DOD Awards and Decorations Review
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Service Cross and Silver Star Review
The secretary of defense directed the military departments to
review Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force
Cross, and Silver Star Medal recommendations from the
recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to ensure service
members awarded these medals were appropriately
recognized for their valorous actions.

The preeminent goal of the department’s Military Decorations
and Awards program is to appropriately recognize our service
members for their combat heroism. Although there is no
indication that members were inappropriately recognized, the
secretary determined that unusual Medal of Honor awards
trends reported by the recent Military Decorations and Awards
Review justified a review. The first seven Medal of Honor
awards for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan were posthumous;
however, after the department clarified the ‘risk of life’ portion
of the Medal of Honor award criteria in 2010 all ten recipients
have been living. Additionally, trends showed an increased
willingness of commanders to upgrade recommendations
submitted from subordinate commands as the wars
progressed. Accordingly, the secretary directed the review as
a cautionary measure on behalf of the service members who
have performed heroically in combat.

The reviews will be separately led by each of the military
department secretaries; the results of the reviews are due to
the secretary of defense on Sept. 30, 2017.
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DOD Awards and Decorations Review
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The Department of Defense announced the results of its
year-long review of the military decorations and awards
program to ensure continued appropriate recognition of the
service, sacrifices, and actions of its service members while
maintaining the historical legacy of the awards program.

The department’s review focused on combat and valor
recognition utilizing lessons learned over 14 years of combat
operations. Among the key changes was:

• Implementation of new goals and processes to improve
timeliness of the Medal of Honor and other valor awards;

• Standardization of the meaning and use of the “V” device as
a valor-only device to ensure unambiguous and distinctive
recognition for preeminent acts of combat valor;

• Creation of a new combat device (e.g., “C” device) to
distinctly recognize those service members performing
meritoriously under the most arduous combat conditions;

• Adoption of a common definition of Meritorious Service
Under Combat Conditions to determine eligibility for personal
combat awards;

• Introduction of an “R” remote impacts device to recognize
service members who use remote technology to directly
impact combat operations.

These changes will be implemented over the next 12 months.

See the
Complete list of Changes Here
Military Awards Review