of war, it is not uncommon for commanders and other high value individuals to wear no markings on their uniforms and wear clothing and insignia of a lower ranking soldier. Service medals and ribbons are worn in rows on the left side of the chest. In certain commemorative and/ or memorial circumstances, a relative may wear the medals or ribbons of a dead relative on the right side of the chest.
Medals and ribbons not mentioned in the "Order of wear" are generally worn on the right side of the chest. Sequencing of the ribbons depends on each country's regulations. In the United States, for example, those with the highest status—typically awarded for heroism or distinguished service—are placed at the top of the display, while foreign decorations are last in the bottom rows; when medals are worn, ribbons with no corresponding medals are worn on the right side. The study and collection of ribbons, among other military decorations, is known as phaleristics. Keith Payne, VC, OAMHis Excellency General The Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC Sir Hans Jesper Helsø former General and Chief of Defence. Ecuadorian General of the Army Paco Moncayo Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel Admiral of the Fleet Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma In the U. S. military, the different services have different methods of wearing ribbon bars. In the U. S. Navy, they are worn in rows of three with no spacing between rows.
For U. S. Navy members who have three or more ribbons, they can elect to wear only their three highest-ranked ones instead of all of them. In the U. S. Marine Corps, they can be worn with optional staggering. In the U. S. Army staggered with spacing in between rows. A U. S. serviceman's complete ribbon display is referred to colloquially as a "ribbon rack" or "rack" for short. Field Marshal S. H. F. J. Manekshaw Phaleristics Order List of military decorations List of prizes and awards Awards and decorations of the United States military Danish service ribbons
United States Department of the Air Force
The Department of the Air Force is one of the three Military Departments within the Department of Defense of the United States of America. The Department of the Air Force was formed on September 18, 1947, per the National Security Act of 1947 and it includes all elements and units of the United States Air Force; the Department of the Air Force is headed by the Secretary of the Air Force, a civilian, who has the authority to conduct all of its affairs, subject to the authority and control of the Secretary of Defense. The Secretary of the Air Force's principal deputy is the Under Secretary of the Air Force, their senior staff assistants in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force are four Assistant Secretaries for Acquisition, Financial Management & Comptroller, Environment & Logistics, Manpower & Reserve Affairs and a General Counsel. The highest-ranking military officer in the department is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the senior uniformed adviser to the Secretary, represents the Air Force on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, heads the Air Staff and is assisted in the latter capacity by the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
By direction of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Air Force assigns Air Force units – apart from those units performing duties enumerated in 10 U. S. C. § 8013 -- to the Commanders of the Combatant Commands. Only the Secretary of Defense has the authority to approve transfer of forces between Combatant Commands. See Structure of the United States armed forces According to the FY2019_Budget_Request_Overview_Book | 8-12, the Department of Defense claims the Department of the Air Force is as follows *$ in Millions Numbers May Not Add Due to Rounding On March 1st, 2019, the Department of Defense sent a proposal to Congress that would establish the United States Space Force as an independent military service within the Department of the Air Force. In addition, the proposal would create an Undersecretary of the Air Force for the Space Force to provide civilian oversight, as well as providing the Space Force with a distinct budget. Organizational structure and hierarchy of the United States Air Force Department of the Air Force Police Title 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations Air Force Cross Department of the Air Force Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service Witt v. Department of the Air Force "Airman Magazine: The Book 2010 – Personnel Facts and Figures".
Airman Magazine, Volume 54 Number 3. Official site Department of the Air Force in the Federal Register
United States Department of Defense
The Department of Defense is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government concerned directly with national security and the United States Armed Forces. The department is the largest employer in the world, with nearly 1.3 million active duty servicemen and women as of 2016. Adding to its employees are over 826,000 National Guardsmen and Reservists from the four services, over 732,000 civilians bringing the total to over 2.8 million employees. Headquartered at the Pentagon in Arlington, just outside Washington, D. C. the DoD's stated mission is to provide "the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation's security". The Department of Defense is headed by the Secretary of Defense, a cabinet-level head who reports directly to the President of the United States. Beneath the Department of Defense are three subordinate military departments: the United States Department of the Army, the United States Department of the Navy, the United States Department of the Air Force.
In addition, four national intelligence services are subordinate to the Department of Defense: the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office. Other Defense Agencies include the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Health Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Defense Security Service, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, all of which are under the command of the Secretary of Defense. Additionally, the Defense Contract Management Agency provides acquisition insight that matters, by delivering actionable acquisition intelligence from factory floor to the warfighter. Military operations are managed by ten functional Unified combatant commands; the Department of Defense operates several joint services schools, including the Eisenhower School and the National War College. The history of the defense of the United States started with the Continental Congress in 1775.
The creation of the United States Army was enacted on 14 June 1775. This coincides with the American holiday Flag Day; the Second Continental Congress would charter the United States Navy, on 13 October 1775, create the United States Marine Corps on 10 November 1775. The Preamble of the United States Constitution gave the authority to the federal government to defend its citizens: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Upon the seating of the first Congress on 4 March 1789, legislation to create a military defense force stagnated as they focused on other concerns relevant to setting up the new government. President George Washington went to Congress to remind them of their duty to establish a military twice during this time.
