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   Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Service: ALL
Instituted: 1961
Authorized: DOD 1348-33-M
Issuing Country: ( US ) - UNITED STATES
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Back of Medal
  1. The AFEM, authorized by E.O. 10977, maybe awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who after July 1, 1958:
  • Participate, or have participated, as members of U.S. military units in a U.S. military operation in which Service members of any Military Department participate, in the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in significant numbers.
  • Encounter during such participation foreign armed opposition, or are otherwise placed, or have been placed, in such position that, in the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hostile action by foreign armed forces was imminent even though it did not materialize. b. Categories of Operations. The AFEM may be authorized for the following three categories of operations:
  1. U.S. military operations.
  2. U.S. operations in direct support of the United Nations (U.N.).
  3. U.S. operations of assistance for friendly foreign nations.
  • NOTE: Attaching Devices authorized by individual services:
  1. Arrowhead Device - denotes participation in a combat parachute jump, combat glider landing, or amphibious assault landing.
  2. Marine Corps Device - denotes combat service with Marine Corps units

  1. During the late 1950’s, it became apparent that a medal was needed to recognize the services of the Armed Forces who participated in the increased involvement of the American military in peacekeeping activities. As a result, President Kennedy established the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, per Executive Order 10977, dated 4 December 1961, for operations on or after 1 July 1958.
  2. At the present time, JCS has designated 22 operations for which the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal may be awarded. A bronze service star is worn to denote second and subsequent awards of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.