Awards and decorations of the United States Armed Forces

Service ribbons, ribbon devices, and badge awards displayed on a U.S. Navy service uniform

The United States Armed Forces awards and decorations are primarily the medals, service ribbons, and specific badges which recognize military service and personal accomplishments while a member of the U.S. military. Such awards are a means to outwardly display the highlights of a service member's career.

Order of precedence

While each service has its own order of precedence, the following general rules typically apply to all services:

  1. U.S. military personal decorations
  2. U.S. military unit awards [1]
  3. U.S. non-military personal decorations (in order of receipt; if from the same agency, the applicable agency precedence listing should be consulted)
  4. U.S. non-military unit awards [1]
  5. U.S. military campaign and service medals
  6. U.S. military service and training awards (ribbon-only awards) [2] [3a]
  7. U.S. Merchant Marine awards and non-military service awards
  8. Foreign military personal decorations
  9. Foreign military unit awards [1]
  10. International decorations & service medals (e.g., United Nations, NATO, etc.) [5]
  11. Foreign military service awards [4]
  12. Marksmanship awards (Air Force, [3a] Navy & Coast Guard) [3b]
  13. State awards of the National Guard (Army & Air Force only)

Notes on branch-specific exceptions to the above: