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International military decoration authorized by the US military


International military decoration authorized by the US military

An international decoration is a military award which is not bestowed by a particular country, but rather by an international organization such as the Executive Order 11446 in 1969. Acceptance of these international decorations must be approved by not only the Secretary of Defense, but also the Secretary of State.

The following is a list of the most commonly recognized international military decorations that has been or is currently awarded to members of the United States military. Such awards are always worn after all United States decorations, but before all Foreign decorations.


  • United Nations 1
  • North Atlantic Traty Organization 2
  • Multinational Force and Observers 3
  • Inter-American Defense Board 4
  • CSDP 6
  • Notes 7
  • See also 8

United Nations

The Assistant Secretary of Defense approved a change to the policy of the wear of United Nations Medals. Effective 13 October 1995, any US military personnel who is awarded a United Nations Medal may wear the ribbon of the first UN medal for which they qualify. Subsequent awards of the United Nations Medal for service in a different mission is noted by adding a bronze service star to the current ribbon. No more than one UN medal or ribbon may be worn at a time. Operations in which United States military personnel were awarded the United Nations Medal and authorized by the Department of Defense to accept and wear the medal are as follows:[1]

United Nations Korea Medal
United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in Palestine/United Nations Observation Group in Lebanon
United Nations Observer Group in India and Pakistan
United Nations Temporary Executive Authority/UN Security Force in West New Guinea
United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia
United Nations Advance Mission in Cambodia
United Nations Operation in Somalia II
United Nations Protection Force in Yugoslavia
United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara
United Nations Iraq–Kuwait Observation Mission
United Nations Haiti Medal
United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina

North Atlantic Traty Organization

United States military personnel may accept and wear NATO medals authorized by the Secretary General of NATO and offered to the US Representative to NATO to recognize US service members who meet the eligibility criteria specified by NATO, so long as acceptance is approved by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State. NATO Medals may be awarded with a clasp that designates the operation for which the medal is awarded. United States military personnel may accept, but not wear the clasp.[2] To date the following medals are the only NATO Medals authorized for acceptance and wear by US military personnel:[3][4]

NATO Meritorious Service Medal
Yugoslavia service medal
Kosovo service
NATO Article 5 medal for Operation Eagle Assist
NATO Article 5 medal for Operation Active Endeavour
Non-article 5 medal for ISAF
NATO Non-Article 5 medal for the Balkans
Non-Article 5 medal for NATO Training Mission – Iraq
Non-Article 5 medal for Africa
NATO Non-Article 5 medal for Operation Unified Protector

Multinational Force and Observers

Multinational Force and Observers Medal

Inter-American Defense Board

Inter-American Defense Board Medal [5]


The System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces awards the following decorations:

SICOFAA Legion of Merit Gentleman
SICOFAA Legion of Merit Officer
SICOFAA Legion of Merit Grand Cross


Common Security and Defence Policy

CSDP ALTHEA Operations medal ribbon bar
CSDP ALTHEA Staff medal ribbon bar


  1. ^ "United Nations Medals". The Institute of Heraldry. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  2. ^ AIR FORCE INSTRUCTION 36-2803 THE AIR FORCE MILITARY AWARDS AND DECORATIONS PROGRAM. United States Air Force. 18 December 2013. p. 192. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "NATO Meritorious Service Medal". Air Force Personnel Center. 2003-09-09. 
  4. ^ Office of the Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness. "DoD Approved NATO Medals for Acceptance and Wear". Department of Defense. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Inter-American Defense Board Medal". IADB Regulations. 2003-09-11. 

See also

Awards and decorations of the United States military

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