The Prisoner of War Medal is awarded to U.S. military persons who were take and held prisoner of war after 5 April 1917 under one of these three conditions:
(1) While fighting against an enemy of the United States.
(2) While involved in conflict with an opposing foreign force
(3) While serving with friendly forces engaged in combat against an opposing military in which the United States is not an aggressive party.
Non-military persons recognized with military service in which there was a time that they were held in captivity are eligible for the Prisoner of War Medal.
Those held hostage by terrorists, or those held by governments that the United States is not actively involved in armed conflict are not eligible for the Prisoner of War Medal.