A handful of military awards and decorations got an update Monday, including expanding eligibility to the Space Force and cleaning up some gendered language, in an executive order signed by President Joe Biden.
Guardians can now earn the following awards:
- Air Medal, for “meritorious achievement while participating in an aerial flight.”
- Good Conduct Medal, for three years of service without disciplinary action.
- Bronze Star, for meritorious service or heroic action in a combat zone.
- Presidential Unit Citation, for units that display extraordinary heroism in a combat zone.
- Defense Distinguished Service Medal, for “exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility.”
The move is another step in legitimizing the sixth and youngest military service, which former President Donald Trump established in December 2019.
Elsewhere in Monday’s order, Biden adjusted some of the verbiage from those medals and in a 2018 executive order that lays out which authorities are authorized to award which decorations.
All instances of “any person” were updated to “those individuals,” and replacing an mentions of “himself” or “herself” with “themselves.”
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.