I've had a lifelong interest in the United States Army, and especially the ranks and medals one can earn with excellent service to the nation. Our armed serve people earn these medals through their valor and commitment to our country and its ideals, and they wear them proudly wherever in the world they are stationed. The Army Achievement Medal holds a special place in my heart and I wanted to get into some of the details about this medal and history of the United States Army's honors and ribbons in today's article titled The Army Achievement Medal: what is it?
The Army Achievement Medal is awarded to any member of the military of the United States, or to any member of the military of a friendly foreign nation, who on or after 1 August 1981, while performing in any way with the Army in a non-combat field, distinguished himself/ herself apart from his/her comrades by meritorious service or achievement of a lesser degree than necessary for award of the Army Commendation Medal. Awarded to members of the Armed Forces below the rank of colonel who, while serving in any capacity with the Army in a non combat area, distinguish themselves by outstanding achievement or meritorious service.
The AAM is commonly only given to officers in the pay grade of O-4 and below, as well as enlisted service members below the grade of E-7. The AAM can be granted in a combat area, but for non-combat meritorious service. The Achievement Medal is the lesser of the U.S. military's meritorious service medals, it was also first introduced as a means to recognize the contributions of enlisted personnel and junior officers who were not qualified to receive the higher Commendation Medal or the Meritorious Service Medal. Additional awards are denoted by oak leaf clusters.
The Army Achievement Medal is a Bronze octagonal medal with one angle centered at the top. It is 1 ½ inches in diameter. The face contains a rudimentary Department of the Army (DA) plaque with the date "1775" situated at the bottom. The words "FOR MILITARY ACHIEVEMENT" are written on three lines above a blank space for a name and two slips of laurel on the reverse side. The ribbon for the Army Achievement Medal is 1 3/8 inches wide and has eleven stripes. The first stripe is 1/8 inch of Green, the second is 1/16 inch of White, the third is 1/8 inch of Green and the fourth is 9/32 inch of Ultramarine Blue. The center stripe is center 1/16 inch of White, followed by a stripe of 9/32 inch of Ultramarine Blue, 1/16 inch of White, 1/8 inch of Green, 1/16 inch of White and the last stripe of 1/8 inch of Green.
The Army Cohesion and Stability Study (ARCOST) of 1980 made the suggestion to institute the Army Achievement Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, and the NCO Professional Development Ribbon. The suggested awards were first created by the appeal of the MILPERCEN on 18 February 1981 to TIOH, who made the designs and sent them to MILPERCEN on 18 March 1981. The Secretary of the Army accepted the decorations by the ARCOST group and on 13 April 1981, the DCSPER accepted a design proposed by TIOH and ordered that it be developed.
The Army Achievement Medal is a great honor and any service member who earns this distinction will want to display it proudly among his or her rank and insignia. This medal is for those who earn high honors but are still below the rank of Colonel. It is a special award since the recipient, while not yet high in the ranks of the Army, has still nevertheless distinguished themselves with outstanding achievement or meritorious service.