The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was established by Executive Order 10977 signed by President John F. Kennedy on December 4, 1961.
- For United States Military Operations:
- Quemoy & Matsu Islands (off Mainland China: August 23, 1956 to June 1, 1963
- Lebanon: July 1 to November 1, 1958
- Taiwan Straits: August 23, 1958 to January 1, 1959
- Berlin, Germany: August 14, 1961 to June 1, 1963
- Cuba: October 24, 1962 to June 1, 1963
- Congo: November 23-27, 1964
- Dominican Republic: April 23, 1965 to September 21, 1966
- Korea: October 1, 1966 to June 30, 1974
- Cambodia (Eagle Pull): April 11-13, 1975
- Vietnam (Frequent Wind): April 29-30, 1975
- Cambodia(Mayaquez Rescue): May 5, 1975
- Grenada (Urgent Fury): October 23 to November 21, 1983
- Attack on Libya (Eldorado Canyon): April 12-17, 1986
- Panama (Just Cause): December 20, 1989 to January 31, 1990
- Haiti (Uphold Democracy): September 15, 1994 to March 31, 1995
- For United States Operations in Support of the United Nations:
- Congo: July 14, 1960 to September 1, 1962
- Somalia (Restore Hope): December 5, 1992 to March 31, 1995
- Somalia (United Shield): December 5, 1992 to March 31, 1995
- Iraq (Southern Watch): December 1, 1995 to March 18, 2003
- Maritime Intercept Operations: December 1, 1995 to March 18, 2003
- Vigilant Sentinel: December 1, 1995 to February 15, 1997
- Northern Watch: January 1, 1997 to March 18, 2003
- Desert Thunder: November 11, 1998 to December 22, 1998
- Desert Fox: December 16-22, 1998
- Exercise Intrinsic Action and Exercise Iris Gold:December 1995 to March 18, 2003
- Desert Spring: December 31, 1998 to March 18, 2003
- Joint Endeavor November 20 to December 20, 1996
- Joint Guardian: December 20, 1996 to June 20, 1998; January 1, 2014 to a date to be annoounced
- Joint Forge: June 21, 1998 to March 23, 1999
- Task Force Falcon: January 1, 2014 to a date to be announced
- For Operations of Assistance of Friendly Foreign Nations:
- Vietnam: July 1, 1958 to July 3, 1965
- Laos: April 19, 1961 to October 7, 1962
- Cambodia: March 29 to August 15, 1973
- Thailand: March 29 to August 15, 1973
- El Salvador: January 1, 1981 to February 1, 1992
- Lebanon: June 1, 1983 to December 1, 1987
- Persian Gulf (Earnest Will): July 24, 1987 to August 1, 1990
The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who, after July 1, 1958, participate in specified United States operations or those in direct support of the United Nations or friendly foreign nations, as outlined above. However:
- Personnel who have earned the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in Vietnam during the period of July 1, 1958 to July 3, 1965, inclusive, may elect to receive the Vietnam Service Medal instead. No individual may be issued both medals for service in Vietnam during the period of July 1, 1958 to March 28, 1973.
- Members of the naval service may elect one expeditionary medal (Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal or Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal) for the following operations:
- Lebanon: August 25, 1982
- Libya: January 20, 1986 to June 27, 1996
- Persian Gulf: July 24, 1987 to August 1, 1990
ORDER OF PRECEDENCE
The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal is worn after the Antarctica Service Medal and before the Vietnam Service Medal.
- Bronze service stars: Bronze stars are awarded for participation in subsequent operations that qualify for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (participation in two or more engagements within the same operation does not qualify for a bronze service star).
- Bronze arrowhead: The bronze arrowhead device was authorized for the following combat parachute jumps (or aerial assaults):
- Members of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 75th Rangers, who participated in a landing onto Fury DZ, Point Salinas Airfield in Grenada on October 25, 1983.
- Rio Hato Airfield, Panama (Parachute), December 20, 1989 from 0112 to 0115.
- Torrijo-Tocumen Airport, Panama (Parachute), December 20, 1989, from 0113 to 0115.
- Pacora River Bridge, Panama (Helicopter), December 20, 1989, from 0040 to 0054.
- Fort Amador, Panama (Helicopter), December 20, 1989, from 0100 to 0230.
- Colon, Panama (Amphibious), December 20, 1989, from 1315 to 1500.
- Gamboa, Panama (Helicopter), December 20, 1989, from 0100 to 1500.
- Cerro Tigre, Panama (Helicopter), December 20, 1989, from 0100 to 0104.
- El Renacer, Panama (Amphibious), December 20, 1989, from 0100 to 0104.
The Armed Forced Expeditionary Medal was designed by Mercedes Lee and sculpted by Frank King.
The identity of the first recipient of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal is not known.
DESCRIPTION AND SYMBOLISM
In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, an eagle (with wings addorsed and inverted) is shown standing upon a sword loosened in its scabbard and superimposed on a radiant compass rose of eight points, all within the words ARMED FORCES (above) and EXPEDITIONARY SERVICE (below). The upper and lower portions of the wording are separated by sprays of laurel.
The eagle is the American bald eagle and represents both the United States and the military strength of its armed forces. The sword with loosened scabbard denotes the readiness of the Armed Forces to serve with force of arms, if necessary. The compass rose indicates readiness to serve at any point on the compass, hence anywhere in the world. The sprays of laurel represent achievement. The wording denotes the goal of the medal.
In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, a shield within a circular design consisting in the upper half of the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and in the lower half of two laurel branches separated by a bullet.
The shield is taken from the coat of arms of the United States. The laurel branches represent achievement through military strength and readiness, further alluded to by the bullet which separates the laurel branches.
The ribbon to the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal consists of central pinstripes of blue, white and red (blue to the wearer's right) flanked by light blue. The light blue is flanked in turn with black, brown, gold and green.
The blue, white and red pinstripes are the national colors and represent the United States. The light blue, which alludes to the United Nations, represents the efforts of the United States to preserve liberty and freedom all over the world and also refers to naval personnel. The green and brown are Earth colors and represent land forces. The light blue refers to the sky and signifies the Air Force. Black symbolizes the oppressed areas requiring the use of these forces, and gold commemorates achievement. The ribbon is divided into thirteen parts alluding to the thirteen original colonies under whom the idea of freedom and equality were founded and as they exist today in the present Union.