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Awards of the American military

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AirPoliceSergeant

An Air Police Sergeant of the United States Air Force, wearing several award ribbons on his uniform

Awards of the American military were decorations used by the United States armed forces throughout the existence of the United States of America. The greatest number of awards was seen during the 20th century when the United States was involved in no less than four major wars.

American military personnel were issued military decorations in the form of badges, medals, and ribbons. Awards were displayed on most American military uniforms in the form of ribbon rows (three per row) worn on the left breast with any authorized badges worn directly above the ribbons. Camouflage uniforms did not display award ribbons, but could be worn with "subdued" badges to match the camouflage. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday", ENT: "Storm Front, Part II")

Badges of the American military

Aviator Badge

AviatorBadge

The Command Aviator Badge

The Aviator Badge was awarded to those members of the United States Army Air Corps (and later the U.S. Air Force) who were qualified as pilots. In 1947, Lieutenant General Rex Denning was a Command Aviator entitled to the Aviator Badge. The decoration was also held by John Christopher in 1969. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday", DS9: "Little Green Men")

Flight Officer Badge

NavyFOBadge

Flight Officer Badge
(Naval version)

The Flight Officer Badge was awarded to those members of the United States Navy who were qualified as co-pilots or naval flight officers. In 1986, Commander Rogerson was a qualified Naval Flight Officer. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Combat Infantryman Badge

DesertCIB

The CIB (desert version)

The Combat Infantryman Badge was a decoration that existed during the 20th century and was awarded having been involved direclty in combat as an Infantrymen. Known as the "CIB", it was held by some of Earth's most famous generals, such as Norman Schwarzkopf. (ENT: "Storm Front, Part II")

Parachutist Badge

ParachuteBadge

The Parachutist Badge

The Parachutist Badge was a decoration of the U.S. military issued in the 20th century for those military members who were qualified to perform parachute drops. General Norman Schwarzkopf was a recipient of this decoration. (ENT: "Storm Front, Part II")

The Combat Infantryman Badge and Parachutist Badge are seen (barely visible) worn by Schwarzkopf on his desert camouflage shirt when the timestream is restored at the end of "Storm Front, Part II". Both of these awards were created during World War II.

Command-at-Sea Pin

NavyCommandPin

Command-at-Sea Pin

The Command-at-Sea Pin was a decoration issued by the United States Navy to those officers who had qualified to serve as captains of a naval combat vessel. The pin was either worn above the right pocket, indicating an active assignment as captain of a ship, or below the left pocket showing inactive status. In 1986, Commander Rogerson of the USS Enterprise wore the Command-at-Sea Pin in the inactive location. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Weapons Marksmanship Badge

MarineCorpsWepsBadge

Marine Corps Marksmanship Badge

Weapons Marksmanship Badges were issued by the United States Marine Corps for qualifying as a Marksman, Sharpshooter, or Expert on a particular firearm. Marksmanship badges were worn on the left pocket below award ribbons. In 2364, Q displayed three Marine Corps marksmanship badges when he impersonated a twentieth century Marine Corps captain. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")

Decorations of the American military

DenningMedals

A 20th century Lieutenant general displaying several awards of the period

Air Force Cross

AirForceCrossRibbon

The Air Force Cross was one of the highest awards for valor in the United States Air Force and was displayed as a light blue ribbon with red borders. It was awarded to both enlisted personnel and officers. In 1969, at least one member of the 498th Airbase Group had received the Air Force Cross. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday")

Distinguished Service Medal

AFDSMRibbon

The Distinguished Service Medal was a high decoration of the United States military issued to officers who had performed service in a duty of great responsibility. In 1969, Lieutenant Colonel Fellini had received the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday").

Fellini holding this medal would be extremely unusual in the real US military, since the decoration is normally awarded to generals who complete tours at a major command. For a lieutenant colonel to hold the Distinguished Service Medal would be practically unheard of.

Distinguished Flying Cross

DFCRibbon

The Distinguished Flying Cross was a high decoration awarded for valor in aerial flight. In 1969, at least one member of the 498th Airbase Group had received the Distinguished Flying Cross. As of 1986, this decoration was held by the Command Duty Officer of the USS Enterprise, Commander Rogerson. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday")

Navy and Marine Corps Medal

NavyMarineCorpsMedal

The Navy and Marine Corps Medal was a 20th century decoration which was the highest award for non-combat valor while serving in the United States Navy or Marine Corps. In 2364, when Q impersonated a Marine Corps Captain of the same era, the Navy and Marine Corps Medal was one of the decorations he displayed on his uniform. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")

Legion of Merit

LegionofMerit

The Legion of Merit was a high ranking United States military decoration that was in existence during World War II. As of 1947, Lieutenant General Rex Denning had received this award. (DS9: "Little Green Men")

Bronze Star Medal

BStar

The Bronze Star Medal was an award for meritorious service first issued during World War II. In 1947, Lieutenant General Rex Denning, of the Army Air Corps, displayed the Bronze Star Medal as one his personal decorations (DS9: "Little Green Men").

