The Armed Forces Honor Medal was originally established by the State of Vietnam on January 6, 1953 at the height of the First Indochina War between it and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, commonly referred to as North Vietnam. Both governments claimed control of all of Vietnam; the United Nations partitioned the country at the 17th parallel following the defeat of French forces at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, and a year later the Republic of Vietnam was formed from the State of Vietnam following a disputed national referendum.

Thanks to this change, the descriptions of military medals and decorations had to be rewritten to reflect the country’s new name as well as the title of its armed forces. In December, 1965, the description of the Armed Forces Honor Medal was modified to reflect the creation of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces, or RVNAF.

The decoration was intended to recognize anyone—members of the military, technicians, government employees, or civilians—who contributed to the formation and organization of the RVNAF, as well as the training of troops and technical cadres for the different branches of the RVNAF. Foreign personnel were eligible for the award.

The Armed Forces Honor Medal 1st Class was issued to officers and a 2nd Class version was authorized for NCOs and enlisted personnel. According to the pamphlet Medals and Decorations of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces, published by the Republic of Vietnam during the conflict, recipients could be honored with more than one Armed Forces Honor Medal "with each award represented by a device." It does not specify the devices authorized for the medal, but they are presumably the same as other Vietnamese medals, i.e., a Palm Leaf or a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Star.

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As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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