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A lot of people have come up to me and asked about medals and ribbons that they may have earned during their service that aren’t on their paperwork. Thank goodness they do. First, I always say, listen, keep it pure – what is on your DD214 is what you should have mounted in your shadowbox. But, there are awards out there for a lot of Veterans that have been earned retroactively. I will give an example of the 3 more common retroactively awarded items in this article but I would also like to say that they are always coming out with new awards and new ways to honor our military service. We don’t expect you to keep up, so give us a call and we’d be happy to help. We can’t look up your personal awards, but we have the info on your unit awards and things of that nature.
Okay, so let’s do this in order of conflict. The first big award not listed on your DD214 – The Bronze Star Medal has been awarded to any World War II Veteran that earned the Combat Infantry Badge or Combat Medic Badge during the war.
The next award is the Republic of Korea War Service Medal instituted in 1991. Criteria: The Korean War Service Medal is awarded to all military personnel who served 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days in Korea or its territorial waters between 27 June 1950 and 27 July 1953. It may also be awarded to aircrew personnel who flew combat or support missions over or to Korea. More info can be found on our website.
Alright, for our final award – the Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (unit ribbon only award) – and the one that surprised me the most. All personnel who served in Vietnam are eligible to wear the RVN Gallantry Cross unit citation.
Pretty cool, right? Now get out there and tell your fellow Vets you know something they don’t.
(Gallantry Cross ref. TIOH – http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/Catalog/Heraldry.aspx?HeraldryId=15473&CategoryId=9399&grp=12&menu=Decorations%20and%20Medals&ps=24&p=0)
(ROK War Service Medal ref. AF.Mil – http://www.afpc.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=7846)
(Bronze Star ref. Institute of Heraldry – http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/Catalog/Heraldry.aspx?HeraldryId=15252&CategoryId=3&grp=4&menu=Decorations%20and%20Medals&ps=24&p=0)What Military Awards Do I Have That Aren't On My DD214?,