During service each veteran receives recognition in the form of awards based on when, where or how the service was performed. Generally the awards to which a veteran is entitled are listed on the discharge papers or DD214. At times, either due to a later awarding, a new award issuance, or oversight by the clerk/yeoman, the award is authorized but not on the discharge. With the Congressional concern over the wearing of awards not earned (the “Stolen Valor Act”) we want to help you to receive all the awards you should have, and be able to document they were authorized.
If awards are lost or stolen, every veteran is entitled to one replacement set of awards during a lifetime. The authorization for these replacement awards is obtained through the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), which sends the listing to the appropriate issuing authority based on your branch of service, with a copy to you. The issuing authority will send you the awards, but the listing of awards sent from NPRC is proof that you have earned the awards. We will be pleased to assist you with obtaining the replacements.
Periodically awards are authorized after individuals have left service, sometimes well after. The following is a partial list of awards authorized after service for most:
Bronze Star Medal (BSM) – with application and approval the BSM will be issued to World War II (only) veterans who received the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) or the Combat Medical Badge.
Republic of Korea War Service Medal (RKWSM) – Authorized in 1999 for service personnel who served in Korea for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days between 25 June 1950 and 27 July 1953.
Combat Action Ribbon (CAR) – Created in 1969, this Navy or Marine Corps award was made retroactive for those who served in WWII, the Korean War or earlier in the Vietnam War.
Cold War Recognition Certificate – Any veteran who served between September 2, 1945 and December 26, 1991 is eligible to request this certificate be issued to the veteran.
Presidential Memorial Certificate – Signed by the President in office at the time of request, this is issued to the family upon the death of the veteran. Either the funeral director or VSO can assist in obtaining this recognition.
Service Unit Awards – unit awards are generally authorized for duty with specific units during set periods of time. Often these awards are authorized after many individuals have departed the service. If you believe you may have been authorized a unit award not awarded or documented for you, contact the VSO for assistance in determining and documenting your eligibility.