On a journey of discovery to historical sites? Download the TracesOfWar app directly on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

United States (1776 - present, Republic)

The history of decorations in the United States can be traced back to the American Revolution. The very first American medal was one struck to honor George Washington. These medals were large plaques, very unlike the medals we know today. In 1780, the Andre Medal was presented by the Congress. This was a first medal to be worn around the neck. But in August 1782, the Badge of Military Merit was established by George Washington, which was the first real medal to be awarded to all enlisted service men that would applicate for it. This Badge would become the model for the Purple Heart, established on February 22nd 1932.

The 80 year’s that followed, did not see the establishment of any new decoration, although the United States were part of two major conflicts, the War of 1812 and the War with Mexico. A certificate of Merit was established in 1847, but was not accompanied with a medal. In 1861 the Navy Medal of Honor was established, followed in 1862 by the Army Medal of Honor.

Nearly twenty following years, this was all that remained. Although in 1880 the Navy and Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals were established, now other medals were installed during the Spanish-American War....

Read more

Highest Decorations

Medal of Honor - Army (MoH)In the database: 346
Issued:324
Medal of Honor - Navy/Marine Corps (MoH)In the database: 146
Issued:140
Medal of Honor - Air ForceIn the database: 0
Issued:unknown
Distinguished Service Medal - Army (DSM)In the database: 464
Issued:unknown
Defense Distinguished Service MedalIn the database: 5
Issued:unknown
Distinguished Service Medal - Navy/USMCIn the database: 216
Issued:unknown
Distinguished Service Medal - Air ForceIn the database: 22
Issued:unknown
Legion of Merif - Chief Commander (LoM-CC)
Legion of Merit - Chief Commander (LoM - CC)Legion of Merif - Chief Commander (LoM-CC)
In the database: 40
Issued:unknown
Legion of Merit - Commander (LoM - C)
Legion of Merit - Commander (LoM - C)In the database: 143
Issued:unknown
Legion of Merit - Officer
Legion of Merit - Officer (LoM - O)Legion of Merit - Officer
In the database: 199
Issued:unknown
Legion of Merit - Legionnaire
Legion of Merit - Legionnaire (LoM)Legion of Merit - Legionnaire
In the database: 38
Issued:unknown
Legion of Merit - US MilitaryIn the database: 840
Issued:unknown
Medal of FreedomIn the database: 202
Issued:unknown
Secretary's Distinguished Service AwardIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Congressional Gold Medal - AcesIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Congressional Gold Medal - WASPIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown

Medals for Merit and Bravery (Not Orders)

Airman's MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Army Achievement Medal (AAM)In the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Navy CrossIn the database: 4008
Issued:unknown
Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)Distinguished Service Cross
In the database: 1257
Issued:5076
Air Force Cross (AC)In the database: 3
Issued:3
Silver Star Medal (SSM)In the database: 3513
Issued:unknown
Bronze Star Medal (BSM)In the database: 3782
Issued:unknown
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)In the database: 947
Issued:unknown
Air Medal (AM)In the database: 2201
Issued:unknown
Soldier's Medal (SM)In the database: 73
Issued:unknown
Navy and Marine Corps Medal (NMCM)In the database: 17
Issued:unknown
Chaplain's Medal for HeroismIn the database: 4
Issued:4
Silver Citation StarIn the database: 59
Issued:unknown
CIA Intelligence StarIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Gold Lifesaving Medal (GLM)In the database: 0
Issued:unknown
Silver Lifesaving Medal (SLM)In the database: 1
Issued:unknown
ETO Certificate of MeritIn the database: 7
Issued:unknown

