The Armed Forces Reserve Medal was established by Executive Order 10163 signed by President Harry S. Truman on September 25, 1950, as amended by Executive Order 10439 on March 19, 1953.
The Armed Forces Reserve Medal has been awarded for qualifying service from September 25, 1950 to the present.
The Armed Forces Reserve Medal is awarded to United States Armed Forces Reserve component members (or former members) who complete (or have completed) a total of ten years service. This service need not be consecutive, if it was performed within a period of twelve consecutive years. For the purpose of this award service as a member of a Reserve component includes:
- The United States National Guard.
- The National Guard while in United States service.
- The Federally recognized National Guard before 1933.
- A Federally recognized status in the National Guard.
- The Officers Reserve Corps and the Enlisted Reserve Corps before March 25, 1948.
- The Organized Reserve Corps.
- The United States Army without component (usually, all enlisted service before July of 1940 was with the Regular component and is not creditable. Conversely, service after July 1, 1940 was with the United States Army and is creditable for the award).
- The Naval Reserve and the Naval Reserve Force, excluding members of the Fleet Reserve and the Fleet Naval Reserve transferred thereto after completing sixteen or more years active naval service.
- The Marine Corps Reserve and the Marine Corps Reserve Forces excluding members of the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve transferred thereto after completing sixteen or more years service.
- The Limited Service Marine Corps Reserve.
- The Naval Militia who have conformed to the standards prescribed by the Secretary of the Navy.
- The National Naval Volunteers.
- The Air National Guard.
- The Air Force Reserve.
- The United States Air Force without component (includes Reserve Officers serving on active duty).
ORDER OF PRECEDENCE
For members of the Army, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal is worn after the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
For members of the Navy, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal is worn after the Navy Recruiting Service Ribbon.
For members of the Marine Corps, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal is worn after the Marine Security Guard Ribbon.
For members of the Air Force, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal is worn after the Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon.
For members of the Coast Guard, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal is worn after the Coast Guard Recruiting Service Ribbon.
An hourglass device is authorized for wear on the medal and service ribbon according to the following scheme: Upon completion of the first qualifying ten year period, a bronze hourglass shall be awarded. Upon completion of the second ten-year period, a silver hourglass shall be awarded. Upon completion of the third ten year-period award, a gold hourglass shall be awarded. Upon completion of the fourth ten year-period, a gold hourglass followed by a bronze hourglass shall be awarded.
On August 8, 1996,President Bill Clinton approved an amendment to the Executive Order that established the Armed Forces Reserve Medal which authorizes award of the medal to members of the Reserve Components who, on or after August 1, 1990, perform qualifying active service in support of a designated contingency operation. The Mobilaztion M device will be worn on the medal to denote service during a mobilization or contingency designated by the Secretary of Defense. The M device was approved in 1993 by the Secretary of Defense to recognize the "special sacrifice in service to the nation" of Reserve component personnel who volunteered or were called to active duty in support of a mobilization or a continguency operation.
A bronze letter M is worn on the ribbon to denote mobilization during a period of war or other national emergency. When a member qualifies for the M device, the bronze M shall be awarded, positioned on the ribbon and medal, and a number (indicating the number of times it is awarded) shall be included on the ribbon and medal. Note: multiple periods of service during one designated contingency shall count as one M device. The following events have qualified for award of the M device:
Appropriate wear of the ribbon shall be as follows: If no M device is authorized, the appropriate hourglass shall be positioned in the center of the ribbon. If no hourglass is authorized, the M device shall be positioned in the center of the ribbon, followed by an Arabic numeral indicating the number of times the device has been awarded (2 to 99: no number is worn for the first award). If both the hourglass and M device are awarded, the hourglass shall be positioned in the first position on the ribbon (at the wearer's right), the M device in the middle position, and the number of times the M device has been awarded in the remaining position (at the wearer's left).
- Operation Desert Shield/Storm (The Persian Gulf War)
- Operation Restore Hope (Somalia)
- Operation Uphold Democracy (Haiti)
- Operation Joint Endeavor (Bosnia)
- Operation Allied Force (Kosovo)
The Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with bronze hourglass) is the basic award and is earned after ten years of qualifying service; however, if a service member qualified for the M device before he or she has ten years of service, that person may wear the medal/ribbon without the bronze hourglass but with the M device. When the individual accrues ten years of qualifying service, the bronze hourglass may be added.
The Armed Forces Reserve Medal was designed by Thomas Hudson Jones (1892-1969) of the Institute of Heraldry.
DESCRIPTION AND SYMBOLISM
In the center of a bronze medallion, a flaming torch in front of a crossed powder horn and bugle are displayed within a circle composed of thirteen stars and thirteen rays. The bugle represents the call to duty; the powder horn stands for defense, and the torch is symbolic of liberty. The thirteen stars and rays represent the ever-ready fundamental principles upon which this country was founded.
This is medal exists in six configurations. All of the reverses bear the same inscription: ARMED FORCES RESERVE along with a distinctive design denoting the service component.
In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, a representation of the Minute Man is shown surrounded by thirteen stars. The Minute Man stands for the militiamen who, during the Revolutionary War, were ready to turn our for service "at a minute's warning." On April 19, 1775, minutemen were among the patriots who fought the British at Lexington and Concord, firing "the shot heard round the world." The thirteen stars represent the original colonies and hence, the United States.
In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, an eagle is shown with displayed wings; superimposed over the eagle are crossed fasces. This is the emblem of the National Guard.
In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, an eagle with displayed wings is shown superimposed over a cloud formation.
In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, the seal of the Navy Department is displayed.
In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, an eagle, globe and anchor, which is the Marine Corps insignia, is displayed.
In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, the Coast Guard seal is displayed.
The ribbon to the Armed Forces Reserve Medal consists of a buff background bisected by a blue center stripe. There are three additional blue pinstripes at each edge, one of them forming the edge stripes of the ribbon itself. Buff and blue were selected because they are Colonial colors and represent the spirit of the Minutemen who responded to the call to service against the British during the Revolutionary War.