Often, soldiers left their units and headed for home prior to the award of Unit Awards such as the Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citations [ Cross of Gallantry or Civil Actions Medal, First Class with Palm ], and other awards which you may now be due for valorous or meritorious unit performance. As an example, click HERE to see the citation text for the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to members of the 2d Brigade for the 1968 TET Offensive.
Click HERE for a list of citations we have listed here on the Mobile Riverine Force Association website.
Army Retiree and Veteran Award Inquiries
Award actions pertaining to Army retirees and veterans are normally handled by the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO; also known as NPRC. In order for NPRC to research a specific award action, the request normally must be submitted to them in writing. The request should include a copy of the former soldier’s separation or discharge document and any other documents that support the request. Unfortunately, due to the large volume of correspondence that NPRC receives the requestor should allow a reasonable period of time for NPRC to research and respond to the request.
NPRC’s contact information is:
National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138
Website: National Personnel Records Center
Retiree and veteran award requests received at Headquarters, Department of the Army, Military Awards Branch, and which deal with previously approved awards, such as requests for orders, certificates, medal sets or Purple Heart entitlement determinations, are routinely forwarded to NPRC for appropriate action. Only those award requests based on new award information that require a policy determination are processed at the Department of the Army, Military Awards Branch. These requests are processed in the order they are received and normally take approximately 90 days to research and process to conclusion.
Click HERE for a link to the necessary Form 180 for applying for unit or individual awards. You can fill it out online, but be sure to stay on the form page until you are completely finished or you will lose your inputted data. Then print (2) copies so you will have one for your records:
Don’t forget to hit your browser’s back button to return to this page.
Vietnam Service Medal & Ribbon
Authorized on July 19, 1965 and awarded to all service members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, between July 4, 1965 and March 28, 1973, served in Vietnam and the contiguous waters, and airspace, in Thailand, Laos or Cambodia or airspace in direct support of military operations in Vietnam.
There are (18) “Named Campaign Periods” that denote the service stars. If you served at least 1 day in any period it warrants a campaign.
Here are the Named Campaigns
1) Vietnam Advisory Campaign – 15 March 1962 – 7 March 1965
2) Vietnam Defense Campaign – 8 March – 24 December 1965
3) Vietnamese Counteroffensive – 25 December 1965 – 30 June 1966
4) Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase II – 1 July 1966 – 31 May 1967
5) Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase III – 1 June 1967 – 29 January 1968
6) Tet Counteroffensive – 30 January – 1 April 1968
7) Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase IV – 2 April – 30 June 1968
8] Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase V – 1 July – 1 November 1968
9) Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase VI – 2 November 1968 – 22 February 1969
10) Tet 69/Counteroffensive – 23 February – 8 June 1969
11) Vietnam Summer – Fall 1969 – 9 June – 31 October 1969
12) Vietnam Winter – Spring 1970 – 1 November 1969 – 30 April 1970
13) Sanctuary Counteroffensive – 1 May – 30 June 1970
14) Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase VII – 1 July 1970 – 30 June 1971
15) Consolidation I – 1 July 1971 – 30 November 1971
16) Consolidation II – 1 December 1971 – 29 March 1972
17) Vietnam Ceasefire Campaign – 30 March 1972 – 28 January 1973
18) Operation FREQUENT WIND – 29 April – 30 April 1975
One “bronze service star” is placed on the medal/ribbon for each “Named Campaign” that you personally participated in. A small “silver service star” replaces (5) bronze service stars. To read a description of each Named Campaign click HERE!
Notes pertinent to the display of this ribbon
1.6 Miscellaneous information
a. Not more than one Republic of Vietnam (RVN) Gallantry Cross Unit Citation will be worn by any individual. This precludes wear of the Vietnamese Fourragere which represents additional unit awards of the RVN Gallantry Cross. Although wear of multiple awards of this unit citation badge is not authorized, official military personnel and historical records will indicate all awards received. In those instances, however, where a single unit received duplicate Vietnamese unit awards during the same period only one will be recorded in official military personnel and historical records. As an illustration, Battery D, 5th Battalion, 2d Artillery, was awarded the RVN Gallantry Cross with Palm during the following periods: 1 September 1968 to 15 March 1969 and 1 September 1968 to 30 September 1970. Members of this unit, who were assigned during either of these two periods, are eligible for only one award.
