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  1. #1

    USAF>USMC Transferable Awards

    Ladies and Gentlemen, **** MARINES ****


    I am new to the Marine Corps. I just transferred over from the Air Force a few short months ago. I am currently in aircrew school. I am trying to get some of my ribbons transferred over, and I understand that most of them won’t transfer, but there are a few that will. I would like some input from someone who is really familiar with awards, the orders that go with them. While I was deployed to Afghanistan, I was awarded an Air Force Combat Action Medal (for an IED strike to my vehicle), and I was also awarded an Army Achievement Medal. These two awards are what are causing so much confusion. I will address the Air Force Combat Action first.

    So, to start let’s check this out:

    MCO P1020.34G W CH 1-5 MARINE CORPS UNIFORM REGULATIONS
    “3. Marines who served in or were attached to another branch of the U.S. military services and received a decoration, unit award, or service award of comparable criteria to one issued by the naval service may wear the award on Marine Corps uniforms, unless otherwise prohibited by these regulations.”

    So, continuing on, let’s check out each order for both the Marine CAR and the AFCAM…

    MARADMIN 038/13-REVISED ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR AWARD OF THE COMBAT ACTION RIBBON (CAR) AND UPDATED COORDINATING INSTRUCTIONS
    “(2) THE PRINCIPAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERION IS THAT ON THE DATE/S OF ACTION THE INDIVIDUAL MUST HAVE RENDERED SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE UNDER ENEMY FIRE WHILE ACTIVELY PARTICIPATING IN A GROUND OR SURFACE ENGAGEMENT. THE FOLLOWING AMPLIFYING GUIDANCE IS PROVIDED:
    (A) AS APPLIED TO IEDS, MINES, AND SCATTERABLE MUNITION, WITH OR WITHOUT THE IMMEDIATE PRESENCE OF ENEMY FORCES, THE FOLLOWING CONSTITUTE ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN A GROUND OR SURFACE ENGAGEMENT:
    (I) DIRECT EXPOSURE TO THE DETONATION OF AN IED, MINE, OR SCATTERABLE MUNITION USED BY AN ENEMY.”

    Now, let’s compare this to the AFI that governs the AFCAM…

    AFI36-2803 5.3. Air Force Service Medals and Achievement Awards.
    5.3.1. Air Force Combat Action Medal (AFCAM)

    “5.3.1.2. Criteria: Nomination for the award of the AFCAM will be restricted to members of the US Armed Forces who on or after 11 September 2001:
    5.3.1.2.1. Deliberately go into the enemy’s domain (outside the wire) to conduct official duties, either on the ground or in the air, and have come under enemy fire by lethal weapons while performing those duties, and are at risk of grave danger;”

    So, based on these two orders, the criteria sounds very similar. One would assume the two awards would transfer fairly easily, especially since I was awarded the combat action medal from an IED strike.

    As I was reading MARADMIN 038/13 which is what I posted above, I also came across this:

    “(6) FOR PERSONNEL WHO PREVIOUSLY EARNED THE CAB OR CAM AS MEMBERS OF THE U.S. ARMY OR U.S. AIR FORCE:
    (A) MARINES ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO WEAR THE CAR IN PLACE OF THE CAB OR CAM UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.”

    So, I think this is where a lot of confusion comes in. So, my question is, can the AFCAM that I was awarded for an IED strike, transfer over to a CAR?

    Now, moving on to the Army Achievement Medal (AAM). I have been told multiple times that since the AAM is a personal award, that Marines are authorized to wear them. Would this be covered under one of these?

    MCO P1020.34G W CH 1-5 MARINE CORPS UNIFORM REGULATIONS

    “2. Marines who receive awards from other services, or departments of the United States Government; or from foreign governments or other agencies may wear such awards on the Marine Corps uniform only as authorized herein.
    3. Marines who served in or were attached to another branch of the U.S. military services and received a decoration, unit award, or service award of comparable criteria to one issued by the naval service may wear the award on Marine Corps uniforms, unless otherwise prohibited by these regulations.”

    The AAM is not specifically mentioned in the MCO P1020.34G, so I am not sure if it is authorized or prohibited. If anyone could provide guidance on this, that would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for any information that can be provided.

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    Last edited by Rocky C; 01-15-16 at 06:11 AM.

  2. #2
    josephd
    Guest Free Member
    Don't worry about the awards quite yet, wait until you hit the fleet and then pass this question up your chain of command. Your Co. 1st Sgt and CO will be the ones to submit/sign off on the awards and pass that on to your S1/Admin to put in


  3. #3
    You should be looking at and referencing the USMC awards manual if you want to know which ones transfer - not the uniform regulations manual.


