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Authorized by Executive Order 8808 (reference (dddd)). Promulgated by War Department Bulletin 17 and Navy Department General Orders No. 172.

American Defense Medal is awarded to all U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Service members who served on active duty at any time between September 8, 1939 and December 7, 1941.

Service members in the U.S. Army were required to have had served for a period of at least 12 months.

Recipients of the American Defense Service Medal, depending on the circumstances, were authorized to wear certain devices with the award.

Service Clasps

Foreign Service. Awarded to U.S. Army Service members for service outside the continental United States (CONUS), as crew members of a vessel sailing ocean waters, flights over ocean waters, or as an assigned member of an organization stationed outside the CONUS.

Fleet Clasp. Awarded to U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard Service members for military service on the high seas while regularly attached to any vessel or aircraft squadron in the Atlantic, Pacific, or Asiatic Fleets, to include vessels operating directly under the Chief of Naval Operations.

Base Clasp. Awarded to U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard Service members for military service on shore at bases and naval stations outside the United States, including military service in Alaska and Hawaii.

Service Star. Possession of a service clasp is denoted by wearing of a bronze star on the service ribbon of the American Defense Service Medal. The star may not be worn if the letter "A" device is authorized.

Letter "A" Device. A bronze letter "A" is authorized for those Service members who served on board vessels operating in actual or potential belligerent contact with Axis Forces in the Atlantic Ocean between June 22 and December 7, 1941.

Authorized Devices: Bronze Star,
Bronze A ( Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps)

 

 
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