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COMBAT AWARDS AND CRITERIA

Medal of Honor [Army, Navy, Air Force]

The Medal of Honor is awarded by the President in the name of Congress to members of the U.S. military service, who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty (1) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;   (2) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or   (3) while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. There must be no margin of doubt or possibility of error in awarding this honor. To justify the decoration, the individual's service must clearly be rendered conspicuous above their comrades by an act so outstanding that it clearly distinguishes their gallantry beyond the call of duty from lesser forms of bravery; and it must be the type of deed which if not done would not subject the individual to any justified criticism. The deed must be without detriment to the mission of the command or to the command to which attached.


Army Distinguished Service Cross

Awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the Army, distinguishes himself by extraordinary heroism not justifying the Medal of Honor   (1) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;   (2) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or   (3) while serving with friendly foreign forces in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. To warrant this distinctive decoration, the act or the execution of duty must be performed in the presence of great danger or at great personal risk and must be performed in such a manner as to set the individual apart from his fellow Soldiers. An accumulation of minor acts of heroism does not justify the award. The high standards demanded must be borne in mind when recommending the award.


Navy Cross

Awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the Navy or Marine Corps, distinguishes himself by extraordinary heroism not justifying the Medal of Honor   (1) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;   (2) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or   (3) while serving with friendly foreign forces in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. To warrant this distinctive decoration, the act or the execution of duty must be performed in the presence of great danger or at great personal risk and must be performed in such a manner as to set the individual apart from his Shipmates or fellow Marines. An accumulation of minor acts of heroism does not justify the award. The high standards demanded must be borne in mind when recommending the award.


Air Force Cross

Awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the Air Force, distinguishes himself by extraordinary heroism not justifying the Medal of Honor   (1) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;   (2) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or   (3) while serving with friendly foreign forces in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. To warrant this distinctive decoration, the act or the execution of duty must be performed in the presence of great danger or at great personal risk and must be performed in such a manner as to set the individual apart from his fellow Airmen. An accumulation of minor acts of heroism does not justify the award. The high standards demanded must be borne in mind when recommending the award.


Silver Star

Awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. military service, is cited for gallantry in action that does not warrant the Medal of Honor or DSC or NC or AFC   (1) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;   (2) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or   (3) while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The heroic act(s) performed must render the individual conspicuous and well above the standard expected. An accumulation of minor acts of heroism normally does not justify the award, but unusual or exceptional cases will be decided on their merits.