On January 7, 2016, the Secretary of Defense approved two new devices for medals and ribbons: a “C” Device which will be affixed to multi-purpose performance awards in recognition of meritorious service under combat conditions and, an “R” Device which will be affixed to non-combat performance awards to specifically recognize remote but direct impact on combat operations] The “R” device is to be a bronze letter “R”, 1⁄4 inch in size. Both of the devices will be worn if authorized for wear, on specific decorations below the Bronze Star Medal in precedence. The services have a year to implement these changes.
1. The V device will no longer be awarded by the Marine Corps or Navy as a combat distinguishing device. All services will award the V device only if the award is approved for valor (heroism). in other words the Navy and the Marine Corps will now follow the current guidance of the Army and Air Force.
2. The R device will be approved for attachment on meritorious decorations such as the achievement medal, commendation medal, meritorious service medal, Defense meritorious service awards all the way up to the Defense distinguished service medal. it is of course to identify that the award was presented to the service member for involvement directing drones over the battlefield. The R device will be awarded to recognize remote impacts on combat operations.
3. The C device will be awarded to identify meritorious service that is limited to combat awards for those exposed to hostile action and are at significant risk of exposure. In other words if the cook was awarded the Army achievement medal for service in Iraq it would not have a C device on it. But if the mechanic was awarded the Army achievement medal and he had participated in recovering vehicles or have been exposed to significant risk outside of the wire then he could receive the achievement medal with a C device indicating meritorious service while being exposed to hostile action or at significant risk of exposure.New V, C and R devices,