How Do I Find Out What Medals I Earned In The Military

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Military Awards and Decorations

The military honors and recognizes exceptional service and achievements of people in the US Armed Forces by giving awards and decorations. These medals and honors represent a symbol of bravery, valor, and dedication to duty. However, many veterans often find themselves wondering how to find out what medals they earned during their time in the military.

Military awards and decorations hold great significance within the military community. They serve as a visual representation of an individual’s service, sacrifice, and achievements during their military career. The awards recognize the exceptional work and courage of military personnel. They boost morale, foster pride, and motivate others to strive for greatness.

Types of Military Medals and Decorations:

The United States military has a wide array of medals and decorations, each carrying its unique significance. Here are some of the most prominent ones:

  • Medal of Honor: The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded to members of the Armed Forces. Acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty present it. Recipients of this prestigious award demonstrate extraordinary bravery and selflessness in the face of extreme danger.
  • The Purple Heart awards service members who have sustained wounds or have been killed in action. It serves as a tribute to their sacrifice and is a powerful symbol of bravery and resilience.
  • The Bronze Star Medal awards acts of heroism, meritorious service, or extraordinary achievement during combat operations. It recognizes exceptional leadership, courage, and dedication to duty.
  • The Silver Star: The United States awards the Silver Star for gallantry in action against an enemy. It’s a top honor for bravery given to service members who show exceptional courage and selflessness.

Armed Forces members receive the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery or exceptional accomplishments during flying. It recognizes exceptional courage and skill in aviation operations.

The Defense Meritorious Service Medal is given for outstanding non-combat achievements or service performed with excellence. It acknowledges outstanding performance and significant contributions to the military mission.

These are just a few examples of the numerous medals and decorations that exist within the U.S. military awards system. Every award has its own criteria and importance, showing the commitment and bravery of the people in the military.


Obtain Your DD-214

The DD-214 is an important document that gives detailed information about a person’s military service when they leave active duty. It includes details such as dates of service, training, awards and decorations, and the nature of discharge.

Obtaining your DD-214 is crucial for various reasons. These include accessing veterans’ benefits, pursuing education opportunities, and verifying military service for employment or retirement purposes. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of obtaining your DD-214 and highlight its significance.

Why is the DD-214 Important?

The DD-214 is an important paper that shows you served in the military and gives details about your time there. It contains critical information that various purposes may require.

Employment Opportunities: Many employers give preference to veterans or offer special hiring programs. When applying for these opportunities, people often require the DD-214 as proof of military service.

How can I acquire military medals earned by a veteran?

If you discover that you are missing medals you earned during your military service, there are several avenues you can explore to acquire them. Here are some steps you can take:

Contact the National Personnel Records Center: Reach out to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) to request a review of your military records. They can verify your awards and provide replacements for lost or missing medals. You can visit their website ( for detailed instructions on how to request replacement medals.

Contact the appropriate service branch: If the NPRC is unable to assist, you can directly contact your respective service branch’s awards and decorations department. They will guide you through the process of acquiring the missing medals.

Consult with a veterans service organization: Veterans service organizations, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) or the American Legion, can also provide valuable assistance and resources for obtaining missing military medals. They have experience in dealing with these matters and can guide you through the necessary steps 

Remember to provide as much information as possible when requesting replacement medals, including your full name, service number or Social Security number, dates of service, and any relevant documentation or photographs that support your claim. This information will help the authorities verify your eligibility and ensure accurate record keeping.Remember, the process may take time, so be patient and persistent.

The honor and recognition that come with military medals make the effort worthwhile. Acquiring these esteemed symbols of valor allows veterans and their families to preserve the legacy of service and honor the sacrifices made for our country.


Does everyone get Armed Forces Service Medal?

The Armed Forces Service Medal (AFSM) is a military decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who have participated in significant military operations but do not meet the criteria for a specific campaign medal.

If you’re a veteran or currently serving and want to know if you received the Armed Forces Service Medal, this blog post will provide you with the information you need to determine your eligibility and confirm if you have received this prestigious award. 

  • Understanding the Armed Forces Service Medal

The Armed Forces Service Medal was established in 1996 to recognize service members’ participation in significant military operations. It serves as a unifying medal for operations that do not meet the criteria for specific campaign medals. The AFSM honors the dedication and contributions of service members who support missions and operations critical to national security.

  • Obtaining the Armed Forces Service Medal

If you determine that you are eligible for the Armed Forces Service Medal but did not receive it or have lost it, you can request a replacement. Here’s what you can do:

Contact the Awards and Decorations Office: Reach out to the awards and decorations office of your service branch. They will guide you through the process of requesting a replacement medal. They may require documentation, such as a written request or a copy of your DD-214, to verify your eligibility.

National Personnel Records Center (NPRC): If you encounter difficulties with your service branch, you can also contact the NPRC for assistance in obtaining a replacement Armed Forces Service Medal. They can provide guidance on the necessary steps and documentation required.

If you are unable to find the information there, you can contact the NPRC or your service branch for assistance. Additionally, reaching out to veterans service organizations can also provide you with the necessary help and guidance. The Armed Forces Service Medal honors your important work in military operations and shows your commitment to the US Armed Forces.

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