LETTER "R" ATTACHMENT FOR MEDALS AND RIBBONS

Rapid advances in wireless communications technology, computer networking capabilities, and the integration of geospatial data into navigation and weapons system has drastically expanded not only the functions carried out by today’s warfighters, but also the locations from which their actions can directly impact combat operations. To recognize exceptional achievements in the hands-on use of weapon systems or other warfighting duties that have direct, immediate impacts on the combat or military operations yet were executed from a location where the Soldier was not exposed or risked being exposed to hostile action, the Pentagon announced the establishment of the “R” (“Remote”) device in MILPER 17-095 released on March 15, 2017.

For some reason, the Department of Defense decided to award the device only for specific achievements that took place on or after January 7, 2016. This is somewhat confusing when you consider that the examples of qualifying achievements listed in the MILPER 17-095—Unmanned Aerial Vehicle weapon-system strikes, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense operations, and cyberwarfare—have been carried out for several years preceding that eligibility date.

At the time it was introduced, the “R” device was authorized to be issued for wear on two DoD awards (Defense Superior Service Medal and Defense Meritorious Service Medal), two Joint Service Awards (Commendation and Achievement), two cross-service medals (Meritorious Service and Legion of Merit), and two service-specific awards (Commendation and Achievement.)

Because it’s  possible that a Servicemember could earn the “V” (Valor) and/or the “C” (Combat) devices on some of these same awards, an order of precedence was established: V, C, and R. Note that a Soldier cannot be awarded more than one of these three devices for the same event or action.
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