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Navy & Marine Corps Awards and Decorations
Vietnam Service Medal
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Authorization. E.O. 11231 of 08 July 1965.

Eligibility Requirements

(1) General

(a) Awarded to all members of the Armed Forces of the United States serving at anytime between 04Jul65 and 28Mar73 in the area defined under the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for Vietnam.

(b) Awarded to all members of the Armed Forces of the United States in Thailand, Laos or Cambodia or the air space thereof, between 4 July 1965 and 28 March 1973 and serving in direct support of operations in Vietnam.

(c) Members qualified for the AFEM by reason of service between 1 July 1958 and 3 July 1965 (inclusive) in an area for which the Vietnam Service Medal was subsequently authorized shall remain qualified for that medal. Upon application, any such member may be awarded the Vietnam Service Medal in lieu of the AFEM for such service. However, no person shall be entitled to both awards for service in an area for which the Vietnam Service Medal has been authorized.

(2) Specific

(a) Personnel Eligible

1. Shore Duty. Attached to or regularly serving for 1 or more days with an organization participating in or directly supporting military operations.

2. Sea Duty. Attached to or regularly serving for 1 or more days aboard a naval vessel directly supporting military operations.

3. Air Duty. Actual participation as a crew member in 1 or more aerial flights directly supporting military operations.

4. Temporary Duty. Service for 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days, except that the time limit may be waived for personnel participating in actual combat operations. NOTE. Only personnel who were attached to ships/units and who actually participated in the given operation, are eligible for the Vietnam Service Medal. This includes personnel attached to a squadron or unit embarked in a ship during the period for which that ship is listed as eligible. Members of rear echelons, transients, observers, and personnel assigned for short periods or TAD and training duty are normally not eligible for the award; however, consideration will be given in those instances where the local commander certifies a particular and significant contribution by an individual. Such certification should be submitted to CNO/CMC via the fleet commander who exercised operational control in the area involved.

(b) Eligible Ships and Units. Ships and units present in the area merely for training purposes are not eligi­ ble for the award. Squadrons or units embarked in a ship during the period for which that ship is listed as eligible are automatically eligible for the medal.

(c) Limitation of Medals. The medal shall be awarded only for operations for which no other U.S. campaign medal is approved. No person may be issued both the Vietnam Service Medal and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in Vietnam (see Art. 431.16b(8) concerning election), and no person shall be entitled to more than one award of the Vietnam Service Medal.

Stars. A bronze star 3/16-inch in diameter is authorized to be worn on the suspension ribbon and ribbon bar of the Vietnam Service Medal for each of the following campaigns:

  • Vietnam Advisory Campaign........15 Mar 62 to 07 Mar 65.
  • .Vietnam Defense Campaign.........08 Mar 65 to 24 Dec 65.
  • Vietnam Counter-offensive........25 Dec 65 to 30 Jun 66.
  • Vietnam Counter-offensive II.... 01 Jul 66 to 31 May 67.
  • Vietnam Counter-offensive III....01 Jun 67 to 29 Jan 68.
  • Tet Counter-offensive............30 Jan 68 to 01 Apr 68.
  • Vietnam Counter-offensive IV....02 Apr 68 to 30 Jun 68.
  • Vietnam Counter-offensive V.....01 Jul 68 to 01 Nov 68.
  • Vietnam Counter-offensive VI....02 Nov 68 to 22 Feb 69.
  • Tet 69 Counter-offensive........23 Feb 69 to 08 Jun 69.
  • Vietnam, Summer-Fall 1969.......09 Jun 69 to 31 Oct 69.
  • Vietnam, Winter-Spring 1970.....01 Nov 69 to 30 Apr 70.
  • Sanctuary Counter-offensive.....01 May 70 to 30 Jun 70.
  • Vietnam Counter-offensive VII...01 Jul 70 to 30 Jun 71.
  • Consolidation I.................01 Jul 71 to 30 Nov 71.
  • Consolidation II................01 Dec 71 to 29 Mar 72.
  • Vietnam Ceasefire Campaign......30 Mar 72 to 28 Jan 73.

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