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Armed Forces Reserve Medal ribbon with "M" Device & Numeral 2 device

An Arabic Numeral device or Numeral device[1] sometimes called an "Award numeral", is a United States military service device[2] that may be authorized for wear on specific service ribbons and suspension ribbons of medals. Arabic numeral devices are bronze or gold in color and are 3/16 inch in height.

Arabic numerals are worn to denote award of a second or subsequent award for which a member has already received the initial decoration or award.[3] The ribbon denotes the first award and numerals starting with the numeral 2 denote the number of additional awards.[4] The 3/16 inch numerals are similar to the 5/16 inch Strike/Flight numerals worn by the United States Navy and Marine Corps.[5][6][7][8]

U.S. military decorations and awards that may be authorized an Arabic Numeral device are as follows:

With the exception of the Air Medal and Armed Forces Reserve Medal service ribbons and suspension ribbons, the United States Army is the only service branch to currently use numerals on other service ribbons. During World War II, some Navy construction battalions (Seabees) were issued the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with numerals instead of service stars.[10]

See also


  1. DoDM 1348.33 P. 55 (1), P. 56 (1) (2)
  2. DoD Awards Manual, 1348.33, V3, P. 1 (2), service devices & P. 7 (List of authorized devices), Nov. 23, 2010
  3. DoDM1348.33, V3, 2010 P. 16 (2) subsequent award devices
  4. DoD Awards Manual 1348. 33, V3, P. 55, 56 (1-2) (a-b), Nov. 23, 2010
  5. Navy Personnel Command, U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 5, 5301-5319 Awards, last updated 27 July 2011, accessed 1 April 2012
  6. Permanent Marine Corps Uniform Board, Chapert 5, Awards, last updated 29 October 2009, accessed 1 April 2012
  7. U.S. Coast Guard Medals and Awards Manual CIM 1650.25D, dated May 2008, accessed 1 April 2012
  8. U.S. Army Regulation 600-8-22, Military Awards, dated 11 December 2006, revised 15 September 2011, last accessed 1 April 2012
  9. DoD Awards Manual 1348.33, V3, P. 56 (2) (b), Nov. 23, 2010
  10. The Institute of Heraldry, Uniformed Services ~ Army > Service Ribbons Accoutrements, accessed 1 April 2012

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