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Medal And Awards Question



I'm helping a 2 tour RVN vet

Question ?

IS -- Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device,

The same as or rquvilent to

from NPRC;

VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL with 4 bronze service stars.

From M-21

c. Individual Decorations as Evidence of Combat Participation Consider the receipt of any of the following individual decorations as evidence of exposure to combat-related stressors:

• Air Force Cross

• Air Medal with “V” Device

• Army Commendation Medal with “V” Device

• Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device

• Combat Action Badge

• Combat Action Ribbon (Note: Prior to February 1969, the Navy Achievement Medal with “V” Device was awarded.)

• Combat Aircrew Insignia

• Combat Infantry/Infantryman Badge

• Combat Medical Badge

• Distinguished Flying Cross

• Distinguished Service Cross

• Joint Service Commendation Medal with “V” Device

• Medal of Honor

• Navy Commendation Medal with “V” Device

• Navy Cross

• Purple Heart, and/or

• Silver Star.

Important: Receipt of a one of the decorations cited above is not the only acceptable evidence of engagement in combat.


• If a veteran received one of the decorations cited above, but does not expressly state the nature of the stressor

 assume that the stressor is combat-related

 order an examination, if necessary to decide the claim, and

 specify in the examination request which decoration(s) the veteran received.

• Because the medals listed below may be awarded for either combat or non-combat service, their receipt does not necessarily confirm a veteran’s participation in combat. When in question, request documentation (using Personnel Information Exchange System (PIES) request code 019) showing justification for awarding the medal.

 Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

 Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

 Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and

 Iraq Campaign Medal.

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Carlie- the Bronze Star Medal with V (Valor)

denotes combat.

It is an individual award for heroism or meritorious achievement -

It will certainly indicate exposure to stressors in Vietnam.

The VSM with the 4 bronze service stars is different-and not equivalent however, it is also good proof of combat or proof of "directly suporting military operations."(VBM- referring to DOD Manual of Military Decorations and Awards 50-52(Sept 1996).

Each star on the ribbon denotes a specific campaign.

We discussed the VSM at hadit years ago and I called NVLSP- they changed their definition on page 228 of the VBM- about this medal-by adding the direct support part above.

So a VSM without any stars could mean support of combat ops but yet not direct combat participation.

The vet you mentioned certainly has an award indicating combat.

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