View Full Version : Marines rate medals for hurricane relief

12-28-05, 07:03 AM
Marines rate medals for hurricane relief

By John Hoellwarth
Times staff writer

Marines who assisted with relief efforts following hurricanes Katrina and Rita rate the Humanitarian Service Medal or the Armed Forces Service Medal, or even both. Which medal you get depends on where you were during relief operations - and how long you were there.

A Dec. 16 Corps-wide message directed commanders involved in the relief efforts to submit names for the Humanitarian Service Medal by compiling a list of Marines "who directly participated in the immediate humanitarian-relief operations in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas" from Aug. 29 to Oct. 13.

Qualifying service in Texas is limited to areas roughly 30 miles west of Houston.

After the names are in, officials with Marine Corps headquarters will award the Humanitarian Service Medal to each Marine on the list.

Qualification for the award comes down to whether a Marine "directly participated" in the relief efforts, according to MarAdmin message 604/05.

"Direct participation is defined as being physically present at the designated location, and having directly contributed to and influenced the action," the message states. "Also, deployment to the area of humanitarian assistance in and of itself does not constitute HSM entitlement."

To find out if you're getting the award, go to www.manpower.usmc .mil, click on "Awards Processing System," "Verification of Awards," then "CAR-HSM Database" and type in your information.

Marines who are not included in the list, but who feel they rate the HSM, can submit their information to Marine Corps headquarters with the endorsement of the officer in command of the individual Marine during the relief efforts, the message states.

The other medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, is authorized for Marines anywhere in the United States, except the area of eligibility for the HSM, who served in direct support of the relief effort for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days.

For instance, a Marine who spent 30 days in Alaska loading food onto planes bound for the affected region would rate, as would a Marine who spent 60 nonconsecutive days helping refugees in Washington, D.C.

Marines all over the country still can qualify for the AFSM because the eligibility that began Aug. 27 does not end until Feb. 27, according to Nelson Francisco with Marine Corps headquarters' awards branch.

Marines who rate the HSM are not automatically entitled to the AFSM. Their 30- and 60-day clocks for the AFSM didn't start ticking until Oct. 14, one day after authorization for the HSM ended, Francisco said.

The message states that, in addition to updating the records of qualified Marines to reflect the appropriate decorations, an entry will be made in the Marines' permanent records with the appropriate "crisis code," that will identify which relief effort they participated in.

12-28-05, 07:40 AM
next thing well have is PFCs and L/Cpls running around with six rows of ribbons and havent been anywhere or done anything. What the heck is going on here..

12-28-05, 10:43 AM
I agree, medals are for combat, just put an entry in SRB, may help for next promotion leave those other medals for disasters etc., for Red Cross Boy Scouts.