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Armed Forces Reserve Medal (AFRM) with "M" Device Question and Answer


Q1. What is the purpose of the “M” Device on the Armed Force Reserve Medal?
A1. A Mobilization Appurtenance in the form of a bronze “M” was approved in early 1993 to recognize the “special sacrifice in service to the Nation” of Reserve component members who volunteer for and serve on active duty or who are called or ordered to active duty in support of a contingency operation.

Q2. What authorizes the wearing of the AFRM with “M” Device?
A2. On August 6, 1996, the President issued Executive Order 13013 that authorizes the award of the AFRM with the “M” Device to Reserve members who volunteer for or who are called to active duty and serve in support of a contingency operation on or after August 1, 1990.

Q3. Which operations will qualify for award of the AFRM with “M” Device?
A3. To date, the following operations have designated as contingency operations, as defined
in law (section 101(a)(13) of title 10 United States Code).

  • DESERT SHIELD/STORM (Persian Gulf)
  • RESTORE HOPE (Somalia)
  • ALLIED FORCE (Kosovo)
  • NOBLE EAGLE (United States)
  • ENDURING FREEDOM (Afghanistan)
  • Even if an operation is not officially named but it results in an involuntary call to active duty, the AFRM with “M” device is authorized.

    Q4. How can I tell if I qualify if an operation is not named?
    A4. A contingency operation includes any operation in which Reserve component members have been involuntarily called to active duty. The statutory authorities for involuntary ordering a Reserve component member to active duty are:

  • Section 12301(a) of title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.)-war or national emergency declared by Congress (Total Mobilization)
  • Section 12302 of title 10, U.S.C.-national emergency declared by the President (Partial Mobilization)
  • Section 12304 of title 10, U.S.C.-President determines that it is necessary to augment the active forces for any operational mission (Presidential Reserve Call-up)
  • Section 12406 of title 10, U.S.C.-National Guard called into Federal service
  • Chapter 15 of title 10, U.S.C.-Insurrection
  • Section 712 of title 14, U.S.C.-Coast Guard Reserve emergency augmentation of the regular Coast Guard forces
  • Q5. What if I volunteer for duty?
    A5. Volunteers qualify for the award if they serve on active duty in support of a specific U. S. military operation or contingency as defined in section 101(13) of title 10, U.S.C. (contingency operation), which currently consists of those operations identified in answer number 3, above.

    Q6. Can AGRs qualify for the AFRM with “M” Device?
    A6. AGRs who receive orders changing their current duty status (legal authority under which they perform duty) or their duty location or assignment to support a contingency operation are eligible for the award of the AFRM with “M” Device.

    Q7. Must I deploy overseas to qualify for the AFRM with “M” Device?
    A7. No, the location where duty is performed does not matter. Stateside service is qualifying.

    Q8. Can recalled Reserve retirees qualify for the AFRM with “M” Device?
    A8. Reserve Retirees who volunteer for or who are called to active duty in support of a contingency operation would qualify for award of the AFRM with “M” Device.

    Q9. How long must a Reservist serve on active duty to qualify for the AFRM with “M”

    A9. One day.

    Q10. May active duty for training count-to include annual training to qualify for the
    AFRM with “M” Device?

    A10. Yes, but only the order specifies that the duty is in support of the contingency operation for which the AFRM with “M” device is authorized.

    Q11. Can a Reservist be awarded more than one AFRM with “M” Device?
    A11. Yes. The AFRM with “M” Device may be awarded each time a Reservist participates in a contingency operation. See answer 13, below, that describes how subsequent awards are displayed on the ribbon and medal.

    Q12. Can a Reservist be awarded more than one AFRM with “M” Device, if ordered to
    active duty, released and then recalled to active duty during the same contingency

    A12. No. Only one AFRM with “M” Device may be awarded for each specific contingency operation in which the Reserve member serves.

    Q13. How will service by a Reservist in more than one contingency be denoted?
    A13. Upon a second and each succeeding award of the AFRM with “M” Device, an Arabic numeral will be worn next to the “M” Device, indicating the number of times the device has been awarded.

    Q14. Why is the hourglass now being authorized after a member completes only 10 years of Reserve service?
    A14. Previously, the AFRM was awarded for completion of 10 years of honorable and satisfactory military service, in one or more of the Reserve components. The “hourglass Device” was authorized to denote succeeding 10-year periods. The criteria for award of the hourglass is being changed in order to distinguish between a Reservist who earns the
    AFRM for 10 years of Reserve service and a Reservist who earns the medal for service during a contingency operation. A bronze hourglass will now be authorized for completion of the first 10 years of satisfactory Reserve service. A silver hourglass will be awarded for completion of a second 10-year period and a gold hourglass for completion of a third 10-year period. Upon completion of the fourth 10 year-period, a gold hourglass followed by a bronze hourglass will be awarded.

    Q15. Where is the official guidance provided on the wearing of the AFRM and the approved appurtenances, to include the “M” Device?
    A15. DoD 1348.33-M (Manual of Military Decorations & Awards) has been changed to describe the appropriate wear of the “M” and “hourglass” appurtenances on the Armed Forces Reserve Medal.

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