DoD Announces Comprehensive Review of Military Awards

NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense

September 08, 2006
DoD Announces Comprehensive Review of Military Awards

The Department of Defense has begun a comprehensive review of military awards and decorations in order to ensure policies are consistent with the evolving nature of warfare.

This comprehensive review will lead to an administrative revision of the Department of Defense Instruction 1348.33-M, the Manual of Military Decorations and Awards.

A working group consisting of representatives from each Service, the Joint Staff and the Institute of Heraldry will form the core of the comprehensive review effort.

This comprehensive review of military awards is expected to continue over the next six to eight months and will involve but not be limited to the following:

-Honor and Valor awards with particular focus on clarity of criteria and processes.

-The "V" device and the Purple Heart medals in eliminating disparate qualification criteria among the military services.

-Expeditionary medals in regard to how the theatre of operations is defined.

-Iraqi and Afghanistan campaign medals with regard to subsequent awards of these campaign medals, with a goal of appropriately recognizing service over multiple tours in those theatres of operations.

"The evolving nature of warfare demands that we review policies; for example, in the case of expeditionary medals, we must review how we define the operating "box" - whether it is the theater of direct action, or whether is might extend far beyond" said David Chu, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness. "For example, we must consider whether air support originating at great distances or different continents indeed represents expeditionary service for purposes of those awards."

"When it comes to valor awards, we must clarify criteria, including a review of boundaries that increasingly extend far beyond a particular combat zone, yet involve direct threats to American lives" said Chu.

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