  4. #4
    I had to do a bunch of digging myself. The only awards that transfer are personal merit and service decorations awarded specifically to you. (No unit, team, or branch, or qual awards). I had 11 ribbons in the USCG, the only things that transferred were my Good Conduct, and GWOT medals and of course my Nat Def.

    So your, AF Combat, Good Conduct, Army Com, Nat Def (you only get one, no bronze star) should transfer. Also any PS time counts towards service stripes so you would rate hash marks for total military service.

    As far as campaign ribbons I don't know. The manual is so vaguely written that you will get close to 10 difference answers from 10 different people. However the above is all that was concluded by my CoC at my unit as well as bootcamp CoC.


  5. #5
    Marine Free Member Apache's Avatar
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    Sometimes the most confusing are easily answered by your S 1
    I served first enlistment with Marines then was in JSOC administered by the Army
    I kept all awards.


  6. #6
    What I would do personally, is worry about things that matter first. Which ribbons you can murder on to your bravos is secondary to everything else.


  7. #7
    I was prior army national guard and almost all my ribbons moved over. OIF, GWOTE, GWOTS, NATDEF, ARMY COM, armed forces service w/ m device, and my Jump wings. Things like army good conduct, combat infantry badge, airforce combat badge, and things that only your pervious branch wore will not transfer.


  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by FiveJumpChump View Post
    I was prior army national guard and almost all my ribbons moved over. OIF, GWOTE, GWOTS, NATDEF, ARMY COM, armed forces service w/ m device, and my Jump wings. Things like army good conduct, combat infantry badge, airforce combat badge, and things that only your pervious branch wore will not transfer.
    The good conduct will transfer as it is a personal award. The jump wings do not. I have the naval AC Wings and they do not x-fer. Personal service and meritorious awards only. No unit, team, marksmanship, or qual badges transfer sadly.


  9. #9
    Glad all the trinkets from the other branches don't transfer to our uniform, Semper Fidelis.


  10. #10
    That's because the EGA says all that needs to be said.


  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by NJS7x7 View Post
    The good conduct will transfer as it is a personal award. The jump wings do not. I have the naval AC Wings and they do not x-fer. Personal service and meritorious awards only. No unit, team, marksmanship, or qual badges transfer sadly.
    Airborne wings do transfer over because both Marines and Army attend the same school to earn Jump wings. The only difference being that in the Marines if you perform 10 or more jumps you rate the longer gold jump wings instead of the silver basic jump wings. Other devices such naval ac wings etc. do not because no marine can rate them. Also a army good conduct does not transfer. Both facts were checked by multiple sources before my graduation


  12. #12
    Marine Corps Order 3500.20B (MARINE CORPS PARACHUTING AND DIVING POLICY AND PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION) states that:

    7. Navy/Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia.

    Marines may wear the Navy/Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia when they have completed a USMC approved basic airborne course and fulfilled either of the following requirements. This is not waiverable:

    a. Marines, while assigned to an authorized T/O parachuting billet for a period of no less than 90 days, have the required swim qualification and must complete five additional jumps. The five additional jumps must include at least two combat equipment day jumps, two combat equipment night jumps, and employ two or more types of military aircraft.

    b. Marines with prior service in another branch of the U.S. Armed Forces who has been assigned to an authorized (assigned by orders/receiving pay) parachuting billet, and who fulfills the Marine Corps criteria regarding the number, type, and frequency of parachute jumps listed above, is authorized to wear the Navy/Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia.

    c. Complete one combat jump of any kind from any aircraft, whether or not in an authorized Navy/Marine Corps T/O billet....


  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by FoxtrotOscar View Post
    Marine Corps Order 3500.20B (MARINE CORPS PARACHUTING AND DIVING POLICY AND PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION) states that:

    7. Navy/Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia.

    Marines may wear the Navy/Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia when they have completed a USMC approved basic airborne course and fulfilled either of the following requirements. This is not waiverable:

    a. Marines, while assigned to an authorized T/O parachuting billet for a period of no less than 90 days, have the required swim qualification and must complete five additional jumps. The five additional jumps must include at least two combat equipment day jumps, two combat equipment night jumps, and employ two or more types of military aircraft.

    b. Marines with prior service in another branch of the U.S. Armed Forces who has been assigned to an authorized (assigned by orders/receiving pay) parachuting billet, and who fulfills the Marine Corps criteria regarding the number, type, and frequency of parachute jumps listed above, is authorized to wear the Navy/Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia.

    c. Complete one combat jump of any kind from any aircraft, whether or not in an authorized Navy/Marine Corps T/O billet....
    This order is regarding the Navy/Marine Corps Parachutist Badge which is the Long Gold Wings. If you simple completed the basic airborne course. Like a lot of marines in the parachute rigger MOS; you wear the silver smaller jump wings.


  14. #14

  15. #15
    Props for those who do but I never wanted to be a lawn dart.


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