On the last day of the session, 29 September 1789, Congress created the War Department, historic forerunner of the Department of Defense. The War Department handled naval affairs until Congress created the Navy Department in 1798; the secretaries of each of these departments reported directly to the president as cabinet-level advisors until 1949, when all military departments became subordinate to the Secretary of Defense. After the end of World War II, President Harry Truman proposed creation of a unified department of national defense. In a special message to Congress on 19 December 1945, the President cited both wasteful military spending and inter-departmental conflicts. Deliberations in Congress went on for months focusing on the role of the military in society and the threat of granting too much military power to the executive. On 26 July 1947, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, which set up a unified military command known as the "National Military Establishment", as well as creating the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, National Security Resources Board, United States Air Force and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The act placed the National Military Establishment under the control of a single Secretary of Defense. The National Military Establishment formally began operations on 18 September, the day after the Senate confirmed James V. Forrestal as the first Secretary of Defense; the National Military Establishment was renamed the "Department of Defense" on 10 August 1949 and absorbed the three cabinet-level military departments, in an amendment to the original 1947 law. Under the Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1958, channels of authority within the department were streamlined, while still maintaining the ordinary authority of the Military Departments to organize and equip their associated forces; the Act clarified the overall decision-making authority of the Secretary of Defense with respect to these subordinate Military Departments and more defined the operational chain of command over U. S. military forces as running from the president to the Secretary of Defense and to the unified combatant commanders.
Provided in this legislation was a centralized research authority, the Advanced Research Projects Agency known as DARPA. The act was written and promoted by the Eisenhower administration, was signed into law 6 August 1958; the Secretary of Defense, appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate, is by federal law (1
United States Armed Forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard; the President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and forms military policy with the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out. All five armed services are among the seven uniformed services of the United States. From the time of its inception, the U. S. Armed Forces played a decisive role in the history of the United States. A sense of national unity and identity was forged as a result of victory in the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War. So, the founders of the United States were suspicious of a permanent military force, it played a critical role in the American Civil War, continuing to serve as the armed forces of the United States, although a number of its officers resigned to join the military of the Confederate States.
The National Security Act of 1947, adopted following World War II and during the Cold War's onset, created the modern U. S. military framework. The Act established the National Military Establishment, headed by the Secretary of Defense, it was amended in 1949, renaming the National Military Establishment the Department of Defense, merged the cabinet-level Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, Department of the Air Force, into the Department of Defense. The U. S. Armed Forces are one of the largest militaries in terms of the number of personnel, it draws its personnel from a large pool of paid volunteers. Although conscription has been used in the past in various times of both war and peace, it has not been used since 1973, but the Selective Service System retains the power to conscript males, requires that all male citizens and residents residing in the U. S. between the ages of 18–25 register with the service. On February 22, 2019, however, a federal judge ruled that registering only males for Selective Service is unconstitutional.
As of 2017, the U. S. spends about US$610 billion annually to fund its military forces and Overseas Contingency Operations. Put together, the U. S. constitutes 40 percent of the world's military expenditures. The U. S. Armed Forces has significant capabilities in both defense and power projection due to its large budget, resulting in advanced and powerful technologies which enables a widespread deployment of the force around the world, including around 800 military bases outside the United States; the U. S. Air Force is the world's largest air force, the U. S. Navy is the world's largest navy by tonnage, the U. S. Navy and the U. S. Marine Corps combined are the world's second largest air arm. In terms of size, the U. S. Coast Guard is the world's 12th largest naval force; the history of the U. S. Armed Forces dates to 14 June 1775, with the creation of the Continental Army before the Declaration of Independence marked the establishment of the United States; the Continental Navy, established on 13 October 1775, Continental Marines, established on 10 November 1775, were created in close succession by the Second Continental Congress in order to defend the new nation against the British Empire in the American Revolutionary War.
These forces demobilized in 1784. The Congress of the Confederation created the current United States Army on 3 June 1784; the United States Congress created the current United States Navy on 27 March 1794 and the current United States Marine Corps on 11 July 1798. All three services trace their origins to their respective Continental predecessors; the 1787 adoption of the Constitution gave the Congress the power to "raise and support armies", to "provide and maintain a navy" and to "make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces", as well as the power to declare war. The President is the U. S. Armed Forces' commander-in-chief; the United States Coast Guard traces its origin to the founding of the Revenue Cutter Service on 4 August 1790 which merged with the United States Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915 to establish the Coast Guard. The United States Air Force was established as an independent service on 18 September 1947. S. Signal Corps, formed 1 August 1907 and was part of the Army Air Forces before becoming an independent service as per the National Security Act of 1947.
The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps was considered to be a branch of the United States Armed Forces from 29 July 1945 until its status as such was revoked on 3 July 1952. On March 1st, 2019, the Department of Defense sent a proposal to Congress that would establish the United States Space Force as an independent military service within the Department of the Air Force. If approved, this would become the sixth military service branch to be created. Command over the U. S. Armed Forces is established in the Constitution; the sole power of command is vested in the President by Article II as Commander-in-Chief. The Constitution presumes the existence of "executive Departments" headed by "principal officers", whose appointment mechanism is provided for in the Appointments Clause; this allowance in the Constitution formed the basis for creation of the Department of Defense in 1947 by the National Security Act. The DoD is headed by the Secretary of Defense, a civilian and member of the Cabinet.
The Defense Secretary is second in the U. S. Armed Forces chain of command, with the exception of the Coast Guard, under the Secretary of Homeland Security, is just below the President and serves as the