National Personnel Records Center
St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100

NPRC 1865.110B
April 30, 2003

SUBJECT: Requests for awards and certificates.

  1. Purpose.  This memorandum provides guidance on processing requests for entitlement, issuance of awards, and replacement of certificates.
  2. Cancellation.  This memorandum cancels NPRC 1865.110A with changes.
  3. Reason for revision.  This memorandum is revised to provide instructions for processing requests for awards and certificates for all service departments; to update routing codes and forms; and to include information and instructions for recently approved medals and certificates.
  4. Applicability.  The provisions of this memorandum are applicable to Archives Technicians and the Organizational Records Section.
  5. Instructions.  The instructions concerning requests for awards and certificates are contained in the Attachment.
  6. Forms. This memorandum provides for the use of the following forms:

    NA Form 13059, Transmittal of Entitlement to Awards
    NA Form 13105, NPRC Search Request and Reply
    Electronic Forms and Certificates on NPRC PCs
    DD Form 3, Application for Gold Star Lapel Button
    DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty
    DD Form 215, Correction to DD Form 214



    National Personnel Records Center
    St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100

    NPRC 1865.110B CHGE 1
    June 6, 2003

    SUBJECT:  Requests for awards and certificates.

    1. Purpose.  This memorandum transmits a revised page to NPRC 1865.110B.
    2. Explanation of change.  The ATTN line for two addresses used when Entitlement not Established have been updated.
    3. Instructions.  Remove page 4 and insert revised page.




    1. General Information.  Requests for replacement of awards are received from former members of the Armed Forces.  Requests are also received from the next of kin of former members.  Awards and medals are issued when the originals have been lost, destroyed, or rendered unfit for use through no fault of the person to whom they were given.  Normally, only one medal or award is issued for any given action or circumstance.  Awards may, however, be issued to the next of kin, even if they were previously issued prior to the veteran’s (or retiree’s) death.  Duplicate posthumous awards may be furnished to the parents of deceased veterans (or retirees) when awards were given to the widow or widower.  Requests concerning entitlement only to medals and awards are also received.

      1. Requests for Army Air Corps and Air Force awards.  NPRC has responsibility for providing verification of entitlement for some awards; however, NPRC does not furnish the actual award.  This function is the responsibility of the Air Force Personnel Center.  Note:  The Department of the Air Force is responsible for servicing requests for awards earned by members of the Army Air Corps or Army Air Force who served prior to July 1, 1948.
      2. Requests for Army awards.  On November 4, 1998, the function of processing Army replacement medals and certain certificates was transferred to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC).  The Memorandum Of Agreement (MOA) establishes guidelines and responsibility in regard to processing requests from veterans for replacement of Army medals and certain certificates.  The MOA also stipulates that NPRC will not make Army award determinations.  They will be forwarded to the Department of the Army, Total Army Personnel Command (PERSCOM), ATTN:  TAPC-PDO-PA, 200 Stovall Street, Alexandria, VA 22332-0471.
      3. Requests for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard awards.  NPRC does not process these requests.  Forward all such requests to the Navy Liaison Office in this building.

    2. Request entitlement to award be noted on DD Form 214.  Prepare DD Form 215, Correction to DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.  Add the awards not shown on the DD Form 214.  Include the area of operations for the AFEM; e.g., "Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (for Vietnam)."  Send the original DD Form 215 to the veteran (or retiree) using the appropriate pattern letter.  See the Case Reference Guide for distribution of the remaining copies of the DD Form 215.
    3. American Gold Star Mothers.  Requests about American Gold Star Mothers are processed by NPRC.  Requesters seek verification of service to determine eligibility for membership in the organization.  Reply on the request form and place a copy in the personnel record.  Check the items on the request form that are correct and supply additional or correct information.  If the record shows that determination of line of duty status wasn’t made, enter in the appropriate space, "Record shows no determination as to line of duty status."  Requests concerning Navy and Marine Corps personnel are worked from the medical records.  Route reply and record through the Navy Liaison office for review.
    4. Requests for copies of documents related to awards.  If found in the record and specifically requested, all technicians are responsible for furnishing copies of certificates, commendations, justifications, and documents relating to an award.
    5. Army Medals.  Army medals will be processed in accordance with NPRC 1865.124, dated April 30, 1999.