Purple Heart

PHRibbon

The Purple Heart was an award issued to all branches of the US armed forces. In 1947, General Rex Denning was a recipient of the Purple Heart. (DS9: "Little Green Men")

Air Medal

AirMedalRibbon

The Air Medal was a decoration of the United States Air Force awarded during the 20th century for achievement while participating in aerial flight. The Air Medal was displayed as a blue and yellow ribbon and could be awarded to both officer and enlisted personnel. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday")

Commendation Medals

AFCMRibbon
NavyCommRibbon

Commendation Medals were mid-level decorations awarded to members of the United States armed forces. Each branch of service had its own version of the Commendation Medal. In 1969, Lieutenant Colonel Fellini had received the Air Force Commendation Medal. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday") In 1986, Commander Rogerson of the USS Enterprise had been awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with gold stars indicating multiple receipt of the decoration. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) In 2364, when Q impersonated a Marine Corps Captain, the Navy Commendation Medal was one of the ribbons seen on his uniform.

Achievement Medal

NAMRibbon

The Achivement Medal was a similar decoration to the Commendation Medal. As of 1986, Commander Rogerson of the USS Enterprise had received several Navy Achievement Medals. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Rogerson

A Naval Commander in 1986 wearing several ribbons and badges

Good Conduct Medal

AFCGRibbon

The Good Conduct Medal was an award for enlisted personnel and could also be worn by officers with prior enlisted service. In 1969, Lieutenant Colonel Fellini displayed the Air Force Good Conduct Medal on his uniform. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday")

National Defense Service Medal

NSDMRibbon

The National Defense Service Medal, often known as the "NDSM", was a common military medal issued in the 1960s. It was held by at least one Air Force officer on duty at Omaha Air Base in 1969. The decoration was also held by the Command Duty Officer of the USS Enterprise (Commander Rogerson) in 1986. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday"; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

The unnamed Air Force Captain is the only armed forces member seen wearing the National Defense Service Medal in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" when in reality the decoration should have been worn by every military member in the episode. This is since, as of 1969, the NDSM was automatically issued to anyone who was serving in the military due to the conflict in Vietnam.

American Defense Service Medal

USADefenseRibbon

The American Defense Service Medal was a decoration issued to personnel who had served in the US military between 1939 to 1941, prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor but during the initial years of World War II. As of 1947, Lieutenant General Rex Denning had received this decoration. (DS9: "Little Green Men")

Campaign Service Medals

KoreanRibbon
VietServeRibbon
VietCampRibbon

Campaign service medals were issued by the United States armed forces to personnel who had served in various combat engagements. In 1969, an officer of Omaha Air Base had received one campaign medal. In 1986, the Command Duty Officer of the USS Enterprise had received two. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday"; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

The campaign medal worn by the unnamed Air Force captain is the Korean Service Medal, although the Korean War itself has never been mentioned in any Star Trek production. In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Commander Rogerson of the USS Enterprise wears both the Vietnam Service Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Expeditionary Medal

ExpedtionRibbon

Expeditionary medals were awards issued to military personnel for participating in special expeditionary campaigns. As of 1986, Commander Rogerson of the USS Enterprise had received the Navy Expeditionary Medal. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

World War II Victory Ribbon

WWIIRibbon

The World War II Victory Ribbon was an award issued to any personnel of the US armed forces for service during World War II. In 1947, General Rex Denning was a recipient of the World War II Victory Ribbon. (DS9: "Little Green Men")

World War II Campaign Ribbons

WWIICampRibbon
WWIICampRib1
WWIICampRib2

World War II Campaign Ribbons were issued to any personnel of the US armed forces who had served in designated campaigns during World War II. In 1947, General Rex Denning was the recipient of at least two World War II Campaign Ribbons. (DS9: "Little Green Men") In 1969, Lieutenant Colonel Fellini of the Air Police wore one World War II campaign ribbon on his uniform. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday")

Fellini wears the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon but does not display the World War II Victory Ribbon or any other decorations from the Second World War.


