Armed Forces Service Medal
Service: All Services
Dates: 1995 to Present
Criteria: Participation in military operations not covered by a specific war medal or the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.
Devices: All Services: Bronze, Silver Star
Authorized on January 11, 1996 for U.S. military personnel who, on or after June 1, 1992, participate in a U.S. military operation deemed to be a significant activity in which no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action is encountered and for which no previous U.S. service medal is authorized. The medal can be awarded to service members in direct support of the United Nations or North Atlantic Treaty Organization and for assistance operations to friendly nations. The initial awards of this medal were for operations that have occurred in the Balkans since 1992. Qualifications include at least one day of participation in the designated area. Direct support of the operation and aircraft flights within the area also qualify for award of this medal as long as at least one day is served within the designated area. Recent operations that qualify for the medal are Provide Promise, Joint Endeavor, Able Sentry, Deny Flight, Maritime Monitor and Sharp Guard.
The front of the medal contains the torch of liberty within its center and contains the inscription “ARMED FORCES SERVICE MEDAL” around its periphery. The reverse of the medal depicts the American eagle with the U.S. shield in its chest and spread wings clutching three arrows in its talons encircled by a laurel wreath and the inscription, “IN PURSUIT OF DEMOCRACY.” Bronze and silver service stars are worn to denote additional awards.
Awarded for direct support of relief operations involving hurricanes Katrina and Rita (30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutived days). The area of eligibility encompasses the United States from 27 Aug 2005 through 27 Feb 2006, less the area and time period detailed for receipt of the Humanitarian Service Medal. Those who receive the HSM may also qualify for the AFSM if their direct support does not include the same period and actions used in receiving the HSM.