A Reserve Good Conduct Medal refers to any one of the five military conduct awards which are issued by the United States Armed Forces to enlisted members of the Reserve and National Guard. The primary difference between the regular Good Conduct Medal and the Reserve Good Conduct Medal is that the Good Conduct Medal is only issued for active duty service while the reserve equivalent is bestowed for reserve duties such as drills, annual training, and additional active duty for either training or operational support to the active duty force or, in the case of the Army National Guard and Air National Guard, in support of Title 32 U.S.C. state active duty (SAD) such as disaster response and relief. To receive a Reserve Good Conduct Medal, a service member (excluding Army Reservists), must, generally, be an active member of the Reserve or National Guard and must have performed three to four years of satisfactory duty (to include drills and annual training) with such service being free of disciplinary action. Periods of active duty recall or mobilization are not creditable towards the Reserve Good Conduct Medal. Each service has specific varying requirements.
The last of the Reserve Good Conduct Medals to be authorized, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (ARCAM), was established by the Secretary of the Army on 3 March 1971 and amended by DA General Orders 4, in 1974. The Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal is awarded for exemplary behavior, efficiency, and fidelity while serving as a member of an Army National Guard or Army Reserve Troop Program Unit for each three-year period since 3 March 1972. Effective 28 March 1995, the period of qualifying service for the award was reduced from four years to three years; however, this change was not retroactive. Service must have been consecutive and service performed in the Reserve Component of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard may not be credited for award of this medal. The member must have exhibited honest and faithful service in accordance with the standards of conduct, courage and duty required by law and customs of the service of a member of the same grade as the individual to whom the standard is being applied. A member must be recommended for the award by his or her unit commander whose recommendation is based on personal knowledge of the individual and the individual’s official records of periods of service under prior commanders during the period for which the award is made. Furthermore, a Commander may not delay award or extend the qualifying period for misconduct. A determination that service is not honorable as prescribed negates the entire period of the award.
Soldiers who are ordered to active duty in the AGR program will be awarded the ARCAM if they have completed 2 of the 3 years required (Good Conduct Medal eligibility starts on the effective date of the AGR order). Soldiers with less than 2 years will not receive an award. Service lost may be recovered if the Soldier is separated honorably from the AGR program and reverts to troop program unit service, for example, a Soldier serves 1 year and 6 months of qualifying service and is ordered to an AGR tour. This service is not sufficient for award of the ARCAM. When the Soldier leaves the AGR program that 1 year and 6 months is granted towards the next award of the ARCAM. Only the State Adjutant General may determine that the AGR service was not sufficiently honorable enough to revoke the previously earned time, regardless of the type of separation given.
The ARCAM is awarded to both officer and enlisted members of the Army Reserve (all enlisted ranks are eligible as well as officer ranks up to Colonel) and has basically the same criteria as the other Reserve Services for award of a Reserve Good Conduct Medal. The Armed Forces Reserve Medal (AFRAM) is a similar award which is given for ten years of honorable reserve service (consecutive without a break in service) and is presented to both officers and enlisted personnel.
Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal
First created in 1962 with retroactive presentation to 1958. The Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal was considered the enlisted successor award to the Naval Reserve Medal. From its creation until 1996, the medal was awarded for four years of satisfactory enlisted reserve service, which dropped to three years of service from 1997 until its discontinuation, synchronizing it with the same required service for the active duty Navy Good Conduct Medal, which replaced it entirely in 2014. Additional awards of the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal are denoted by service stars. This is strictly an enlisted service medal on par with Navy Good Conduct Medal for active duty enlisted sailors, to include active duty enlisted sailors in the now-renamed U.S. Navy Reserve's Full Time Support (FTS) program, previously known as Training and Administration of the Reserve (TAR). Commissioned officers, to include chief warrant officers, are not eligible for award of the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal.
Designed by Thomas Hudson Jones and originally established on April 1, 1964 as the "Air Force Reserve Ribbon" by Secretary of the Air Force Eugene M. Zuckert, the award became a full sized medal, under its current name, on November 2, 1971 under Secretary of the Air Force Robert C. Seamans, Jr. From 1965 to 1974, the award was presented for four years of honorable reserve enlisted service in the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard, however the time limit was lowered to three years of service beginning on July 1, 1975. Additional awards of the Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal are denoted with oak leaf clusters. This is strictly an enlisted service award on par with the Air Force Good Conduct Medal for active duty enlisted airmen in the Regular Air Force. Commissioned officers are not eligible for award of the Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal
First created in 1925 as the Fleet Marine Reserve Medal, this is the oldest of the Reserve Good Conduct Medals. In 1939 the name of the medal was changed to the Organized Marine Corps Reserve Medal. In 1984, the award adopted its current name. As of January 1, 1996, the qualifying period of service was changed from four to three years to mirror the requirements of the Good Conduct Medal. Additional awards are denoted by bronze service stars.
Created in 1963 and awarded for a standard satisfactory enlisted reserve tour of three years of duty. Additional awards are denoted by service stars. This is strictly an enlisted service award on par with the Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal for active duty enlisted coast guardsmen. Commissioned officers, to include warrant officers, are not eligible for award of the Coast Guard Reserve Good Conduct Medal, however, they are entitled to wear the award if it was earned during prior enlisted service.