Authorized foreign decorations of the United States military: Wikis

  
  

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Authorized foreign decorations of the United States military are those military decorations which have been approved for wear by members of the United States armed forces but whose awarding authority is the government of a country other than the United States.

Contents

Policy and Determination

The wear of foreign decorations may either be approved on a case-by-case basis or a general order may be declared allowing for blanket approval to all U.S. service members to wear a particular non-U.S. decoration.

The following is a list of foreign decorations which have been approved at one time for wear on United States military uniforms. Such awards are always worn after all United States decorations and international military awards. The list below is by no means comprehensive, but does display the awards which have been bestowed to U.S. service members by the governments of foreign countries.

Awards of Specific Nations

Argentina

  • Order of the Liberator San Martin.png Order of the Liberator San Martin
  • Order of May in Military Merit ribbon.jpg Order of May in Military Merit

Argentinien decorations are only rarely awarded to senior US officers, most of those senior U.S. officers have been in the United States Southern Command & United States Southern Command Air Forces Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Australia

Australian decorations are only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers, at the Joint Chiefs of Staff level

Bahrain

Kingdom of Bahrain decorations were only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers. Most of those senior US officers in the United States Central Command as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Belgium

Belgian Order's were awarded to senior U.S. officers, while the War Cross was presented to any rank for valor during World War I & World War II.

Bolivia

  • Colombian Air Force Cross.jpg Aeronautical Merit Medal

Bolivian decorations are only rarely awarded to senior U.S. officers, most of those senior US officers have been in the United States Southern Command & United States Southern Command Air Forces Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Brazil

Brazil's highest orders of merit were rarely awarded to senior U.S. officers, during World War II.

In the 21st century United States military most of those post World War II era presentations are still only awarded to senior US officers, most of those senior U.S. officers have been in the United States Southern Command & United States Southern Command Air Forces Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Bulgaria

  • Order of the Madara Horseman ribbon.jpg Order of the Madara Horseman

Bulgarian decorations are only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers. Most of those were awarded to the United States European Command Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Canada

Canadian decorations were mainly awarded during World War I and World War II. The Meritorious Service Cross and Meritorious Service Medal are currently the only Canadian awards still being awarded to US personnel today. Most of those are awarded to senior U.S. officers in the United States European Command, United States Northern Command or North American Aerospace Defense Command usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Colombia

Colombian decorations are only rarely awarded to senior U.S. officers, most of those senior US officers have been in the United States Southern Command & United States Southern Command Air Forces Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

China

Chinese decorations were only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers during World War II.

Chile

  • Order of Merit.png Order of Merit

Chilean decorations were only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers during World War II.

Croatia

  • Order of Prince Branimir.jpg Grade of Prince Branimir

Croatian decorations are only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers. Most of those were awarded to senior US officers in the United States European Command usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Czechoslovakia / Czech Republic

Czechoslovak War Cross 1918 Ribbon.png Czechoslovak War Cross 1918
Czechoslovak War Cross 1939-1945 Ribbon.png Czechoslovak War Cross 1939-1945
  • Cross of Merit of the Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic.png Cross of Merit of the Minister of Defense First Class

Czech Order of the White Lion was only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers. The Czechoslovak War Cross was a little more commonly awarded to officers, then the Czech Order of the White Lion was, during World War I and World War II.

Cross of Merit of the Minister of Defense First Class are only rarely awarded to the United States European Command Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Denmark

Danish decorations were only rarely awarded to senior U.S. officers, during World War II.

Ecuador

  • Order of Abdon Calderón.png Order of Abdon Calderón

Ecuadorean decorations were only rarely awarded to senior U.S. officers, during World War II.

Egypt

  • Order of the Sinai Star.png Order of the Sinai Star

Egyptian decorations were only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers. Most of those senior U.S. officers in the United States Central Command as "end-of-tour" decorations.

El Salvador

  • El Salvador Gold Medal for Distinguished Service Ribbon.png Gold Medal for Distinguished Service Medal

El Salvadoran decorations are only rarely awarded to senior U.S. officers, most of those senior U.S. officers have been in the United States Southern Command & United States Southern Command Air Forces Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Estonian

Estonian decorations are only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers. Most of those were awarded to senior U.S. officers in the United States European Command usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

France

Ribbon of la croix de guerre 1914-1918.JPG Croix de guerre 1914-1918
Ribbon of la croix de guerre 1939-1945.JPG Croix de guerre 1939-1945
Ribbon of la croix de guerre TOE.JPG Croix de guerre des Théatres d'Opérations Exterieures

French decorations were presented to U.S. service members extensively during World War I and World War II. By far, the Croix de guerre was the most commonly bestowed decoration to United States service members of all ranks.

