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Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, obverse.png
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Awarded forSubstantial volunteer service to the local community
Presented bythe U.S. Department of Defense[1]
EligibilityAll personnel
EstablishedExecutive Order 12830, January 9, 1993
First awardedDecember 1993
Outstanding Volunteer Service ribbon.svg
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal ribbon
Next (higher)Humanitarian Service Medal
Next (lower)Army: Army Sea Duty Ribbon[2]
Navy/Marine Corps: Sea Service Deployment Ribbon[3]
Air Force: Remote Combat Effects Campaign Medal[4]
An example of an unofficial MOVSM citation from June, 2017.
An example of an unofficial MOVSM citation from June, 2017.

The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (MOVSM) is a military award which was created under Executive Order 12830 by George H. W. Bush on January 9, 1993. The medal was designed by the Institute of Heraldry and was first issued in December 1993.[5][6]


The MOVSM recognizes those members of the military (active duty, reserve and national guard) who perform substantial volunteer service to the local community above and beyond the duties required as a member of the United States Armed Forces. Such volunteer service must be made in a sustained and direct nature towards the civilian community, must be significant in nature to produce tangible results, and must reflect favorably on the military service and the United States Department of Defense. The definition of volunteer service is left intentionally vague, allowing for a wide variety of activities and volunteer duties which would qualify a service member for the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. Typical volunteer work includes Volunteer Emergency Services (like the Civil Air Patrol, Coast Guard Auxiliary, or volunteer firefighting / EMS / Rescue Squad). Others volunteer opportunities such as Habitat for Humanity, soup kitchen work, etc.

There is no specific time period to qualify for the MOVSM (for example 500 hours of community service within 24 calendar months), approval authorities will ensure the service to be honored merits the special recognition afforded by this medal. The MOVSM is intended to recognize exceptional community support over time and not a single act or achievement. Further, it is intended to honor direct support of community activities. For the purpose of this award, attending membership meetings or social events of a community service group is not considered qualifying service, while manning a community crisis action telephone line is considered qualifying service. The authority governing this award is DoD Manual 1348.33-V2 December 21, 2016.


The MOVSM is a bronze medal, 1 1/8 inches in diameter. The obverse bears five interlaced annulets behind a five-pointed star, surrounded by a laurel wreath. On the reverse is an oak sprig with three leaves and two acorns between the inscription OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER SERVICE above and UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES below.[5]

The suspension and service ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 1/8 inch bluebird; 1/8 inch goldenlight; 3/16 inch bluebird; 1/16 inch green; 5/32 inch goldenlight; center 1/16 inch green; 5/32 inch goldenlight; 1/16 inch green; 3/16 inch bluebird; 1/8 inch goldenlight; and 1/8 inch bluebird.[5]

Multiple awards

First award: service ribbon with no service stars.
Second award: service ribbon with one service star.
Third award: service ribbon with two service stars.
Fourth award: service ribbon with three service stars.
Fifth award: service ribbon with four service stars.
Sixth award: service ribbon with silver service star.
Seventh award: service ribbon with silver and bronze service stars.
Eighth award: service ribbon with silver and two bronze service stars.
Ninth award: service ribbon with silver and three bronze service stars.


  1. ^ "Issuances" (PDF). 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-09-12. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  2. ^ "Order of Precedence". The Institute of Heraldry. Archived from the original on 13 April 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2012. External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ "Awards Order of Precedence". Navy Personnel Command. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Decorations and Ribbons".
  5. ^ a b c "Institute of Heraldry: Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal". Archived from the original on 2016-01-25. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  6. ^ "Air Force Personal Center Outstanding Volunteer Service ribbon".

External links

This page was last edited on 3 July 2021, at 20:13
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