| Army Overseas Service Ribbon
|| Army Reserve Overseas Training Ribbon
|| Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
|| Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon
|| Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon
|| Coast Guard Overseas Service Ribbon
An Overseas Service Ribbon
is a service military award
Awards and decorations of the United States Military are military decorations which recognize service and personal accomplishments while a member of the United States armed forces...
of the United States military which recognizes those service members who have performed military tours of duty outside the borders of the United States of America. There are different versions of the Overseas Service Ribbons for the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Coast Guard. U.S. Marines receive the Navy version of the Overseas Service Ribbon.
The Army Overseas Service Ribbon
was first issued in August 1981. It is presented to any member of the United States Army who completes a standard overseas tour of duty. In the 11 December 2006 revision of AR 600-8-22 (Military Awards), the Army eliminated the policy which had restricted the awarding of the Overseas Service Ribbon when another campaign or service medal is awarded.
Additional awards of the Army Overseas Service Ribbon are denoted by award numerals
Award numerals are decorations of the United States military which are attachments to certain ribbons and awards. Award numerals denote repeated decorations of the same award and appear as arabic numerals on a medal or ribbon. Award numerals are very similar to the Strike/Flight numerals of the...
. For those Army service members performing overseas duty prior to 1981, the Army Overseas Service Ribbon may be awarded retroactively, provided that a service member was on active duty subsequent to 1981.
The Army also issues an Overseas Service Bar
An Overseas Service Bar is an accoutrement of the United States Army dress uniform which is displayed as an embroidered gold bar worn horizontally on the right sleeve of the Class A uniform and the Army Service Uniform...
which is an entirely different award from the Overseas Service Ribbon.
Army Reserve, Army National Guard
The Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon
is the reserve component companion to the Overseas Service Ribbon and is awarded to drilling members of the Army Reserve and National Guard. The Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon is presented to any member of the drilling reserves who completes ten or more consecutive days of active duty for training outside the contiguous United States. Additional awards are denoted by numerals.
The Army Reserve and Army National Guard are the only branches of the reserve components which issues an overseas ribbon separate from the active duty award.
Navy and Marine Corps
The Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
was first proposed in 1968, but not officially approved until June 1987. The ribbon is awarded to any member of the Navy or Marine Corps who completes one year of consecutive or cumulative duty at a permanent overseas duty station.
For members of the reserve components, the first award is authorized upon completion of either 30 consecutive or 45 cumulative days of overseas active duty for training. For subsequent awards, the criteria of award for reservists are the same as the active duty members criteria.
In 1999, a directive of the Chief of Naval Operations
The Chief of Naval Operations is a statutory office held by a four-star admiral in the United States Navy, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Navy. The office is a military adviser and deputy to the Secretary of the Navy...
permitted those personnel stationed on overseas homeported naval vessels to receive the Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon. Prior to this time, such personnel were only eligible to receive the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. Current regulations now permit the receipt of both ribbons for the same tour of duty.
Additional awards of the Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon are denoted by service stars.
The Air Force Overseas Service Ribbon
was first created in 1980 by order of General Lew Allen
Lew Allen, Jr. was a United States Air Force four-star General who served as the tenth Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force...
, Air Force Chief of Staff. The award is issued in two grades, being that of "short tour" and "long tour."
The Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon is awarded for less than two years of duty or as directed by Air Force policies. Normally, the Short Tour Service Ribbon is awarded for a permanent duty assignment of at least 300 days within an 18-month time span; such assignments are generally served unaccompanied by family members, though a short tour assignment need not be unaccompanied. Historically, most Short Tour Service Ribbons were awarded for service in South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...
, by far the most common short tour assignment in the USAF. Since June 2003, Airmen serving in hostile environments for 181 days or more qualified for the Short Tour Service Ribbon under a temporary exception to rules outlined in AFI 36-2110. However, this exemption was rescinded by General Norton A. Schwartz
Norton Allan Schwartz is a United States Air Force general who is serving as the 19th Chief of Staff of the Air Force. He previously served as Commander, United States Transportation Command from September 2005 to August 2008...
in April 2011 and Airmen will no longer qualify for the award if they arrive in a hostile environment on or after July 1, 2011.
The Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon is issued for completion of a standard overseas service assignment greater than two years in length with additional awards denoted by oak leaf clusters. Long tour credit is awarded for completion of a overseas long tour (2 years) prescribed by Air Force Instructions, or to any member assigned to a United States or overseas location who is subsequently sent under temporary duty orders (to include combat tours) for 365 or more days within a 3-year time frame.
Additional awards of the Air Force Overseas Service Ribbon are denoted by oak leaf clusters and Air Force regulations permit the receipt and wear of both the short and long tour ribbons simultaneously. The "A" device is authorized only on the short tour ribbon to any service member who performs a tour of duty at an arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...
based Air Force facility.
The Coast Guard Overseas Service Ribbon
was approved on October 28, 2009 with details announced on April 29, 2010. It is awarded to active duty members on a permanent assignment and who successfully complete a tour of duty of at least 12 months at an overseas shore-based duty station or on-board a cutter permanently assigned to an overseas area. It is also awarded to reservists who are permanently assigned and have satisfactorily completed a minimum of 36 cumulative days of service at an overseas duty station during each 12-month period of the total tour of duty.
Duty on board U.S.-based deploying ships or units does not qualify. Personnel who are eligible to receive the Coast Guard's Restricted Duty Ribbon
The Restricted Duty Ribbon is a decoration of the United States Coast Guard which was first created on March 3, 1984. The award recognizes those Coast Guard personnel who have completed a permanent tour of duty at specific shore units where accompanying dependents are not authorized.Where a...
are not eligible to receive the Overseas Service Ribbon for the same period. The ribbon may be awarded retroactively to qualifying individuals for initial award only. Subsequent awards are authorized, and are indicated by small bronze or silver service star
A service star, also referred to as a battle star, campaign star, or engagement star, is an attachment to a United States military decoration which denotes participation in military campaigns or multiple bestowals of the same award. Service stars are typically issued for campaign medals, service...