The National Order of the Legion of Honor is mostly awarded to senior U.S. officers and Senior Enlisted Advisors in the United States European Command usually as "end-of-tour" decorations. The National Order of Merit is awarded to lower ranking U.S. officers (Brigadier General - Major) and Senior Non-commissioned officer's assigned to the United States European Command usually as "end-of-tour" decorations. The French Military Campaign Decoration can be awarded to any foreign military member who has served under French command. These are the only French medals still being awarded to U.S. personnel today.

Germany

Bundeswehr Cross of Honor for Valor Ribbon Bar.png Bundeswehr Crosses of Honor for Bravery
Bundeswehr Cross of Honor in Gold.jpg Bundeswehr Crosses of Honor
Bundeswehr Medal of Honor.jpg Bundeswehr Medal of Honor

German decorations have been awarded to United States soldiers beginning as far back as the American Revolution. By the time of the First World War, German decorations had faded from the military memory of the United States and, during the actual conflict where Germany and America were on opposing sides, the wear of any German decoration by an American soldier would have been unthinkable.

The sole authorization of a Nazi decoration to U.S. personnel was in 1938 when the Order of the German Eagle was awarded to a small number of U.S. military personnel who had either served in Germany in a diplomatic posting or who had performed an act of service to the German state. The Order was entered in service records, but was never authorized for display on a United States uniform.

In the 21st century United States military, the German Proficiency and Marksmanship Badges are far more commonly awarded, mainly to U.S. Army and Air Force personnel. The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany was last awarded to a US officer in 2007 and is today rarely awarded to only very senior U.S. officers. Most of those senior U.S. officers were in the United States European Command usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Greece

Greek decorations were only very rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers, during World War II.

Guatemala

  • Guatemalan Armed Forces Cross.jpg Guatemalan Armed Forces Cross

Guatemalan decorations are only rarely awarded to senior U.S. officers, most of those senior U.S. officers have been in the United States Southern Command & United States Southern Command Air Forces Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Haiti

  • Haiti National Order of Honour and Merit.png National Order of Honour and Merit

Haitian decorations were only rarely awarded to senior U.S. officers, during World War II.

Honduras

  • Honduras Armed Forces Cross Ribbon.png Honduran Armed Forces Cross

Honduran decorations are only rarely awarded to senior U.S. officers, most of those senior U.S. officers have been in the United States Southern Command & United States Southern Command Air Forces Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Hungary

  • Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic ribbon.JPG Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic

Hungarian decorations are only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers. Most of those were awarded to the United States European Command Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Iceland

Icelandic decorations are only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers. Most of those were awarded to the United States European Command Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Italy

Italian decorations are only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers. The first presentations of Italian decorations to U.S. personnel were made in the months following World War II. This was mainly done to foster a new era of friendly relations between the US and Italy.

There is post-World War II presentations, but most of those medals are awarded often to officers assigned in Italy. The Italian Order's are mainly awarded to senior U.S. officers in the United States European Command usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Iraq

  • Gold Award of the Iraqi Order of the Date Palm Ribbon.png Gold Award of the Iraqi Order of the Date Palm

Iraqi decorations are only awarded to very senior U.S. officers, most of those were awarded to the Multi-National Force - Iraq Commander as "end-of-tour" decorations.

To date the only person that has been allowed to wear any Iraqi award has been General Petraeus, Multi-National Force - Iraq Commander.

Israel

The Service in Israel Medal is awarded to military attachés who service at least two years in Israel upon the end of their assignment with the IDF. It is still a somewhat rare decoration and there are certain restrictions regarding its display (or in some case, even its mention) for U.S. personnel stationed in other Middle Eastern Arab countries who are on unfriendly terms with Israel. These include the UAE, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.

Japan

The first presentations of Japanese decorations to U.S. personnel were made in the months following World War II when the new Japanese government presented several decorations to senior U.S. military officers then in charge of the occupation force garrisoning Japan. This was mainly done to foster a new era of friendly relations between the US and Japan and to recognize the joint and allied nature which the new Japanese Self Defense Force would have with the United States armed forces.

Today Japanese decorations are only awarded to senior U.S. officers in the United States Pacific Command usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Kuwait

The Kuwait Liberation Medal was awarded to all U.S. service members who served in the theater of operations during the "Operation Desert Shield" and "Operation Desert Storm" phase of the Gulf War, between 2 August 1990 and 31 August 1993.[1]

Lithuania

Lithuanian decorations are only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers. But most of those were awarded to the United States European Command Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg decorations were presented mainly during World War II. There have been some rare post-World War II presentations, but most of those were awarded to the United States European Command Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

The Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau was founded by Grand Ducal decree on 31 March 1858 by King-Grand Duke William III. The honour was to be shared between both branches of the House of Nassau, under agreement between William, King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Adolphe, Duke of Nassau and future Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

Mexico

Mexican decorations were mainly presented to very senior U.S. officers during World War II. There have been some rare post-World War II presentations, but these are mainly confined to the senior ranks of the U.S. military.