    6. Entitlement not determined by NPRC.  Awards for Air Force medals for which NPRC does not determine entitlement are listed in app. A.  Consult Air Force Regulation 900-48, Awards, Ceremonies, and Honors, for additional information on these awards.

      1. App. A, Part I.  The Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC) or Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) is responsible for determining entitlement to the awards listed in Part I of app. A.
      2. (1)  Review of records.  To ensure that the ARPC or AFPC has all the necessary information from which to make a determination of entitlement, review the military personnel record and the Air Force Awards and Decorations Card File.  This Card File may provide verification of entitlement to certain awards not found in the military personnel record.  (See app. B, Part I, for a list of decorations contained in the Card File.)

        (2)  Action.  Refer the request, record, and a copy of the appropriate information from the Air Force Awards and Decoration Card File to ARPC or AFPC using NA Form 13008, Loan or Transfer of Records.  EXCEPTIONS:  If the request is a Congressional inquiry, forward to AFPC, ATTN:  CSH.  If the request is for medals pertaining to reserve service, forward to the ARPC.  Notify the requester of the referral using the appropriate pattern paragraph/letter.  NOTE:  See apps. C or D for special instructions in processing requests for the Prisoner of War Medal or Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal.

      3. App. A, Part II.  The offices listed in this part are responsible for determining eligibility for the types of awards shown.  Refer the requester to the appropriate address using a pattern paragraph/letter.

    7. Request for "all medals" or entitlement to a specific medal.  Other than those medals listed in app. A, verify entitlement to medals and awards by analyzing the information provided in the request and reviewing the separation document(s).  In addition, examine AF Form 7, Airman’s Military Record, AF Form 11, Officer’s Military Record, AF Form 1712, Uniform Military Personnel Record, Service Record Book, orders, citations, and other data in the individual’s record.  Also certain decorations were awarded for specific periods of service, which may not be shown on the separation document.  (See app. B, part II for a list of these awards.  See app. E and AFR 900-48 for additional guidance.)

    8. Response to the requester when entitled to award.  Prepare four copies of the NA Form 13059, Transmittal of and/or Entitlement to Awards, (available from "Get Forms" on Microsoft Word) and place the original and copy 1 in the box for mailing to ARPC or AFPC (see exception), mail copy 2 to the requester, and attach copy 3 to the request and file in the record.  (See fig. 1.)  See latest revision of NPRC 1865.12, Congressional inquiries at NPRC (MPR), for the number of copies needed when responding to Congressional inquires.  EXCEPTION:  For requests concerning aeronautical badges; i.e., Pilot, Navigator/Observer, Flight Surgeon, Flight Nurse, Aircrew Member, and Parachutist, send original and copy 1 to HQ USAF/XOOTW, Warrior Management Division, Washington, DC 20330-5054.  If unable to determine entitlement, refer request and record to HQ USAF/XOOTW using NA Form 13008.  Notify the requester of the referral using NA Form 13053 or pattern paragraph(s).

    9. Entitlement not shown in record and period of service ended prior to December 31, 1963.  If a determination for an award is required for the period from 1939 through December 31, 1963, and it is an award listed in app. B, Part I, forward a request to the Organizational Records Section for a search of the Air Force Awards and Decorations Card File.  Prepare NA Form 13105, NPRC Search Request and Reply, in triplicate, including the veteran’s name, service number, award, and dates of eligibility.  (See fig. 2.)  If the request pertains to a unit award, also provide the name of the unit.  Send the original and one copy to the Organizational Records Section.  Attach the third copy to the request and hold with the record until the reply is received.  File a copy of the NA Form 13105 in the record showing the results of the search.