Campaign and Service Awards

Cuban Pacification MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Indian Campaign MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Army of Cuban Occupation MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Inter-American Defense Board MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Antarctica Service Medal (ASM)In the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Dominican Campaign Medal
Dominican Campaign MedalIn the database: 2
Issued:unknown
Haitian Campaign MedalIn the database: 8
Issued:unknown
Mexican Border Service MedalIn the database: 4
Issued:unknown
Mexican Service Medal
Mexican Service MedalIn the database: 8
Issued:unknown
Nicaraguan Campaign MedalIn the database: 4
Issued:unknown
Second Nicaraguan Campaign MedalIn the database: 15
Issued:unknown
Spanish Campaign Medal - Marine Corps
Spanish Campaign Medal - Marine CorpsIn the database: 0
Issued:unknown
Spanish Campaign Medal - Army
Spanish Campaign Medal - ArmyIn the database: 0
Issued:unknown
Spanish Campaign Medal - Navy
Spanish Campaign Medal - NavyIn the database: 2
Issued:unknown
Philippine Campaign MedalIn the database: 9
Issued:unknown
Yangtze Service MedalIn the database: 11
Issued:unknown
American Defence Service Medal
American Defence Service MedalIn the database: 546
Issued:unknown
Merchant Marine Defense MedalIn the database: 0
Issued:unknown
American Campaign MedalIn the database: 879
Issued:unknown
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign MedalIn the database: 727
Issued:unknown
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign MedalIn the database: 890
Issued:unknown
Women's Army Corps Service MedalIn the database: 5
Issued:unknown
Typhus Commission MedalIn the database: 3
Issued:unknown
World War I Victory MedalIn the database: 171
Issued:unknown
World War Two Victory MedalIn the database: 1348
Issued:unknown
Merchant Marine Victory MedalIn the database: 5
Issued:unknown
Merchant Marine Pacific War Zone MedalIn the database: 2
Issued:unknown
Merchant Marine Atlantic Warzone MedalIn the database: 2
Issued:unknown
Army of Occupation of Germany MedalIn the database: 29
Issued:unknown
Army of Occupation MedalIn the database: 104
Issued:unknown
Navy Occupation Service MedalIn the database: 31
Issued:unknown
China Service Medal - Navy and Marine CorpsIn the database: 51
Issued:unknown
National Defense Service Medal (NDSM)In the database: 129
Issued:unknown
Korean Service Medal (KSM)In the database: 91
Issued:unknown
Merchant Marine Korean Service MedalIn the database: 0
Issued:unknown
Korea Defense Service MedalIn the database: 3
Issued:unknown
Vietnam Service Medal (VSM)In the database: 41
Issued:unknown
Merchant Marine Vietnam Service MedalIn the database: 0
Issued:unknown
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM)In the database: 8
Issued:unknown
Navy Expeditionary MedalIn the database: 4
Issued:unknown
Marine Corps Expeditionary MedalIn the database: 26
Issued:unknown
Merchant Marine Expeditionary MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Armed Forces Reserve MedalIn the database: 17
Issued:unknown
Naval Reserve MedalIn the database: 10
Issued:unknown
Army Overseas Service RibbonIn the database: 4
Issued:unknown
Marine Corps Reserve RibbonIn the database: 5
Issued:unknown
Army Reserve Achievement MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Selected Marine Corps Reserve MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Naval Reserve BadgeIn the database: 0
Issued:unknown

Wounded and Passed-Away Awards

Purple Heart
Purple HeartIn the database: 5826
Issued:unknown
Merchant Marine Mariner's MedalIn the database: 2
Issued:6635

Commemorative- / Jubileemedals

Prisoner of War MedalIn the database: 202
Issued:unknown
Battle of the Bulge Commemorative MedalIn the database: 2
Issued:unknown
Order of Lafayette
Order of LafayetteIn the database: 2
Issued:unknown
Military Order of PulaskiIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Normandy Campaign MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
David C. Schilling AwardIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
American Legion's Distinguished Service MedalIn the database: 6
Issued:unknown
Military Order of the World WarIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Medal of Unification of the Army and NavyIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Sampson Medal
Sampson MedalIn the database: 2
Issued:unknown
Military Order of the CarabaoIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown

Civilian Decorations

National Medal of ScienceIn the database: 2
Issued:unknown
President's Certificate of MeritIn the database: 0
Issued:unknown
Navy Distinguished Public Service AwardIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Outstanding Civilian Service AwardIn the database: 3
Issued:unknown
Selective Service MedalIn the database: 3
Issued:unknown
Medal for Merit
Medal for MeritIn the database: 25
Issued:unknown

Long and Faithfull Service Medals

Good Conduct Medal - ArmyIn the database: 595
Issued:unknown
Good Conduct Medal - NavyIn the database: 19
Issued:unknown
Good Conduct Medal - Marine CorpsIn the database: 56
Issued:unknown
Good Conduct Medal - Coast GuardIn the database: 0
Issued:unknown
Good Conduct Medal - Air ForceIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Air Force Longevity Service AwardIn the database: 41
Issued:unknown
WW1 Discharge PinIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown

State awards

Texas Legislative Medal of HonorIn the database: 4
Issued:unknown
District of Columbia Service MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Missouri Distinguished Service MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Virginia Distinguished Service MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
New Mexico Medal of HonorIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
State Of Missouri War With Germany MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
New York Conspicuous Service CrossIn the database: 2
Issued:unknown
Oklahoma Distinguished Service CrossIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Rhode Island CrossIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown

