Ask a question about 'Army of Occupation of Germany Medal'
Start a new discussion about 'Army of Occupation of Germany Medal'
Answer questions from other users
The Army of Occupation of Germany Medal
is a type of decoration of the United States military which was created by the (55 Stat. 781) act of the United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....
on November 21, 1941. The decoration recognizes those members of the U.S. military who served in the European occupation force following the close of the First World War
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...
The medal is retroactive by design and is awarded to any service member who performed occupation garrison duty in either Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
, or the former Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...
, between the dates of November 12, 1918 and July 11, 1923. The medal was primarily created due to the rising tension with Germany, between 1939 and 1941, and also as a means to honor the World War I service of General of the Armies
General of the Armies of the United States, or more commonly referred to as General of the Armies, is the highest possible officer rank of the United States Army.Only two soldiers have been granted the rank of General of the Armies; John J...
John J. Pershing
John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing, GCB , was a general officer in the United States Army who led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I...
, whose likeness appears on the actual medal. Initially the blue edge stripe was wavy, to signify the Rhine River, but that proved impractical to mass produce and was changed to a straight line.
The first Army of Occupation of Germany Medal was presented to General of the Armies Pershing with retroactive presentations made to any service member upon application to the United States War Department.
Ironically, less than three weeks after the medal was first authorized, the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...
which led to another full-scale war with Germany, now allied with Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...