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a. Authorization. E.O. 10977 of 4 December 1961.

b. Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Eligibility Requirements (1) Personnel. Awarded to personnel of the U. S. Armed Forces who, after 1 July 1958:

(a) Participate as members of U.S. military units in a U.S. military operation in which personnel of any military department participate in significant numbers, in the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) .

(b) Encounter, during such participation, foreign armed opposition, or are otherwise placed in such position that hostile action by foreign armed forces was imminent, in the opinion of the JCS, even though such hostile action did not materialize.

(2) Categories of Operations. The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) may be authorized for three categories of operations:

(a) U.S. military operations.

(b) U.S. operations in direct support of the United Nations.

(c) U.S. operations of assistance to friendly foreign nations.

(3) Definitions

(a) The "Area of Operations" is defined as:

1 The foreign territory upon which U.S. Armed Forces have actually landed, or are present, and specifically deployed for the direct support of the designated military operation.

2 Adjacent water areas in which U.S. ships are operating, or providing direct support of operations.

3 The airspace above and adjacent to the area in which operationsare being conducted. Ships and units present in an area solely for training purposes are not eligible for award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

(b) 'Direct Support" is defined as furnishing fire, patrol, guard, reconnaissance or other military support, and the supply by ground units, ships and aircraft, of services and/or supplies and equipment to combat forces in the area of operations, provided such support involves actually entering the designated area.

(4) Degree of Participation. Personnel must be bona fide members of a unit engaged in the operation, or meet one or more of the following criteria:

(a) Serve not less than 30 consecutive days in the area of operations.

(b) Engage in direct support of the operation for 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days, provided such support involves entering the area of operations.

(c) Serve for the full period when an operation is less than 30 days.

(d) Engage in actual combat or duty equally as hazardous as combat duty, during an operation against armed opposition, regardless of time in the area.

(e) Participate as a regularly assigned crewmember of an aircraft flying into, out of, within or over the area in support of the military operation.

(f) Be recommended or attached to a unit recommended for the award by the appropriate Combatant Commander, although the criteria above may not have been fulfilled.

(g) Personnel are entitled to the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal award if they were attached to or served onboard a ship or unit for at least one day during the period(s) for which that ship or unit is listed as eligible. This includes personnel attached to a squadron or unit embarked in a ship during the period(s) for which that ship is listed as eligible. Members of rear echelons, transients, observers and personnel assigned for short periods of TAD and training duty are normally not eligible for the award; however, consideration will be given in those instances where the cognizant commander certifies a particular and significant contribution by an individual. Such certification should be submitted to CNO/CMC, via the fleet commander who exercised operational control in the area involved.

(5) Eligible Operations. Appendix A to this chapter contains the operations designated by JCS as qualifying for the AFEM .

(6) Eligible Ships and Units. Ships and units present in an area solely for training purposes, or transiting the area are not eligible for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal award. Squadrons or units embarked in a ship during the period for which that ship is listed as eligible are automatically eligible for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

(7) Limitations. The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) shall be awarded only for operations for which no other U.S. campaign medal is approved. However, this does not preclude Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) eligibility for subsequent on-going operations if the associated campaign medal has been terminated. No individual shall be eligible for both the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) and a campaign medal during a single tour or deployment in the designated operation. For operations in which personnel of only one military department participate, the medal shall be awarded only if there is no other suitable award available to that department. In the case of an operation in which Navy and Marine Corps units were the sole participants and another campaign medal has not been authorized, the Navy Expeditionary Medal and Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal shall be considered the more appropriate awards for the Naval personnel assigned or attached to the participating units.

(8) Election of Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) or Vietnam Service Medal. The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) shall not be issued for service in Vietnam,after 3 July 1965. Personnel who earned the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) for service in Vietnam during the period 1 July 1958 to 3 July 1965, inclusive, may elect to receive the Vietnam Service Medal in lieu of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM). No individual may be issued both medals for service in Vietnam during the period 1 July 1958 to 28 March 1973.