    10. Entitlement not established.  If, after checking all sources of information, it is clear that the veteran is not entitled to an award, respond to the request by pattern letter/paragraph informing the requester that their entitlement could not be verified.  If the requester insists on entitlement to an award, respond to the request with an appropriate pattern letter or paragraph.  If the requester contacts NPRC again, and insists on entitlement to an award, forward the request with the record to HQ, AFPC, ATTN:  DPPPRA.  If the request is a Congressional inquiry, forward the request with the record to HQ, AFPC, ATTN:  CCXI.  See the current version of NPRC 1865.6, Referral and routing matters, for instructions on referral procedures.

    11. Certificates of decoration.  The National Personnel Records Center no longer processes requests for replacement of certificates of decoration.  Most requests can be satisfied with a copy of the award citation, or order.  If a requester insists on having a certificate of decoration replaced, refer the inquiry and the record to HQ Air Force Personnel Center, Attn:  HQ AFPC/DPPPRA, 550 C Street West, Suite 12, Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4712.

    Figure 1.  Transmittal of and/or Entitlement to Awards

    Figure 2.  NPRC Search Request and Reply

    Appendix A. Awards for which NPRC does not determine entitlement


    PART I: 
    AF Commendation MedalKuwait Liberation Medal1
    AF Basic Military Training Honor Graduate RibbonLegion of Merit
    AF Recognition RibbonDistinguished Flying Cross
    AF Distinguished Service MedalMedal of Honor1
    AF Organizational Excellence AwardMeritorious Service Medal
    AF Outstanding Unit AwardMedal of Humane Action
    AF Achievement MedalNCO Professional Military Graduate
    Air Force Cross     Ribbon
    Air MedalOutstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon
    Airman’s MedalPrisoner of War Medal
    Armed Forces Reserve MedalPearl Harbor Commemorative Medal
    Bronze Star MedalPresidential/Distinguished Unit Citation
    Combat Readiness MedalPurple Heart
    Defense Distinguished Service MedalSilver Star
    Defense Meritorious Service MedalSmall Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
    Defense Superior Service MedalSouthwest Asia Service Medal2

    1 These medals are awarded by the governments of both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait (2 medals) to eligible members who participated in Operation Desert Storm during the period from 17 January to 28 February 1991.

    2 E.O. 12754, March 12, 1991.  This medal is awarded to members of the Uniformed Services of the United States who participated in military operations in Southwest Asia or in the surrounding contiguous waters or air space on or after August 2, 1990.

    PART II: 
    The China War Memorial DecorationThe China War Memorial
    Medal Review Committee
    14th Air Force Association
    1106 Village Lane
    Winter Pak, FL 32789
    Miniature medalsSuggest requester search the Internet under US Military Medals.
    Government of Hellenic RepublicMilitary Attaché
    WWII Commemorative MedalThe Embassy of Greece
    2228 Massachusetts Avenue
    Washington, DC 20080

    Appendix B.  Air Force Awards and Decorations Card File and awards for specific periods

    PART I:


    Air Force Commendation Medal
    Airman’s Medal
    Air Medal
    Army of Occupation Medal (Germany, Japan Clasp, Berlin Airlift Device)
    Bronze Star Medal
    Distinguished Flying Cross
    Distinguished Service Cross
    Legion of Merit
    Medal of Humane Action
    Medal of Honor
    Purple Heart
    Silver Star
    Soldier’s Medal
    Unit Awards

    PART II:


    American Defense – Honorable service from 8 Sep 1939 through 07 December 1941

    Honorable Service Lapel Pin (also referred to as the "Badge of Service" and "Ruptured Duck") – Honorable service from September 1939 through December 1946.

    WWII Victory Medal – Honorable service from 7 December 1941 through 31 December 1946.

