How Long Does it Take to Earn Military Medals

To earn a military medal, you need to be in a position to do something that attracts attention and deserves a reward. Some medals take a long time to earn, others will never be achieved by most enlisted people, and still, others are quite reasonable to expect. Here’s what you need to know about how long it takes to earn military medals. 

History of Military Medals

What qualifies as a medal-earning act varies over time. During early wars, decorations were far and few between. Historically, it has been common for soldiers to serve an entire career and receive few if any, awards. 

However, as World War II took over the world stage, it became more essential than ever before for the American government to maintain the morale of its enlisted people and civilians. Medals proved themselves to be an excellent way to reward the most admirable behavior on the battlefield. Furthermore, medals drew attention to great acts, inspiring other members of the armed forces and civilians. 

By the 1950s and 60s, the military expanded medals and ribbons to closer to the norm today. Most members of the armed forces during current times earn a number of ribbons and medals throughout their careers. The more risky and active your role, the more awards you can expect to earn. Here are some of the reasons that you can earn a military medal and how long you’ll serve before being able to achieve them. 

Acts of heroism

Acts of heroism on the battlefield can earn you a number of awards, including the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross. To earn the highest awards for heroism, you will need to have risked your life in an extraordinary way, setting you aside from other good soldiers. An act of heroism during any active duty, at any level of rank, can result in being decorated for heroism. 

Therefore, it could take as little time as graduating from basic training and entering active duty to earn a medal for heroism. That said, the majority of these medals will go to members of the armed services who have spent a lot of time on active duty and had many opportunities to take risks for their fellow soldiers. 

Good Conduct

Honors like the Good Conduct Medal are awarded to members of the armed forces for having served well and conducted themselves with honor for a certain amount of time. Metals may be awarded posthumously to soldiers who die in the line of duty before the time period for the good conduct medal is reached. You may accumulate a number of these metals over a long career. Each branch of the military has its own Good Conduct Medals. 

Unit Awards

Even in peacetime, you can receive a medal for great achievements during peacetime. Sometimes performing a challenging mission when war isn’t ongoing can be as important to America’s goals as wartime activities. Unit awards like the Army Superior Award are given to any rank for excellent peacetime performance. 

Marksmanship and Competition Badges

Good shooting is an essential skill for many members of the military. If you work hard on your shooting skills, you can achieve a badge that distinguishes your skill in this area. When you are trying to earn medals, badges, and ribbons early in your military career, working on skills is a good way to do it. 

Earning Military Medals

Earning military medals is an important part of your military career. If you’re eager to earn your first medal, look for ways to excel and go above and beyond expectations. Performing well in the military takes all of your efforts anyway, so it can be hard to do even more, but if you’re willing to give more, you can earn more in the way of medals.

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