Q Marine Corps Captain

Q wearing the uniform of a
Marine Corps Captain

Military Unit Commendations

NUCRibbon
MUCRibbon

Military Unit Commendations were decorations issued to military personnel who belonged to a unit which had performed some feat of excellence. As of 1986, Commander Rogerson of the USS Enterprise had received at least two Navy Unit Commendations. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) In 2364, when Q impersonated a Marine Corps captain, a Navy Unit Commendation was one of the decorations seen on Q's uniform. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")

Military Unit Awards

AFUnitAward

Military unit awards were low precedence level ribbons and were presented to personnel who were members of a military unit cited for a particular action. In 1969, Lieutenant Colonel Fellini of the US 498th Airbase Group had received an Air Force unit award. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday"

Navy "E" Ribbon

NavyERibbon

The Navy "E" Ribbon was an award granted to personnel of a particular United States Navy ship which had performed a feat of excellence. As of 1986, Commander Rogerson of the USS Enterprise had received the Navy "E' Ribbon on at least two separate occasions.

It is unclear if Rogerson received the Navy "E" Ribbon for his service on the Enterprise or at some other command.

Sea Service Ribbon

SSDRRib

The Sea Service Ribbon was a United States Navy decoration awarded to those officers and enlisted personnel who had performed a seaward deployment on board a US Navy vessel. Multiple decorations of this ribbon were denoted by bronze service stars. As of 1986, Commander Rogerson of the USS Enterprise had received at least three awards of the Sea Service Ribbon. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Marksmanship Ribbon

NavyPistolRibbon

The Marksmanship Ribbon was a low-level award issued to naval personnel who had qualified to a level of proficiency on a small arms weapon. In 1986 the CDO of the USS Enterprise displayed the Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon on his uniform. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

International Military Awards

UNRibbon
GallantryCrossRibbon

International military awards were occasionally awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces and were worn after all regular decorations. As of 1969, at least one Air Force officer on duty at Omaha Air Base had received an international military award. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday") In 1986, the CDO of the USS Enterprise (Commander Rogerson) had received an international unit citation. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) When Q impersonated a Marine Corps captain in 2364, one of the awards on his uniform was this same international award. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")

The international ribbon seen worn by the unnamed Air Force captain is the United Nations Service Medal, awarded for service during the Korean War. Rogerson and Q are seen wearing the Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citiation with Palm.

Presidential Unit Citations

KoreanPUC
VietPresCit

Presidential unit citations were displayed as ribbons encased by gold frames. There were several different versions of this award from various nations of Earth, and the decoration could be held by both enlisted and officer personnel. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday")

The Air Force sergeant from "Tomorrow is Yesterday" appears to wear both the Vietnam and Korean Presidential Unit Citations, but does not display either of the service medals for participating in the Vietnam and Korean Wars.

Additional decorations

AirSergRibbon

United States armed forces personnel were occasionally authorized additional decorations to include foreign awards, civilian medals, and state level decorations. In 1969, at least one member of the 498th Airbase Group had received such an additional decoration. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday")

The Air Force Sergeant from "Tomorrow is Yesterday" wears a yellow ribbon with brown stripes that is not an official award of the US military. The ribbon is somewhat similar to the China Service Medal, an award issued before World War II. It is also possible that the ribbon was a faded version of the American Defense Service Medal (see above), which would mean the Air Force Sergeant wearing it had served for nearly thirty years in the military.

Appearances

American military awards have been seen in several Star Trek productions, most often on the uniforms of characters who are encountered by the regular Star Trek crews during time travel incidents. With the exception of the United States Coast Guard, each branch of the American military has had its awards appear in Star Trek. While most such awards are not mentioned by name in dialog, they can typically be identified visually.

American military awards have appeared in the following productions:

Background

  • The Star Trek wardrobe departments have generally kept to correctness with regards to order and precedence of awards shown on uniforms as well as not having characters wear military awards for conflicts in which they could not have served in. Q wearing a Marine Corps uniform in the 24th century was the only time that a character displayed United States armed forces awards in the "normal" time frame of Star Trek and not in an episode involving time travel. Q's uniform is also the one significant example of the costume department displaying award ribbons badly out of order. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")
  • The latest American award seen on camera is the Combat Infantryman Badge visible in a restored timestream (ENT: "Storm Front, Part II") at a military briefing in the 1990s. However, the United States of America is said to have existed until at least the 2050s, possibly much later (well into the 2150s or perhaps even the 23rd and 24th centuries). This being the case, it is reasonable that there are numerous additional American military awards, from future wars and conflicts, which have never been seen or discussed.
  • Gene Roddenberry was awarded several military decorations for his service during World War II. These included the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal. Roddenberry was also authorized the Aviator Badge for service as a B-17 pilot.

See also

External link

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