    National Defense Service Medal – Honorable service between 26 June 1950 through 27 July 1954 or 1 January 1961 through 14 August 1974 or 2 August 1990 through 30 November 1995 or from 11 September 2001 through a date to be determined.

    United Nations Service Medal – Honorable service between 27 June 1950 through 27 July 1954 and awarded the Korean Service Medal.

    Appendix C. Request for POW Medal


    Background.  The prisoner of War (POW) Medal is available to eligible veterans or next of kin.  The medal may be issued to any former service member who was taken prisoner of war and held captive after April 5, 1917.  Any person convicted by a U.S. military tribunal of misconduct or a criminal charge or whose discharge is less than honorable based upon actions while a POW is ineligible for the medal.  No more than one POW Medal shall be awarded to a service member or next of kin.  Applications are submitted on DD Form 2510, Prisoner of War (POW) Medal Application/Information.  Letters are accepted as long as all required information is contained in the letter.

    Procedures.  AFPC is responsible for the final determination of eligibility for and issuance of the POW Medal.  To ensure that AFPC has all the necessary information, a search of all available sources of information will be conducted to determine POW status and conduct of service as a prisoner; e.g., military personnel record, Air Force Awards and Decorations Card File, organizational records, morning reports, POW listings, etc.

    When POW status has been established, complete NA Form 13059 in quadruplicate.  Be sure to include the registry number (print on form above the Date) and POW status.

      (See fig. C-1.)  Send one copy to the applicant and advise that the application is being forwarded to AFPC for final validation of entitlement to the medal.  Place one copy in the record and forward two copies to AFPC.  Attach a copy of the application, discharge covering the period of POW status, and any documents used to verify POW status.

    When a veteran’s POW status cannot be verified or there is an indication that the character of service was less than honorable, indicate this on the NA Form 13059 and send all four copies of the form with the application and record to AFPC for action.  Notify the requester of the referral using a pattern letter or paragraphs.

    When the requester does not provide sufficient information to allow a search of POW status, return the application and request additional information.

    AFPC will return verified eligibility forms for interfile in the record.  The verified NA Forms 13059 will eliminate the need to prepare a DD Form 215, unless specifically requested at a later date.

    Figure C-1.  Response to request for POW Medal

    Registry Number:  F 0-000-000

    Appendix D.  Request for Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal


    Background. On November 5, 1990, legislation was passed which established a congressional medal to honor those members of the Armed Forces who were in Hawaii and those civilian employees of the War and Navy Departments who were killed or wounded at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  Presentations of the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal to eligible personnel or their next of kin were planned to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  The estimated number of former military service personnel who were eligible to receive the medal was about 105,500.  There were 68 civilian employees reported killed at Pearl Harbor.  An estimate of the number of civilian employees wounded in the attack is not available.  The Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal was produced in limited quantities as a one-time issuance.  Stock of this medal has now been exhausted and will not be replaced.  Purchase of the medal from civilian dealers in military insignia may be possible.

