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Overseas Service Bar

Overseas Service Bars
Current Army Service Uniform Overseas Service Bars 4 Years Total

An Overseas Service Bar is an accoutrement on United States Army Army Service Uniform and previously on the Army Green (Class A) and the Army Blue (Dress Blue) uniforms that indicates a soldier has served six months of service in a combat zone.

Overseas Service Bars are displayed as an embroidered gold bar worn horizontally on the right sleeve of the Class A uniform and the Army Service Uniform.[1] Overseas Service Bars are cumulative, in that each bar worn indicates another six-month period. Time spent overseas is also cumulative, meaning one bar could be earned for two separate deployments totaling six months.

The original concept of an Overseas Bar began in the First World War with what was known as an Overseas Chevron. An Overseas Chevron was an inverted chevron patch of gold metallic thread on olive drab backing worn on the lower left sleeve on the standard Army dress uniform over the Service Stripes. The chevron was identical to the Wound Chevron which was worn on the opposite right sleeve.

  • Silver Chevron Stateside War Service for 6 months.
  • Gold Chevron Overseas War Service for 6 months.
  • Powder Blue Chevron Overseas War Service for less than 6 months.

Soldiers' Overseas Service was calculated from the day they disembarked in Britain or France. Sailors and Marines who served in the European war zone aboard a ship for 6 months (Shipboard Service) wore their chevron point upwards. If they served ashore, they qualified for the Overseas War Service chevron.

During World War II, the chevron was redesignated as the Overseas Bar and the patch adopted its current design of a horizontal bar. For those who had performed overseas service in both the First and Second World Wars, the Overseas Bar and Chevron were worn simultaneously. In 1953, the Overseas Service Bar had adopted its current name and the patch was now worn on the lower right sleeve, instead of the left.

The Overseas Service Bar is a separate decoration from the Overseas Service Ribbon, which recognizes overseas service in any location without regard to whether or not the area has been designated a combat zone. Regulations permit receiving both awards for the same qualifying period of service.

Contents

Current regulationEdit

Army Regulation 670-1 dated 10 April 2015 in Chapter 21, Paragraph 29 states the following:

Overseas service bars

a. Authorized wearers. Soldiers are authorized to wear overseas service bars as indicated below. Listed beginning dates and ending dates are inclusive.

(1) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6–month period of active Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service outside CONUS, between 7 December 1941 and 2 September 1946, both dates inclusive. In computing overseas service, Alaska is considered outside CONUS. An overseas service bar is not authorized for a fraction of a 6–month period.

(2) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6–month period of active Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service in Korea, between 27 June 1950 and 27 July 1954. Credit toward an overseas service bar is authorized for each month of active Federal service as a member of the U.S. Army serving in the designated hostile fire area in Korea between 1 April 1968 and 31 August 1973. If a Soldier receives a month of hostile fire pay for a period(s) of service in Korea, then the Soldier may also receive credit for a corresponding month towards award of an overseas service bar.

(3) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6–month period active Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service in Vietnam, between 1 July 1958 and 28 March 1973. The months of arrival to, and departure from Vietnam are counted as whole months for credit toward the overseas service bar. If a Soldier receives a month of hostile fire pay for a period(s) of TDY service in Vietnam, then the Soldier may also receive credit for a corresponding month towards award of an overseas service bar.

(4) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6–month period of active Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service in the Dominican Republic, between 29 April 1965 and 21 September 1966.

(5) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6–month period of active Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service in Laos, between 1 January 1966 and 28 March 1973.

(6) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6–month period of active Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service in Cambodia between 1 January 1971 and 28 March 1973. Personnel must qualify for hostile fire pay to receive credit for an overseas service bar.

(7) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6–month period of active Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service in Lebanon, between 6 August 1983 and 24 April 1984, for the two units listed in paragraph 21–17b(6).

(8) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6–month period of active Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service in the Persian Gulf between 27 July 1987 and 1 August 1990, for Operation Earnest Will.

(9) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6–month period of Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service in the Persian Gulf between 17 January 1991 and 31 August 1993, for Operation Desert Storm.

(10) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6–month period of active Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service who participated in El Salvador, between 1 January 1981 and 1 February 1992.

(11) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6-month period of Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service in Somalia, between 5 December 1992 and 31 March 1995.

(12) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6–month period of active Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service participating in Operation Enduring Freedom, in the CENTCOM area of operations, and under the control of the Combatant Commander, CENTCOM, between 19 September 2001 and 31 December 2014; or Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines, between 19 September 2001 and a date to be determined.

(13) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6–month period of active Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom, in the CENTCOM area of operations, and under the control of the Combatant Commander, CENTCOM, between 19 March 2003 and 31 August 2010.

(14) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6–month period of active Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service participating in Operation New Dawn in the CENTCOM area of operations, and under the control of the Combatant Commander, CENTCOM, between 1 September 2010 and 31 December 2011.

(15) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6–month period of active Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service participating in Operation Inherent Resolve, in the CENTCOM area of operations, and under the control of the Combatant Commander, CENTCOM, between 15 June 2014 and a date to be determined.

(16) One overseas service bar is authorized for each 6–month period of active Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service participating in Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, in the CENTCOM area of operations, and under the control of the Combatant Commander, CENTCOM, between 1 January 2015 and a date to be determined.

(17) The months of arrival to, and departure from the areas of operations during the periods indicated in paragraphs 21-29a(1) through (14) are counted as whole months only when the period of each deployment is over 6 months. Periods of overseas service of less than 6 months of active Federal service as a member of a U.S. Service, which otherwise meets the requirements for the award of the overseas service bar authorized in paragraphs 21-29a(1) through (14) may be combined by adding the number of months and days spent in the area(s) of operation. For calculation purposes, thirty days equal one calendar month. When continuous deployment periods are less than 6-month periods, only the number of days in the months of arrival to, and departure from the area of operations are counted. Soldiers must have 6 full months (in addition to any other time counted in paragraphs 21-29a(1) through(14)) for each additional service bar worn.[2]

TriviaEdit

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was awarded a total of 14 overseas service bars - 3 for World War I, 9 for World War II and 2 for the Korean War. He was one of a very few United States service members who was not a prisoner of war to spend the entirety of World War II overseas.

General David Petraeus has been awarded 11 overseas service bars.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Department of the Army. Army Regulation 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia Washington, DC: 2014. Chapter 21, Paragraph 29.
  2. ^ "Army Regulation 670–1: Uniforms and Insignia: Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia" (PDF). United States Army. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2016.    This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.