Instituted: 1945 (retroactive to 1941)
Criteria: Heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service
Devices: Bronze letter “V” (for valor), Bronze, Silver Oak Leaf Cluster
Notes: Originally a ribbon-only award then designated “Army Commendation Ribbon with Metal Pendant”. Redesignated: “Army Commendation Medal” in 1960
Authorized on December 18, 1945 as a commendation ribbon and awarded to members of the Army for heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service after December 6, 1941. It was meant for award where the Bronze Star Medal was not appropriate, i.e., outside of operational areas.
The Army Commendation Medal, commonly called the ARCOM, is unique as it is the first and only Army award that started as a ribbon-only award and then became a medal.