    Appendix E.  Authorized abbreviations for awards and decorations


    Air Force Commendation MedalAFCM
    Air Force CrossAFC
    Air Force Good Conduct MedalAFGCM
    Air Force Longevity Service AwardAFLSA
    Air Force Outstanding Unit AwardAFOUA
    Airman’s MedalAmnM
    Air MedalAM
    Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service RibbonARFMSR
    American Campaign MedalACM
    American Defense Service MedalADSM
    Antarctic Service MedalASM
    Armed Forces Expeditionary MedalAFEM
    Armed Forces Reserve MedalAFRM
    Armed Forces Service MedalAFSM
    Army of Occupation MedalAOM
    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign MedalAPCM
    Berlin Airlift DeviceBAD
    Bronze Service StarBSS
    Bronze Star MedalBSM
    China Service MedalCHSM
    Combat Readiness MedalCRM
    Commendation RibbonCR
    Distinguished Flying CrossDFC
    Distinguished Service CrossDSC
    Distinguished Service MedalDSM
    Distinguished Unit CitationDUC
    European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign MedalEAMECM
    Gold Life Saving MedalGLSM
    Good Conduct MedalGCM
    Hourglass DeviceHGD
    Joint Service Commendation MedalJSCM
    Korean Service MedalKSM
    Kuwait Liberation MedalKLM
    Legion of MeritLM
    Medal for Humane ActionMHA
    Medal of HonorMH
    Medal for MeritMM
    National Defense Service MedalNDSM
    National Security MedalNSM
    Oak Leaf ClusterOLC
    Philippine Defense RibbonPDR
    Philippine Independence RibbonPIR
    Philippine Liberation RibbonPLR
    Presidential Medal of FreedomF
    Presidential Service BadgePSB
    Presidential Unit CitationPUC
    Purple HeartPH
    Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation BadgeROKPUC
    Republic of Vietnam Campaign MedalROVCM
    Silver Life Saving MedalSLSM
    Silver StarSS
    Small Arms Expert Marksmanship RibbonSAEMR
    Soldier’s MedalSM
    Southwest Asia Service MedalSWASM
    United Nations MedalUNM
    United Nations Service MedalUNSM
    USAF NCO Academy Graduate RibbonAFNCOAR
    Vietnam Service MedalVSM
    Women’s Army Corps Service MedalWACSM
    World War I Victory MedalWWIVM
    World War II Victory MedalWWIIVM

    Appendix F.  Additional information and references for awards and decorations



    (NPRC verifies entitlement based on information in personnel records/databases)

    1. U.S. Military Decorations – Reference:  AFR 900-48, Chapter 3.
    2. U.S. Unit or Organizational Awards – Reference:  AFR 900-48, Chapter 4.
    3. U.S. and Foreign Service Awards (Southwest Asia Service Medal only) – Reference:  App. A.
    4. Foreign Unit Awards (Kuwait Liberation Medal only) – Reference:  App. A.

    Air Force Achievement Awards – (Examples include:  AFCM, AFC, AM, BSM, DFC, LM, SS, etc.) These are awarded to recognize specific types of achievement while serving on active duty in the Air Force or as members of the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard.  No achievement awards are awarded to a person whose entire service for the period covered by the award was not honorable, nor to a person whose service for the period covered by the award was terminated under other than honorable conditions.  If a person was awarded and presented an award for service before the dishonorable behavior, the award is not revoked unless specifically directed by HQ USAF.  Reference:  AFR 900-48, Chapter 5.


    1.  U.S. and Foreign Service Awards – A person is eligible for a service award if that person was assigned or attached to and present for duty with a unit serving in the prescribed geographical area established for the award during the designated time period; was assigned or attached to and present for duty with a unit designated in appropriate administrative orders as having received the award during the prescribed time period; or otherwise meets the requirements for the award stated in AFR 900-48.  Reference:  App. G, Operations approved for award of the AFEM, and AFR 900-48, Chapter 6.

    NOTE:  The Philippine government issues a Philippine Defense Medal and a Philippine Liberation Medal to former members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are eligible to receive the Philippine Defense and Philippine Liberation Ribbons.  These medals are available from the Philippine government and may not be purchased in the U.S.  Furnish information on the availability of these medals only if they are specifically requested.  Use pattern paragraphs/letter to refer the requester to:  Defense Attaché, Armed Forces Affairs Office, Embassy of the Philippines, 1617 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036.

    2.  Foreign Awards and Decorations – Major commanders in active theaters of operations authorized to accept unit awards tendered by friendly foreign nations to units no higher than wing level:  During military operations against an armed enemy of the U.S. and for one year thereafter; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the U.S. is not a belligerent party.  Reference AFR 900-48, Chapter 7.

