Info Sheet furnished as a service by:   

Vietnam Era Seabees, Inc.
P.O. Box 36781
Richmond, VA 23235-8016
 

Typical awards of the Vietnam Era

Note - This listing illustrates the typical awards of the Era and is not meant to be an all inclusive listing. Other awards were certainly granted and omission from this listing is not meant to lessen the individual achievements in earning those awards.

 

Congressional Medal of Honor The nations highest award. The Medal of Honor is awarded for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of one's life, above and beyond the call of duty. This gallantry must be performed while engaged in action against an enemy of the United States.

During Vietnam, one Seabee, CM3 Marvin G. Shields was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for his service with the 5th Special Forces. Information on Marvin G. Shields can be found at Marvin Shields.

Silver Star The Silver Star was awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces of the United States, is cited for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States, while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force. The gallantry must have been performed with marked distinction.

Bronze Star The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the military of the United States distinguished himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.  Awards for personal valor include a 'V' attachment.

Purple Heart The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of an Armed Forces, or any civilian national of the United States who has been wounded or killed in action.

Navy Achievement Medal The Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces in the grades of lieutenant commander (or major) and below. It is awarded for meritorious service or achievement in either combat or noncombat based on sustained performance or specific achievement of a superlative nature.
 

Meritorious Unit Citation The Meritorious Unit Commendation was awarded by the Secretary of the Navy to  units of the Navy or Marine Corps that distinguishes itself under combat or noncombat conditions by either valorous or meritorious achievement which renders that unit outstanding compared to other units. Supplemental awards are shown by Bronze Stars attached to the device

Combat Action Ribbon The Combat Action Ribbon is a personal decoration awarded to members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard (when operating under the control of the Navy) while in the grade of captain (or colonel in the Marine Corps) and below who have actively participated in ground or surface combat. The principal criterion is that the recipient must have participated in a bona fide ground or surface combat firefight or in an action during which he was under enemy fire and his performance while under fire was satisfactory.

National Defense Medal The National Defense Service Medal was awarded for honorable active service as a member of the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War.

Vietnam Service Medal The Vietnam Service Medal was awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who served at any time between July 4, 1965, and March 28, 1973, in Vietnam or its contiguous waters or airspace; or, for any period of service during the same time period in Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia or the air spaces there-over and in direct support of operations in Vietnam. The Fleet Marine Force Combat Insignia (a miniature bronze Marine Corps emblem) was authorized for Seabees who served under the operational command of the Marine Corps while that Marine Corps unit served in active combat situations.  Stars worn on this medal do not constitute actual 'tours' of duty in Vietnam. These stars signify presence in Vietnam during certain offensive campaigns.

Vietnam Campaign Medal The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal was awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who served a minimum of 6 months 'in country' Vietnam prior to January 28, 1973. The time requirement was waived for becoming wounded, or being killed in action. The medal is also authorized for those that were 'in country' from January 28, 1973 to March 28, 1973 regardless of other time requirements.

Vietnam Civic Action Medal The Republic of Vietnam Civic Action Medal was used to signify various awards by the Republic of South Vietnam.  It could be issued for individual achievement, or was also awarded on the unit level. Devices attached to the medal signified level of achievement. As an individual award, the ribbon is worn without a gold frame. As a unit award it is worn with a gold frame  The award was for outstanding achievements in Civil Affairs.

Vietnam Technical Honor Medal Awarded by the Republic of Vietnam to individual military servicemen who have shown outstanding professional capacity, initiative, and devotion to duty while working in an advisory role to the Armed Forces of Vietnam

Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Awarded by the Republic of Vietnam for valor and heroic conduct while fighting the enemy. It could be issued for individual achievement, or was also awarded on the unit level. Devices attached to the medal signified level of achievement. As an individual award, the ribbon is worn without a gold frame. As a unit award it is worn with a gold frame.

Navy Expert Rifleman The Navy Rifle Marksmanship Award is worn for scoring at the marksman, sharpshooter or expert level of qualification on a prescribed course of fire for the rifle. During Vietnam this usually meant firing with the M-14 or the M-16. Also during Vietnam, the award was typically only formally presented to those at the Expert level, indicated by a Silver E on the award.

Navy Expert Pistol The Navy Pistol Marksmanship Award is worn for scoring at the marksman, sharpshooter or expert level of qualification on a prescribed course of fire for the pistol. During Vietnam this usually meant firing with the ,45 Caliber Revolver. Also during Vietnam, the award was typically only formally presented to those at the Expert level, indicated by a Silver E on the award.

____________________________________________________________________________________

The data above has come from several sources and has been edited to fit the Vietnam time frame. Much of the data came from Foxfall.com.