Wear of the Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation (PUC) is authorized by all five branches of the Armed Forces of the United States, with each service’s uniform and awards regulations (save the Coast Guard) designating periods of service for which its units are eligible. The award is to extremely meritorious service to the country.
The Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force, have two general periods of eligibility during World War II, with a beginning date of December 7, 1941 for all four. The Air Force designates May 10, 1942 and the end date of its first World War II period of eligibility, with a second period of October 17, 1944 to July 4, 1945. May 5, 1942 marks the end of the Navy and Marine Corps’ first WWII eligibility period, with a second period referred to broadly as “during 1944 and 1945.” (Some Navy submarine forces are not bound by these dates because they maintained contact with Philippine guerilla forces throughout the war.) The Army designates May 10, 1942 as the end of its initial period of eligibility for units in World War II, and employs the same dates as the Air Force for its second period.
But units from all branches have been awarded the medal for actions unrelated to World War II or even direct military action. Many of the awards are related to disaster-relief operations in the 1970 and 1972, while units associated with the Navy’s Operation Mercy Mission (March 20-28, 1987) and relief operations conducted at the U.S. Naval Hospital at Subic Bay (1 August 1987) and serving aboard the USS Sterett (May 1989 and June 1991) are also eligible for the honor.
The only units that have earned the Philippine Republic PUC that were involved in combat-related operations since the end of World War II were several U.S. Army units that took part in Exercise BALIKATAN 02-1, an operational exercise designed to train the Armed Forces of the Philippines in counterterrorism and operations and unconventional warfare tactics.
While the Navy has authorized the wear of bronze service stars for each instance beyond the first that a unit has been awarded the Philippine Republic PUC, neither the Army nor the Air Force authorized the wearing of any devices on the ribbon.