Authorized for wear by the Secretary of the Army or the Secretary of the Air Force, the Arrowhead device indicates that the wear has participated in a combat parachute jump, combat glider landing, helicopter assault landing, or amphibious assault landing. However, it is not merely enough that a servicemember has engaged in those particular actions; they must have taken place while the servicemember was a member of an organized force that was carrying a specific, assigned mission. What’s more, the servicemember must actually exit the craft—plane, glider, watercraft—that is taking them to the site of the assault. If the unit to which servicemembers are assigned or attached does not receive credit for a combat assault for a particular action, then none of the individuals will receive combat assault credit for the action.

In the most recently published  (2015) edition of AR 600-8-22, Military Awards, the Arrowhead device is authorized for wear on eight CE&S (Campaign, Expeditionary, and Service) medals: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign, Korean Service, Vietnam Service, Armed Forces Expeditionary, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary, Afghanistan Campaign, and Iraq Campaign. The Wikipedia entry for the Arrowhead device says that the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal established by President Barack Obama’s Executive Order on March 30, 2016 has been added to that list, but a search at the Army and DoD Web sites did not reveal explicit authorization of this (as of June, 2017).

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