(9) Election of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) or the Navy Expeditionary Medal/Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal. Members of the Naval service may elect one expeditionary medal for the following operations:

Lebanon 25 Aug 82
Libya 20 Jan 86 to 27 Jun 96
Persian Gulf 24 Jul 87 to 01Aug 90
Panama 20 Dec 89 to 31 Jan 90

c. Approval of Operations. The JCS shall designate operations that qualify for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM). Recommendations for military operations to be designated shall be submitted through joint channels to the JCS.

d. Subsequent Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Awards. Service stars are authorized for participation in each subsequent operation. Participation in two or more engagements within the same operation does - not entitle the individual to wear a service star on the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM).


The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) have designated the following operations as eligible for award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM)

1. U.S. Military Operations

a. Lebanon: 1 Jul to 1 Nov 58. The area is composed of the adjacent water area defined as that portion of the Mediterranean Sea east of 31E longitude.

b. Quemoy and Matsu Islands: 23 Aug 58 to 1 Jun 63. The area is composed of the water area 21N to 26N and 116E to 121E.

c. Taiwan Straits: 23 Aug 58 to 1 Jan 59. The area is composed of the water area from 19N to 28N between 117E and 123E.

d. Berlin: 14 Aug 61 to 1 Jun 63, including the city of West Berlin.

e. Cuba: 24 Oct 62 to 1 Jun 63. Although JCS established the terminal date of Cuban operations as 1 Jun 63, no Navy/Marine Corps units are considered eligible after 31 Dec 62. The area of eligibility includes the water area between 12N and 28N latitudes and 66W and 84W longitudes.

f. Congo: 23 to 27 Nov 64. The area is composed of the land and water area of the Congo.

g. Dominican Republic: 28 Apr 65 to 21 Sep 66. The area is composed of the contiguous water and airspace within the following boundaries: from the point 17N, 75W eastward to 17N, 67-45W; thence northward to 20-25N, 73-35W; thence southwestward to 18-40N, 75W; thence south to the initial point at 17N, 75W.

h. Korea: 1 Oct 66 to 30 Jun 74. This area includes the entire land mass of the Republic of Korea and the waters and air space enclosed by the following boundaries: from a point located at 32N on the coast of China, east to 32N by 129-203; thence northeastward to 36N by 134E; thence north to the coast of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR); thence along the coastline of the USSR, Korea, and China to the initial point.

i. Cambodia Evacuation (Operation EAGLE PULL): 11 to 13 Apr 75.

j. Vietnam Evacuation (Operation FREQUENT WIND): 29 to 30 Apr 75.

k. Mayaguez Operation: 15 May 75.

1. Grenada Operation: 23 Oct to 21 Nov 83. The area includes the island nation of Grenada, including Grenada, Carriacou, Green, Hog, Calivigny, other outlying islands and the territorial seas of Grenada; waters adjacent to Grenada in which Atlantic Fleet ships operated in direct support of operations in Grenada; the airspace above Grenada and the adjacent sea areas where the operations were conducted; and the Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados.

m. Libya (Operation ELDORADO CANYON): 12 to 17 Apr 86. The area bounded by the following coordinates: 37N, 11E to 37N, 21E to 34N, 25E to 23N, 25E to 23N, 11E to 37N, 11E.

n. Panama (Operation JUST CAUSE): 20 Dec 89 to 31 Jan 90. The total land area of Panama, including internal waters, territorial seas, and airspace thereover.

o. Haiti (Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY): 16 Sep 94 to 31 Mar 95. The area of operations consists of the total land area, sea, and air space defined by the following coordinates:
16-30N, 71-40W; 18-OON, 71-45W; along the Haitian-Dominican Republic Border to 20-OON, 71-44W; 21-OON, 71-40W; 21-25N/73- OOW; 21-25N, 74-00W; 20-OON, 74-00W; 19-45N, 75-00W; 19-OON, 76- OOW; 16-30N, 76-00W; to 16-30N, 71-40W.

p. Haiti (Operation SECURE TOMORROW): 27 Feb to 15 Jun 04

2. U.S. Operations in direct support of the United Nations

a. Congo: 14 Jul 60 to 1 Sep 62. Water area from 3s to 9s between 9E and the mainland of Africa.

b. Somalia (Operations RESTORE HOPE and UNITED SHIELD): 5 Dec 92 to 31 Mar 95. The area of operations is from 20N northward to 30-30E and from 46-363 eastward to 63E.

