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   Meritorious Unit Commendation - Army
Service: Army
Instituted: 1944
Authorized: DOD 1348-33-M
Issuing Country: ( US ) - UNITED STATES
Meritorious Unit Commendation - Army
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Devices
Description:
  1. Established by War Department Circular No. 345, dated 23 August 1944
  2. The Meritorious Unit Commendation is awarded to units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding services for at least six continuous months during the period of military operations against an armed enemy occurring on or after 1 January 1944.
  3. Service in a combat zone is not required, but must be directly related to the combat effort.
  4. CONUS based units are excluded from this award as are other units outside the area of operation.
  5. The unit must display such outstanding devotion and superior performance of exceptionally difficult tasks as to set it apart and above other units with similar missions. The degree of achievement required is the same as that which would warrant award of the Legion of Merit to an individual. Only in rare cases will a unit larger than a battalion qualify for award of this decoration.
  6. For services performed during World War II, awards will be made only to service units and only for services performed between 1 January 1944 and 15 September 1946. Effective 1 March 1961, the Meritorious Unit Commendation was authorized for units and/or detachments of the Armed Forces of the United States for exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding services for at least six continuous months in support of military operations. Such service is interpreted to relate to combat service support type activities and not to the type of activities performed by senior headquarters, combat, or combat support units.


Background:
  1. The Meritorious Service Unit Plaque was established by War Department Circular No. 345, dated 23 August 1944. The circular provided that military personnel assigned or attached to an organization were entitled to wear the Meritorious Service Unit Insignia on the outside half of the right sleeve of the service coat and shirt, four inches above the end of the sleeve. Additional awards were to be indicated by a gold star to be placed on the plaque. War Department Circular No. 54, 1946, provided that additional awards would be indicated by placing a golden numeral inside the wreath.
  2. DF, D/PA, Subject: Proposed AR 260-15, Unit Awards, dated 12 December 1946, stated "In order to enhance the prestige of an award to a meritorious service unit, the present Meritorious Service Unit Plaque has been eliminated, and in lieu thereof a Meritorious Service Unit Commendation has been established on a plane comparable to the Navy Unit Commendation and may be awarded to any type of unit for meritorious service during military operations which, if performed by an individual would warrant the award of a Legion of Merit.
  3. The emblem is worn by all members of a cited organization and is considered an individual decoration for persons in connection with the cited acts and may be worn whether or not they continue as members of the organization. Other personnel may wear this decoration while serving with an organization to indicate the unit has been awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation.