U.S. Military Award and Medal Abbreviations

When you research United States wars, you sometimes discover that a soldier, sailor or aviator was awarded medals, and often they are listed as an abbreviation.

—*ABBREVIATIONS & ACRONYMS of U.S. Military Awards—*

2 MEDALS OF HONOR – 2 MEDALS OF HONOR
AAM – ARMY ACHIEVEMENT MEDAL
AFAM – AIR FORCE ACHIEVEMENT MEDAL
AFC – AIR FORCE CROSS
AFC & OLC – AIR FORCE CROSS & OAK LEAF CLUSTER
AFCM – AIR FORCE COMMENDATION MEDAL
AM – AIR MEDAL
AMNM – AIRMAN’S MEDAL
ARCOM – ARMY COMMENDATION MEDAL
BM – BREVET MEDAL
BSM – BRONZE STAR MEDAL
CGAM – COAST GUARD ACHIEVEMENT MEDAL
CGCM – COAST GUARD COMMENDATION MEDAL
CGM – COAST GUARD MEDAL
CR – COMMENDATION RIBBON
DDSM – DEFENSE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL
DFC – DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS
DMSM – DEFENSE MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL
DSC – DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS
DSC & GS – DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS & GOLD STAR
DSC & OLC – DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS & OAK LEAF CLUSTER
DSM – DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL
DSSM – DEFENSE SUPERIOR SERVICE MEDAL
EX-POW – EX-PRISONER OF WAR
JSCM – JOINT SERVICE COMMENDATION MEDAL
KIA – KILLED IN ACTION
LM – LEGION OF MERIT
MH – MEDAL OF HONOR
MIA – MISSING IN ACTION
MMDSM – MERCHANT MARINE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL
MMMM – MERCHANT MARINE MARINER’S MEDAL
MMMSM – MERCHANT MARINE MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL
MSM – MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL
N&MCM – NAVY & MARINE CORPS MEDAL
NAM – NAVY ACHIEVEMENT MEDAL
NC – NAVY CROSS
NC & GS – NAVY CROSS & GOLD STAR
NCM – NAVY COMMENDATION MEDAL
PH – PURPLE HEART
PH & 2 GS – PURPLE HEART & 2 GOLD STARS
PH & 2 OLC – PURPLE HEART & 2 OAK LEAF CLUSTERS
PH & 3 GS – PURPLE HEART & 3 GOLD STARS
PH & 3 OLC – PURPLE HEART & 3 OAK LEAF CLUSTERS
PH & 4 GS – PURPLE HEART & 4 GOLD STARS
PH & 4 OLC – PURPLE HEART & 4 OAK LEAF CLUSTERS
PH & 5 GS – PURPLE HEART & 5 GOLD STARS
PH & 5 OLC – PURPLE HEART & 5 OAK LEAF CLUSTERS
PH & GS – PURPLE HEART & GOLD STAR
PH & OLC – PURPLE HEART & OAK LEAF CLUSTER
POW – PRISONER OF WAR
POWM – PRISONER OF WAR MEDAL
SILVER STAR – SILVER STAR
SILVER STAR & 2 GS – SILVER STAR & 2 GOLD STARS
SILVER STAR & 2 OLC – SILVER STAR & 2 OAK LEAF CLUSTERS
SILVER STAR & 3 GS – SILVER STAR & 3 GOLD STARS
SILVER STAR & 3 OLC – SILVER STAR & 3 OAK LEAF CLUSTERS
SILVER STAR & GS – SILVER STAR & GOLD STAR
SILVER STAR & OLC – SILVER STAR & OAK LEAF CLUSTER
SM – SOLDIERS MEDAL
SMM – SPECIALLY MERITORIOUS MEDAL

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