Unit Decorations

Air Force Presidential Unit CitationIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Meritorious Unit CommendationIn the database: 4
Issued:unknown
Navy/Marine Corps Unit Commendation
Navy/Marine Corps Unit CommendationIn the database: 0
Issued:unknown
Merchant Marine Gallant Ship Citation BarIn the database: 0
Issued:unknown

Combat and Special Skill Badges

Combat Infantryman BadgeIn the database: 760
Issued:unknown
Combat Medical BadgeIn the database: 31
Issued:unknown
Combat Action RibbonIn the database: 102
Issued:unknown
Merchant Navy Combat Bar
Merchant Marine Combat BarMerchant Navy Combat Bar
In the database: 2
Issued:unknown
Submarine Combat Patrol InsigniaIn the database: 35
Issued:unknown
Submarine Combat AwardIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Pilot WingIn the database: 267
Issued:unknown
Aviation BadgeIn the database: 4
Issued:unknown
Navigator WingIn the database: 25
Issued:unknown
Bombardier WingIn the database: 17
Issued:unknown
Aviation Gunners WingIn the database: 16
Issued:unknown
Senior Pilot WingIn the database: 4
Issued:unknown
Command Pilot WingIn the database: 37
Issued:unknown
Observer WingIn the database: 6
Issued:unknown
Gliderpilot WingIn the database: 6
Issued:unknown
WASP WingIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Navy Aviator WingIn the database: 94
Issued:unknown
U.S. Navy/Marines Air Crew InsigniaIn the database: 2
Issued:unknown
US Army Parachute BadgeIn the database: 234
Issued:unknown
Master Paratrooper WingsIn the database: 3
Issued:unknown
Senior Parachutist BadgeIn the database: 4
Issued:unknown
Navy/Marine ParachutistIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Glider BadgeIn the database: 11
Issued:unknown
Surface warfare officerIn the database: 56
Issued:unknown
Sharpshooter BadgeIn the database: 59
Issued:unknown
Marksman BadgeIn the database: 71
Issued:unknown
Pistol SharpshooterIn the database: 2
Issued:unknown
Expert BadgeIn the database: 42
Issued:unknown
Rifle ExpertIn the database: 24
Issued:unknown
Navy RiflemanIn the database: 4
Issued:unknown
Army Excellence in Competition RifleIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Expert Infantryman BadgeIn the database: 14
Issued:unknown
TSMG (Thompson Machine Gun) ExpertIn the database: 0
Issued:unknown
Submarine Officer BadgeIn the database: 38
Issued:unknown
Special Operations BadgeIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Amphibious Force InsigniaIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Driver and Mechanic BadgeIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Ranger TabIn the database: 4
Issued:unknown
USMC Basic Qualification BadgeIn the database: 25
Issued:unknown

Outstanding meritorious achievement or service

Humanitarian Service MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Civilian Award for Humanitarian Service
Civilian Award for Humanitarian ServiceIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
US Antarctic Expedition Medal 1939-41 - GoldIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal - GoldIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
National Security MedalIn the database: 3
Issued:unknown
Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM)In the database: 66
Issued:unknown
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (NMCCOM)In the database: 62
Issued:unknown
Air Force Commendation MedalIn the database: 15
Issued:unknown
Joint Service Commendation MedalIn the database: 5
Issued:unknown
Combat Readiness MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Meritorious Service Medal (MSM)In the database: 7
Issued:unknown
Army CommendationIn the database: 16
Issued:unknown
Navy Letter of CommendationIn the database: 13
Issued:unknown

Prizes and Trophies

Woodrow Wilson MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
American Hebrew MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
The Pulitzer PrizeIn the database: 37
Issued:unknown
Order of St. George bronze medalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Order of St. Joan D'Arc MedallionIn the database: 0
Issued:unknown
The Noble Patron of Armor AwardIn the database: 0
Issued:unknown
Robert J. Collier TrophyIn the database: 4
Issued:unknown
Knox Trophy AwardIn the database: 3
Issued:unknown
ASME MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Cheney AwardIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Columbia University World War II service awardIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Distinguished Service to Air Power awardIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Daniel Guggenheim MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Franklin MedalIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Raoul Wallenberg MedalIn the database: 3
Issued:unknown

Red Cross

American National Red Cross MedalIn the database: 3
Issued:unknown

Letter of Praise / Gratitude

Letter of Praise by the United States CongressIn the database: 1
Issued:unknown
Presidential Letter of GratitudeIn the database: 10
Issued:unknown