General Information

Department of the Army Honorary Awards for
Department of the Army Employees

(in order of precedence)



The following medals may be awarded to Department of the Army civilian employees to recognize high levels of performance and service. The Awards Hierarchy Chart compares top civilian and military awards by approval level. Following are brief descriptions of each decoration. They are listed in hierarchical order from the highest to the lowest, except for the humanitarian award. For a detailed description of each award, click on the underlined title. More information on the Army Incentive Awards Program may be found in this PERMISS article.

Click the Award title for more information


Armed Forces Civilian Service Medal

Armed Forces Civilian Service Medal

Established to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of the DOD civilian workforce who directly support the military forces, when those members are engaged in military operations of a prolonged peacekeeping or humanitarian nature.


Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service

Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service

For clearly exceptional performance of duties, exceptional achievement of major significance, providing outstanding leadership, or exhibiting great courage.



Meritorious Civilian Service Award

Meritorious Civilian Service Award

For performance of duties in an exemplary manner, demonstrating unusual initiative and skill, achieving outstanding results, or exhibiting unusual courage in an emergency.



Superior Civilian Service Award

Superior Civilian Service Award

For superior service or achievement, or heroism of a lesser degree than that recognized by the Meritorious Civilian Service Award.



Commander's Award for Civilian Service

Commander's Award for Civilian Service

For performance of duties in an outstanding manner, demonstrating initiative, skill and leadership in performing assigned duties, demonstrating courage or rendering service resulting in favorable local publicity.



Achievement Medal for Civilian Service

Achievement Medal for Civilian Service

For noteworthy achievements that are of lesser degree than that recognized by the Commander's Award for Civilian Service.



Civilian Award for Humanitarian Service

For significant "hands-on" participation in an act or operation of a humanitarian nature directed toward an individual or groups of individuals.



Laurel Leaf Cluster Award

Laurel Leaf Cluster

A bronze, silver, or gold cluster of three laurel leaves and berries, symbolizing civilian honors and achievement, is attached to the ribbon of honorary awards, signifying the second, third, and fourth award of the same medal.




Main Awards Index