3. U.S. Operations assisting friendly foreign nations

a. Vietnam: 1 Jul 58 to 3 Jul 65. Water areas from a point on the east coast of Vietnam at the border of Vietnam with China southeastward to 21N, 108-15E; thence southward to 18N, 108-15E; thence southeastward to 17-30N, 111E; thence southward to 11N, 111E; thence southwestward to 7N, 105E; thence westward to 7N, 103E; thence northward to 9-30N, 103E; thence northeastward to 10-15N, 104-273; thence northward to a point on the west coast of Vietnam at the border of Vietnam with Cambodia. In addition, the land area of Thailand is included.

b. Laos: 19 Apr 61 to 7 Oct 62.

c. Cambodia (land only): 29 Mar to 15 Aug 73.

d. Thailand: 29 Mar to 15 Aug 73 (only those in direct support of Cambodia operations).

e. El Salvador: 1 Jan 81 to 1 Feb 92. The total land area of El Salvador, as approved by Section 525 of the FY96 Defense Appropriations Act.

f. Lebanon: 1 Jun 83 to 1 Dec 87. JCS established the terminal date of Lebanon operations as 1 Dec 87; however, no Navy ships/units are considered to be eligible after 1 Aug 84. Marine Security Guard personnel or other personnel serving in Lebanon may be awarded medal for the entire period.

g. Operation ERNEST WILL (Persian Gulf): 24 Jul 87 to 1 Aug 90.

h. Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR (Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 20 Nov 95 to 19 Dec 96.

i. Operations SOUTHERN WATCH - 1 Dec 95 to 18 Mar 03; MARITIME INTERCEPT - 1 Dec 95 to 18 Mar 03; VIGILANT SENTINEL - 1 Dec 95 to 15 Feb 97; DESERT THUNDER - 11 Nov to 22 Dec 98; DESERT FOX - 16 to 22 Dec 98; DESERT SPRING - 31 Dec 98 to 18 Mar 03; and NORTHERN WATCH - 1 Jan 97 to 18 Mar 03 (Persian Gulf/Iraq). Only one AFEM may be earned for participation in one or all of these operations. The area consists of the land area and airspace of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq and the waters of and airspace above the Arabian Gulf west of 56E longitude. Individuals serving aboard vessels in the Red Sea in direct support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH are also eligible for the AFEM. Service members who earned the Southwest Asia Service Medal (SWASM) and then became eligible for the AFEM in a subsequent tour are eligible for both medals. For example, an individual who earned the SWASM in 1991 and subsequently returned to the area after 1 Dec 95 may earn both awards. However, an individual who serves a single tour that spanned the transition date of 1 Dec 95 may not earn both awards. In this case, the individual may elect the AFEM or the SWASM, but may not earn both awards for a single tour. Also see paragraph m. below regarding the transition from Operation SOUTHERN WATCH to IRAQI FREEDOM.

j. Operation JOINT GUARD (Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, and the airspace above the Adriatic Sea north of 40 degrees north latitude): 20 Dec 96 to 20 Jun 98.

k. Operation JOINT FORGE (Bosnia-Herzegovina) : 21 Jun 98 to TBD. For service in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Adriatic Sea, and all related air space.

1. Operation IRAQI FREEDOM: 19 Mar 03 to 30 Apr 05. Personnel who deployed in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and subsequently transitioned into IRAQI FREEDOM on or after 19 March 2003 must elect to receive either the AFEM, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (GWOTEM), or the Iraq Campaign Medal (ICM). Personnel who earned the AFEM for service in support of SOUTHERN WATCH on a previous tour and then became eligible for the GWOTEM or ICM in a subsequent tour may retain the AFEM and are eligible for the GWOTEM or ICM. However, an individual who served a single tour that spanned the transition date of 19 Mar 03 may - not earn both the AFEM and the GWOTEM or ICM. In this case, the individual may elect the AFEM, GWOTEM, or ICM, but may not earn more than one award for a single tour.

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