b. RVN Gallantry Cross Unit Citation takes precedence over the RVN Civil Actions Unit Citation and is beneath all United States unit citations, the Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, and Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation. Where an individual has been assigned to a unit which was cited by two or more military command levels of the Republic of Vietnam, the appurtenance worn will be that of the highest level. Only one appurtenance will be worn on each badge. The RVN Gallantry Cross was awarded by the Vietnamese Government for valorous combat achievement in four degrees, as follows:
(1) With Palm – To a unit which is cited before the Armed Forces.
(2) With Gold Star – To a unit which is cited before a Corps.
(3) With Silver Star – To a unit which is cited before a Division.
(4) With Bronze Star – To a unit which is cited before a Regiment/Brigade.
c. One bronze service star is authorized for each campaign for combat service within the territorial limits for Vietnam and adjacent waters. It is worn on the Vietnam Service Medal. One bronze service star is authorized for wear on the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for the Grenada Operation. See paragraph 8 for campaign information.
d. Department of the Army General Orders (DAGO) 8, 1974, announced award of the RVN Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm for service in Vietnam to the following units:
(1) Headquarters, United States Military Assistance Command and its subordinate units during the period 8 February 1962 to 28 March 1973.
(2) Headquarters, United States Army Vietnam and its subordinate units during the period 20 July 1965 to 28 March 1973.
Click HERE to verify this information and check on your personal U.S. Army “Unit Awards”. Example: If you served in 3rd Battalion – 47th Infantry be sure to also look under 9th Infantry Division.
Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation, Civil Action Medal, First Class Color, with Palm
This RVN award is a “Ribbon Only” award – The Medal is issued when citing an “individual”.
Criteria: The Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Medal was awarded as an individual foreign award to some members of the United States Army. The unit citation of the Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Medal was awarded certain units by the Vietnamese government for meritorious service during the period 1 March 1961 to 28 March 1974. Individuals who received the RVN Civil Actions Medal as an individual award are authorized to wear the medal. Personnel assigned to an unit which was awarded the medal are authorized to wear the unit award emblem.
Medal Replacement Set
The following article appeared in the Fort Stewart, GA, Retiree Bulletin, April 1998.
Veterans Entitled to Replacement Set of Medals
All honorably discharged veterans are entitled to a onetime, free of charge replacement set of their authorized medals and ribbons from the U.S. Government. Submit your request in writing to:
U.S. Army Reserve Personnel Center
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5200
The request must contain the veteran’s full name, service or social security number, branch of service, and dates of service (approximate dates are okay)
Also, the request must be signed by the veteran, if deceased, the veteran’s next of kin can sign the request on his/her behalf. Ensure the information on the request is clear and easy to read. It is helpful to attach a copy of the Discharge Certificate to the request but, this is not required. It is best to use Standard Form 180 (Request Pertaining to Military Records) to send request if possible. You may fill out and print the Standard Form 180 by clicking HERE
Sources for Purchasing Medals and Ribbons
Medals of America, 1929 Fairview Road, Fountain Inn, SC 29644, (864) 862-6425 or (800) 308-0849, Fax (800) 407-8640
National Capitol Historic Sales, P.O. Box 605, Springfield, VA 22150, (703) 569-6663
Graco Industries, P.O. Box 27, Tomball, TX 77375, (281) 255-2161
Overloard Military Collection, 3008 Woodson, St. Louis, MO 63114, (314) 423-6644
Vets Supply Line, 10650 County Road 81, Suite 131, Maple Grove, MN 55369, (612) 425-0911 Fax (612) 425-2577 Order Line (800) 864-5062
Quartermaster, 750 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90813, (800)444-8643
H.J. Saunder, P.O. Box 3133, Naples, FL 33939, (941) 775-2100
“12 O’Clock High” Inc., 265 N.E. 2nd Ave., Delray Beach, FL 33444 (800) 821-7978 Fax (561) 265-7211
Military Medals and Insignias, 134 Burton Circle, Gastonia, NC 28054, (704) 824-3026 Fax: (704) 824-4760