If you do not have a copy of your discharge form, or you feel your discharge form does not accurately list all the medals you received, you need to request a copy or review of your military records.
Requests for the issuance or replacement of military service medals, decorations, and awards should be directed to the specific branch of the military in which the veteran served. However, for Air Force (including Army Air Corps) and Army personnel, the National Personnel Records Center will verify the awards to which a veteran is entitled and forward the request with the verification to the appropriate service department for issuance of the medals.
The eVetRecs is preferred for requesting medals and awards. Provide as much information as possible in the comments field.
Should you prefer to submit your request using an SF180 then provide as much information as possible and send the form to the appropriate address from the following tables: Upon receipt NPRC will access the appropriate records and process your request.
I mailed my SF 180 and a copy of my DD-214 to the National Personnel Records Center and asked them to confirm my eligibility to wear the Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm and any additional unit or individual awards and decorations not reflected on my DD Form 214. I wrote that I had been assigned to the 460th TRW - FMS at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Saigon Viet Nam from 9/20/67 through 9/15/68.
They processed my request and sent it on to the AFPC who are responsible for the Air Force Awards and Decorations Program. The AFPC replied that I was in fact entitled to wear the Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm along with the Presidential Unit Citation and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with V for Valor. They amended my DD-214 discharge papers with a DD-215 and they sent me replacement awards free of charge. Veterans should expect to wait at least four to six months for a response. Good Luck.460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing Decorations:
Presidential Unit Citation: 18 Feb 1966 - 30 Jun 1967; 1 Sep 1967 - 10 Jul 1968; 11 Jul 1968 - 31 Aug 1969; l Feb-31 Mar 1971.
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device: 1 Jul 1969 - 30 Jun 1970; 1 Jul 1970 - 30 Jun 1971.
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm: 1 Apr 1966 - 31 Aug 1971.
My DD-214 has been updated with a DD-215 authorizing me three bronze service stars on my Vietnam Service Medal. In order to accomplish this I had to send a letter with an enclosed DD Form 149 Application for Correction of Military Record to:
Department of the Air Force
The 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" for valor for direct combat and combat support service. I was directly involved in combat with the 460th when Tan Son Nhut Air Base was attacked by VC ground troops in the 1200 area on May the 6th 1968.
The Outstanding Unit Award is awarded by the secretary of the Air Force to any numbered units of the U.S. Air Force (including the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard) that have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from similar units. The services include; performance of exceptionally meritorious service, accomplishment of a specific outstanding achievement of national or international significance, combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States, or military operations involving conflict with or exposure to hostile actions by an opposing foreign force. The "V" (valor) device is authorized when awarded for combat or combat support service.
The Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, was awarded to all members of the U.S. Armed Forces and other nations for valorous achievment in combat during the Vietnam Conflict.
U.S. Military units were cited individualy for the award, however the Vietnamese Government issued the award to all units subordinate to Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) during the period from February 8, 1962 to March 28, 1973 and to U.S. Army Vietnam and it's subordinate units for the period July 20, 1965 to March 28, 1973. All military personnel who were assigned to units serving in-country Vietnam during this period were considered assigned to MACV, regardless of service or component. This action permits all military personnel serving in Vietnam to wear the Vietnam Gallantry Cross unit citation.
This is a foreign award that was issued by the Army of South Vietnam. It is the Vietnamese equivalent of the French Croix de Guerre. When awarded to individual U.S. military personnel it was issued in four degrees with the basic medal followed by the higher degrees. The degrees are as follows: Gallantry Cross with Palm (Individual Award); Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star (Regiment-level or Brigade-level citation); Gallantry Cross with Silver Star (Division-level citation); and Gallantry Cross with Gold Star (Corps-level citation). The most common individual award version is the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Medal with Palm.
The Vietnam Gallantry Cross was also issued as a unit award. Known as the Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm, "when awarded to units it was always with Palm enclosed within a gold frame." The unit citation was issued in the name of South Vietnam to any military unit which distinguished itself to the same level as would be required for the individual award.
Note: This Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm ribbon is presently authorized by the U.S. military to be worn as a ribbon only.
BTW, When President Thieu was interviewed in France in 1976 about the dispute over the Cross of Gallantry medal versus ribbon, which had gained some notoriety even then because Vietnam veterans just learning about their eligibility were requesting DD-215's to display their Cross of Gallantry, President Thieu laughed and said, "This is silly. The Americans never seem to learn that 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do.' Like the Americans did in Vietnam, they apply their rules to our customs and laws. If we had intended for there to be two different Croix de Guerres (Cross of Gallantry) there would be two and they would be distinctly different. We were not so backward and unsophisticated as many Americans thought we were when they were fighting in our country for so many years. We have but one Croix de Guerre. We don't have two. This is all quite silly."
The Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm was issued to every Allied nation which provided military support to Vietnam between 1 March 1961 and the fall of Saigon in April 1975. The unit decoration thus became the most commonly awarded Vietnamese decoration to foreigners, second only to the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
If you never received this medal, ribbon, or certificate it cannot be re-issued by the NPRC since it is a foreign award. However, amended discharge papers (DD-215) can be issued if the citation is not listed on your DD-214.
All members of the armed forces and qualified federal government civilian personnel, who faithfully and honorably served the United States anytime during the Cold War era, may be awarded the DD Form 2774 Cold War Certificate. As a Vietnam Veteran I applied for this Certificate because it brought me a feeling of closure. I felt like I had finally won a victory against communism.