Military Wiki
American Campaign Medal
American Campaign Medal
Awarded by Department of the Army
Department of the Navy
Type Military medal

served in the armed forces between the following dates:

  • between December 7, 1941 and March 2, 1946, for military service, in the American theater area.
Status Inactive
First awarded December 7, 1941
Last awarded March 2, 1946
Equivalent Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal

American Campaign Medal ribbon and streamer

Streamer for American Campaign Medal
American Campaign Medal ribbon and streamer

The American Campaign Medal was a military award of the United States Armed Forces which was first created on November 6, 1942 by United States Executive order 9265 issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Originally issued as the “American Theater Ribbon”, the medal was intended to recognize those service members who had performed duty in the American Theater of Operations during World War II. A similar medal, known as the American Defense Service Medal existed for American defense service prior to the United States entry into World War II.


The requirements for the American Campaign Medal were: a service member was required to either perform one year of duty (cumulative) within the continental borders of the United States, or perform 30 days consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days of duty outside the borders of the United States but within the American Theater of Operations. The American Theater was defined as the entirety of the United States to include most of the Atlantic Ocean, a portion of Alaska, and a small portion of the Pacific bordering California and Baja California.[1]

The eligibility dates of the American Campaign Medal were from December 7, 1941 to March 2, 1946. Service stars were authorized to any service member who was engaged in actual combat with Axis forces within the American theater. This primarily applied to those members of the military which had engaged in anti-U-Boat patrols in the Atlantic.[2]

The first recipient of the American Campaign Medal was General of the Army George C. Marshall.[3]


The American Campaign Medal was issued as a service ribbon only for the entirety of the Second World War, and was only made a full-sized medal in 1947.

The medal, made of bronze, is 1 1/4 inches wide. The obverse was designed by Thomas Hudson Jones. It shows a Navy cruiser underway with a B-24 Liberator bomber flying overhead. In the foreground is a sinking enemy submarine, and in the background is the skyline of a city. At the top of the medal are the words AMERICAN CAMPAIGN. The reverse of the medal, designed by Adolph Alexander Weinman, is the same design as used on the reverse of both the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. It depicts an American bald eagle between the dates 1941 - 1945 and the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.[3]

The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide in oriental blue in the center is a 1/8 inch center stripe divided into thirds of old glory blue, white, and scarlet. Between the center and the edges are stripes of 1/16 inch in white, black, scarlet and white. Service stars are authorized for wear on the service and suspension ribbons for the American Campaign Medal.[3]


Navy campaigns

Participation in these escort, antisubmarine, armed guard, and special operations entitle recipients to one campaign star for each participation:[4]

Army campaigns

A bronze service star is authorized for participation in the antisubmarine campaign. To qualify individuals must have been assigned to or attached to, and present for duty with, a unit with antisubmarine campaign credit.[3]


  • Foster, Frank C. (2002). A complete guide to all United States military medals, 1939 to present. Fountain Inn, S.C.: MOA Press. ISBN 1-884-45218-3. OCLC 54755134. 
  • Kerrigan, Evans E. (1971). American war medals and decorations. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 0-670-12101-0. OCLC 128058. 
  • Kerrigan, Evans E. (1990). American medals and decorations. Noroton Heights, CT: Medallic. ISBN 0-792-45082-5. OCLC 21467942. 
  • Robles, Philip K. (1971). United States military medals and ribbons. Rutland, VT: C. E. Tuttle. ISBN 0-804-80048-0. OCLC 199721. 


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