Military Outstanding Vol Svc Medal

Military Outstanding Volunteer Service MedalThe MOVSM is comprised of a large medal and ribbon bar and shall be worn immediately after the Humanitarian Service Medal, Subsequent awards will be denoted by 3/16 inch bronze stars. A 3/16 silver star will be worn in lieu of a sixth award The award shall be accompanied by a one page letter, signed by the awarding authority, specifically citing the individuals volunteer service.


Awarding Authority

Authority to award the MOVSM is delegated to those flag officers and Senior Executive Service officials who have authority to award the Military Service's Achievement Medal or Joint-Service Achievement Medal, and above. The MOVSM may be awarded posthumously..



Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (Ribbon)Awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States and their Reserve Components who, subsequent to 31 December 1992, performed outstanding volunteer community service of a sustained, direct and consequential nature. To be eligible, an individual's service must: (a) be to the civilian community, to include the military family community; (b) be significant in nature and produce tangible results; (c) reflect favorably on the Military Service and the Department of Defense; and (d) be of a sustained and direct nature. While there is no specific time threshold to qualify for the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (MOVSM), approval authorities shall ensure the service to be honored merits the special recognition afforded by this medal. The MOVSM is intended to recognize exceptional community support over time and not a single act or achievement. Further, it is intended to honor direct support of community activities, scuh as:.


  • Big Brother/Big Sister
  • Boy Scouts
  • Camp Fire 
  • Drug abuse/Child abuse programs
  • Easter Seal walkathon 
  • Girls Scouts
  • Hospital Volunteer 
  • Literacy programs
  • March of Dimes walkathons
  • Phone Hotline volunteer
  • Red Cross volunteer
  • Salvation Army Volunteer
  • Volunteer Fire Department/Rescue Unit/Medics
  • Volunteer Teachers
  • YMCA volunteer
  • Youth Sports Programs
  • 4H Volunteer



The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal was established by Executive Order 12830, dated 9 January 1993. A proposed design, prepared by The Institute of Heraldry, was submitted to the Office of the Secretary of Defense on 12 April 1993. The design was approved by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Manpower and Personnel Policy on 15 Jun 1993.


The interlaced annulets emphasize the interaction of the military services with the civilian community and symbolize continuity and cooperation. The star commemorates outstanding service; the wreath of laurel denotes honor and achievement. Oak is symbolic of strength and potential. Medium blue is the color traditionally associated with the Department of Defense. Gold is for excellence and green alludes to the nurturing of life and growth.