The United States military and uniformed services issues miniature devices for wear on certain medals and service ribbons issued to their members. The device must be authorized in order to be worn on decorations and awards. These are sometimes referred to as award devices, but are most commonly referred to in service regulations and Department of Defense instructions simply as "devices" for awards and decorations.
The devices vary between 3/16 to 11/32 inches in size and are usually made of brass or metal alloys that appear gold, silver, or bronze in color with either a dull or polished look. The devices may denote additional awards of the same decoration or award, an award for valor, participation in a particular campaign, periods of honorable service, specific events, and other special meanings.
List of devices
The following devices are either presently in use today or were used at some point in the past:
Examples of devices worn on service ribbons
The following images provide examples of devices being worn on the service ribbons of various decorations and awards:
|Silver Star with one bronze oak leaf cluster indicating a total of two awards.|
|Legion of Merit with one gold 5/16 inch star indicating a total of two awards.|
|Distinguished Flying Cross with two bronze oak leaf clusters indicating a total of three awards.|
|Bronze Star Medal with "V" Device and two bronze oak leaf clusters indicating a total of three awards.|
|Purple Heart Medal with two gold 5/16 inch stars indicating a total of three awards.|
|Joint Service Commendation Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters indicating a total of four awards.|
|Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with four gold 5/16 inch stars indicating a total of five awards.|
|Coast Guard Achievement Medal with one silver and one gold 5/16 inch star indicating a total of seven awards.|
|National Defense Service Medal with one 3/16 inch service star indicating a total of two awards.|
|Armed Forces Reserve Medal with bronze Hourglass Device for ten years of service, the "M" Device for mobilization, and the "3" Numeral Device indicating three mobilizations.|
|Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation with Hurricane Device.|
|Army of Occupation Medal with Berlin Airlift Device.|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" device.|
- "Department of Defense Manual 1348.33, Volume 3". Defense Technical Information Center. 23 November 2010. p. 7. http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134833vol3.pdf. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
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