Criteria: Exemplary conduct, efficiency and fidelity during three years of active enlisted service with the U.S. Army (1 year during wartime)
Devices: Bronze, Silver, Gold Knotted clasp
Authorized on June 28, 1941 for exemplary conduct, efficiency and fidelity and awarded to Army personnel who, on or after August 27, 1940, had honorably completed three years of active Federal military service. The medal could also be awarded for one year of service after December 7, 1941 while the U.S. was at war. The award was not automatic and required certification by a commanding officer (usually a battalion commander or higher).
Unlike other additional award devices, e.g., oak leaf clusters, bronze, silver, or gold clasps with knots (or loops) are used to indicate the total number of awards of the Army Good Conduct Medal. For instance, two awards of the medal are indicated by two bronze knots, three by three, etc. Six total awards are indicated by one silver knot, seven by two silver knots, etc. Eleven total awards are indicated by one gold knot, twelve by two gold knots, etc. While all regulations since World War II only authorize a clasp to be worn after the second award or higher; it is not unusual to see veterans with a clasp having a single bronze knot on their Army Good Conduct Medal or ribbon; this may have indicated either a single or second award and seems to have been an accepted practice.