Contact the GG Archives

Atlanta, Georgia USA

Victory Medals, Decorations, and Liberty Belts - 1919

Medals and Awards. Distinguished Service Cross, The Congressional Medal of Honor, The Distinguished Service Medal, The Philippine Congressional Medal, The Naval Medal of Honor, and The West Indian Naval Campaign Medal.

Medals and Awards. Distinguished Service Cross, The Congressional Medal of Honor, The Distinguished Service Medal, The Philippine Congressional Medal, The Naval Medal of Honor, and The West Indian Naval Campaign Medal. The United States in the Great War, 1919. GGA Image ID # 1980ac3d07

The Victory Medal

1. A war service medal, to be known as the Victory Medal, will be awarded to all officers and enlisted men who served on active duty in the Army of the United States at any time between April 6, 1917. and November II, 1918, and whose service was honorable.

2. Battle clasps will be awarded for each of the following major operations: (To be eligible for a battle clasp, the officer or enlisted man must have actually participated under orders in the engagement).

  • a. Somme, Defensive—Between March 2Ist and April 6th. 1918.
  • b. Lys—Between April 9th and April 27th, 1918.
  • c. Aisne—On the Chemin des Dames and northeast of Rheims between May 27th and June 5th, 1918.
  • d. Montdidier-Noyon—Between June 9th and June 13th, 1918.
  • e. Champagne-Marne—Between July 15th and July 18th, 1918.
  • f. Aisne-Marne—Between July 18th and August 6th, 1918.
  • g. Somme, Offensive—Between August 8th and November 11th, 1918.
  • h. Oise-Aisne—Between August 18th and November 11th , 1918.
  • i. Ypres-Lys--Between August 19th and November 11th, 1918.
  • j. St. Mihiel—Between September 12th and September 16th, 1918.
  • k. Meuse-Argonne—Between September 26th and November 11th, 1918.
  • l. Vittorio-Veneto—Between October 24th and November 4th, 1918.

3. Clasps will be awarded to each officer and enlisted man who served overseas and is not entitled to a battle clasp under paragraph 2, as follows:

  • a. France—For service in France between April 6th, 1917, and November 11th, 1918.
  • b. Italy—For service in Italy between April 6th, 1917, and November 11th, 1918.
  • c. Siberia—For any service in Siberia.
  • d. Russia—For any service in European Russia.
  • e. England—For service in England between April 6th, 1917, and November 11th, 1918.

4. A bronze star, 3-16 of an inch in diameter, will be placed on the service ribbon for each battle clasp awarded. When an officer or enlisted man has been cited in orders issued from the headquarters of a force commanded by a general officer for gallantry in action, not justifying the award Of a medal of honor, distinguished service cross or distinguished service medal, he will wear a silver star on the ribbon and on the service ribbon for each such citation.

5. Pending the procurement and issue of the Victory Medal, organization commanders are authorized to permit those serving under them to wear the service ribbon, and stars to which they are entitled as shown by their records.

Decorations

The prescribed wound and service chevrons, and special individual decorations, such as The Medal of Honor, The Distinguished Service Cross, The Distinguished Service Medal, The Victory Medal and the appropriate ribbon sections, are a part of the uniform. Special individual decorations from foreign governments, such as the French Croix de Guerre, or similar decorations from other foreign governments, are authorized.

These decorations will be worn as prescribed in Special Regulations No. 41, War Department, 1917. The French shoulder cord known as the fourragère is, however, a part of the French uniform, and only two American organizations are authorized to wear it—Sanitary Section 646 and the 103d Aero Squadron.

Citations are not sufficient. Special authorization for the fourragère must come from the French Government. Such decorations as gold and silver stars on the sleeves, unauthorized campaign ribbons, gold chevrons presumed to denote that the wearer has been a prisoner of war, or denoting any service other than prescribed for such chevrons, are not authorized and will not be permitted.

(See Circular No. 85, War Department, Washington, February 19, 1919.)

A lapel button, to be known as the Victory Button, for wear on civilian clothes, will be issued to all officers, enlisted men, field clerks and members of the Army Nurse Corps, who served on active duty in the Army of the United States at any time between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, and whose service was honorable. The button will be silver for those wounded in action, and bronze for all others.

For the present, the Victory Button will be issued at time of honorable discharge to those entitled to it and to those who have already been honorably discharged. Later, the button will be issued to all remaining in service entitled to it.

Those who have been discharged before a supply of buttons was available for issue may secure a button by mailing to the supply officer of the nearest military post, camp or station, including a recruiting station, their original discharge certificate or a true copy thereof prepared on the form provided for the purpose, or, in the case of officers to whom no discharge certificate was issued, their discharge order or a true copy thereof.

The true copy of a discharge certificate or of a discharge order must be executed by a civil officer empowered to administer oaths and be a full, literal and complete copy of the original and contain all written or printed matter appearing on both sides of the discharge certificate or discharge order. The certificate of the civil officer must be in the following form:

"I certify that the foregoing is a true and complete copy of the original discharge certificate (or discharge order) of ............, and contains all written and printed matter appearing on both sides of the discharge certificate (or discharge order).

"I further certify that I have indorsed on the original discharge certificate (or discharge order) over my signature the following in words and figures: True copy made by me (date), 191 . . , for the purpose of securing a Victory Button by mail."

Sam Browne or Liberty Belt

The Sam Browne or Liberty Belt is not authorized in the United States and will not be worn. It is the distinguishing mark of a commissioned officer abroad, but it is considered by the War Department that there is no necessity for its introduction into the United States.

William Brown Meloney, "Where Do We Go From Here? - This Is the Real Dope: Options for Discharged Service Members," Baltimore: Thomsen-Ellis Press, 1920.

Return to Top of Page