Montenegro

Montenegrin decorations were only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers during World War I.

Morocco

Grand Cross of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite ribbon.png 1913 - 1956 Order of Ouissan Alaouite
Order of Ouissam Alaouite.svg 1957 - Present Order of Ouissam Alaouite

The Order of Ouissam Alaouite was awarded mainly to United States military officers who had served on the Operation Torch planning staff during World War II. In the film Patton, George C. Scott plays then Major General George S. Patton who is awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite at the start of the film. There have been some rare post-World War II presentations, but these are mainly confined to the senior ranks of the U.S. military.

The Netherlands

The Dutch presented awards to U.S. service members mainly during World War II; the Honorary Sabre was very rarely awarded to very senior US officers. There have been some rare post-World War II presentations, but most of those were awarded to the United States European Command Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

The Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau was founded by Grand Ducal decree on 31 March 1858 by King-Grand Duke William III. The honour was to be shared between both branches of the House of Nassau, under agreement between William, King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Adolphe, Duke of Nassau and future Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

Nicaraguan

  • Nicaraguan Cross of Valor.png Nicaraguan Cross of Valor
  • Nicaraguan Medal of Military Merit.png Nicaraguan Medal of Military Merit

Nicaraguan medals were only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. Marine and Navel officers, during the Nicaraguan Campaigns of 1912 & 1933.

Norway

Norwegian Order's were only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers, during World War I & World War II.

The War Cross is Norway's highest ranking decoration for gallantry. It was so rarely awarded to US military personnel, that only two U.S. officers have ever received it to date, CAPT Alfred Carini and LTC Keith N. Allen.

Pakistan

Pakistani decorations were only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers during World War II. There have been some rare post-World War II presentations, but these are mainly confined to the senior ranks of the U.S. military.

Paraguay

  • Paraguay National Order of Merit.png Paraguay National Order of Merit

Paraguayan decorations were only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers during World War II.

Peru

Peruvian decorations were only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers during World War II. There have been some rare post-World War II presentations, but these are mainly confined to the senior ranks of the U.S. military.

In the 21st century United States military, the awarding of Peruvian decorations are still only rarely awarded to senior US officers, most of those senior US officers have been in the United States Southern Command & United States Southern Command Air Forces Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Philippines

The Philippine Medal of Valor, Distinguished Conduct Star and Philippine Legion of Honor were only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers, during World War II. The Philippine Defense Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal and Philippine Independence Medal were commonly awarded to soldiers and sailors of all ranks during World War II.

Poland

Polish decorations were first presented to U.S. senior military leaders in the aftermath of World War II as a measure of thanking the Allies for liberating Poland from Nazi Germany. In reality, however, the USSR engaged in the physical liberation of this nation with British and American troops having little to no part in actions on the Eastern Front.

When Poland fell behind the Iron Curtain, awards to U.S. service members all but ceased. In the 21st century, with Poland now a member in NATO, awards have resumed to U.S. personnel, but most of those were awarded to the United States European Command Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Portugal

Portuguese Order of Aviz was awarded to very senior U.S. officers, during World War II. Most of the medals awarded now in the 21st century United States military, are to the United States European Command Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Republic of Korea (South Korea)

Tong-il Security Medel Ribbon.png Tong-il Medal
Gugseon Security Medal Ribbon.png Gugseon Medal
Cheon-Su Security Medal Ribbon.png Cheon-Su Medal
Sam IL Security Medal Ribbon.png Sam IL Medal
Gwangbog Security Medal Ribbon.png Gwangbog Medal
Taeguk Cordon Medal.png Taeguk Cordon Medal
Eulji Cordon Medal.png Eulji Cordon Medal
Chungmu Cordon Medal.png Chungmu Cordon Medal
Hwarang Cordon Medal.png Hwarang Cordon Medal
Inheon Cordon Medal.png Inheon Cordon Medal

South Korean decorations were first awarded to U.S. service members during the Korean War.

The award of Korean medals in the 21st century is mainly confined to senior U.S. military leaders attached to either USFK or CNFK.

Romania

Romanian decorations were only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers, during World War I and World War II. There have been some rare post-World War II presentations, but these are mainly confined to the senior ranks of the U.S. military.

Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian Kuwait Liberation Medal was a little less commonly awarded to all U.S. service members, it was awarded only during the dates of 17 January 1991 and 28 February 1991 with in-theater service of the Gulf War.

Singapore

Singaporean decorations are very rarely awarded to only senior U.S. officers, at the Joint Chiefs of Staff level.

Slovakia

  • Commemorative Medal of the Minister of Defense of the Slovak Republic First Class ribbon.jpg Commemorative Medal of the Minister of Defense of the Slovak Republic First Class

Slovakian decorations are only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers. Most of those were awarded to the United States European Command Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

South Vietnam

Senior Leadership Decorations

ArmyDSMribbon.png Vietnam Army Distinguished Service Order, 1st Class
Vietnam Army Distinguished Service Order Ribbon 2nd Class.png Vietnam Army Distinguished Service Order, 2nd Class
Vietnam Navy Distinguished Service Order Ribbon.png Vietnam Navy Distinguished Service Order, 1st Class
Vietnam Navy Distinguished Service Order Ribbon 2nd class.png Vietnam Navy Distinguished Service Order, 2nd Class
Vietnam Air Force Distinguished Service Order Ribbon.png Vietnam Air Force Distinguished Service Order, 1st Class
Vietnam Air Force Distinguished Service Order Ribbon 2nd Class.png Vietnam Air Force Distinguished Service Order, 2nd Class

Heroism Decorations

Common Decorations

Unit Citations

Other Awards

South Vietnamese decorations, also known as awards of the Republic of Vietnam, were first issued to United States service members beginning around 1964. The Military Merit Medal was awarded solely to enlisted U.S. service members who had been killed in battle, while the National Order and Distinguished Service Order were awarded only to senior U.S. military personnel. The Gallantry Cross and Campaign Medal were commonly awarded to all U.S. personnel and the remainder of the decorations were awarded with different frequency between the U.S. service branches and amongst officer/enlisted personnel.

Soviet Union / Russia

Soviet decorations were only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers during World War II. Due to the different ribbon bar sizing between US and USSR decorations, Soviet ribbons were also impractical for daily wear on United States uniforms. In addition, by the 1950s at the start of the Cold War, most U.S. officers who had been awarded such medals during World War II simply chose to stop wearing them.

Spain

  • Spanish Grand Cross of Naval Merit Ribbon.png Grand Cross of Naval Merit

Spanish decorations were only rarely awarded to senior U.S. officers during World War II.

Sweden

Order of the Polar Star 1748 - 1975 Ribbon.png 1748 - 1975 Order of the Polar Star
Order of the Polar Star 1975 - Now Ribbon.png 1975 - Present Order of the Polar Star

Swedish decorations were only rarely awarded to senior U.S. officers during World War II.

Thailand

Thai decorations are very rarely awarded to only senior U.S. officers, at the Joint Chiefs of Staff level.

Tunisia

Tunisian decorations were only rarely awarded to senior U.S. officers during World War II.

United Arab Emirates

  • Military Merit Order First Class Ribbon.png Military Merit Order First Class
  • King Faisal Award, 2d Class Ribbon.png King Faisal Award, 2d Class

UAE decorations were only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers during the Gulf War. Most of those senior U.S. officers in the United States Central Command as "end-of-tour" decorations.

United Kingdom

Orders of Chivalry

Military Decorations

Campaign Medals

Britain's highest award for gallantry the Victoria Cross has only been awarded to one U.S. military member, the U.S. Unknown Soldier was awarded the Victoria Cross, on November 11, 1921.

United Kingdom decorations were awarded extensively to U.S. service members during both the First World War and World War II. The orders of chivalry were reserved mainly for senior U.S. military leaders. The remaining decorations were awarded frequently amongst the entire enlisted and officer corps of the U.S. military. The Distinguished Flying Cross was a common decoration for those Americans attached to the Eagle Squadrons; when some of those personnel transferred back to the United States Army Air Forces after America entered the war, the British DFC became a fairly common sight on U.S. uniforms during that time period.

In the 21st century United States military, the awarding of British decorations to U.S. service members is still somewhat common, most often to officers assigned in England or other various capacities with NATO European based defense groups.

Uruguay

  • Urug Aeronautical Merit ribbon.jpg Aeronautical Merit Medal

Uruguayean decorations are only rarely awarded to senior U.S. officers, most of those senior U.S. officers have been in the United States Southern Command & United States Southern Command Air Forces Commander usually as "end-of-tour" decorations.

Vatican City

Vatican awards are so rarely awarded to U.S. military personnel, that only the Order of St. Sylvester has been awarded once, to Major General William Joseph Donovan.

Yugoslavia

The Order of the White Eagle was only rarely awarded to very senior U.S. officers, during World War II.

References








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