    3.  Awards and Decorations Devices – The term device includes, but is not limited to, ribbons, bars, lapel buttons, rosettes, oak leak clusters, stars, arrowheads, and similar accessories used in the Air Force decorations, awards, and recognition program.

    NOTE:  The Gold Star Lapel Button is usually requested using DD Form 3, Application for Gold Star Lapel Button.  Application by letter will be accepted, provided sufficient information for determination of entitlement has been furnished.  Verification of entitlement is made using NA Form 13059.

    NOTE:  The Honorable Service Lapel Pin, issued to every service member that was honorably discharged between September 1939 and December 1946, is known by other names; e.g., "Badge of Service" and "Ruptured Duck."  AR-PERSCOM used to issue this pin to requester that asked for the "WWII 50th Anniversary Medal."  AFPC and the Navy Liaison Office, however, do not; instead they advise requesters that no such medal is issued by the military service departments.

    Appendix G. Operations approved for award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal


    Lebanon1 Jul 58 – 1 Nov 58
    Vietnam (including Thailand)11 Jul 58 – 3 Jul 65
    Taiwan Straits3 Aug 58 – 1 Jan 59
    Quemoy and Matsu23 Aug 58 – 1 Jun 63
    Congo14 Jul 60 – 1 Sep 62
    Laos19 Apr 61 – 7 Oct 62
    Berlin, Germany14 Aug 61 – 1 Jun 63
    Cuba24 Oct 62 – 1 Jun 63
    Congo23 Nov 64 – 27 Nov 64
    Dominican Republic23 Apr 23, 1965 – 21 Sep 21, 1966
    Korea1 Oct 66 -- 30 Jun 74
    Cambodia29 Mar 73 – 15 Aug 73
    Thailand29 Mar 73 – 15 Aug 73
    Cambodia (Eagle Pull)11 Apr 75 – 13 Apr 75
    Vietnam (Frequent Wind)29 Apr 75 – 30 Apr 75
    Mayaquez Rescue15 May 75
    El Salvador1 Jan 81 – 1 Feb 92
    Lebanon1 Jun 83 – 1 Dec 87
    Grenada (Urgent Fury)23 Oct 83 – 21 Nov 83
    Attack on Libya (Eldorado Canyon)12 Apr 86 –17 Apr 86
    Persian Gulf (Earnest Will)24 Jul 87 – 1 Aug 90
    Panama (Just Cause)20 Dec 89 – 31 Jan 90
    Somalia (Restore Hope)5 Dec 92 – 31 Mar 95
    Somalia (United Shield)5 Dec 92 – 31 Mar 95
    Haiti (Uphold Democracy)15 Sep 94 – 31 Mar 95
    Iraq (Southern Watch)1 Dec 95 – 5
    Maritime Intercept Operations1 Dec 95 – 5
    Vigilant Sentinel1 Dec 95 – 15 Feb 97
    Joint Endeavor20 Nov 96 – 20 Dec 96
    Joint Guard20 Dec 96 – 20 Jun 98
    Northern Watch1 Jan 97 – 5
    Joint Forge21 Jun 98 – 23 Mar 99
    Desert Thunder11 Nov 98 – 22 Dec 98
    Desert Fox16 Dec 98 – 22 Dec 98
    Desert Spring31 Dec 98 – 5
    1During this period, any person qualified for award of the AFEM, or a service star to it, may apply for award of the Vietnam Service Medal (VSM) instead of the AFEM. See AFR 900-48, Ch. 6-21.
    2Only those in direct support of Cambodian operations.
    3Evacuation of Cambodia – Operation EAGLE PULL.
    4Evacuation of Vietnam – Operations FREQUENT WIND.
    5Date to be determined.

    Military operations have significantly increased over the past 10+ years. For a current listing of operations that qualify for award of the AFEM, AFSM, etc., use the following link to the Air Force Personnel Center:

                                                                                                 Try here if above link broken.

    For information about all Air Force awards, use this link:

                                                                                                 Try here if above link broken.