a. In a summary sheet, 5 November 1945, WDGAP, Personnel Division recommended that an Army Commendation Ribbon of distinctive design be established to recognize meritorious service in an area at a time for which the Bronze Star Medal may not be awarded. The recommendation was approved by the Secretary of War and the ribbon was established by War Department Circular 377, dated 18 December 1945. This circular authorized award to “members of the Armed Forces of the United States serving in any capacity with the Army for meritorious service rendered since 7 December 1941, not in sustained operational activities against an enemy nor in direct support of such operation, i.e., in areas and at times when the Bronze Star Medal may not be awarded because of its operational character”. Authority to award the Commendation Ribbon was delegated to Major Generals or commanders of any command, force or installation normally commanded by Major Generals.
b. In a DF, 29 April 1948, from the D/PA to the Quartermaster General, the Personnel & Admin. Division indicated that the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Air Force had authorized a medal pendant to be established for the Commendation Ribbon and requested that a proposed design be prepared. The design was approved by both Secretaries on 8 July 1948. The Medal Pendant for Commendation Ribbon was announced in Department of the Army (DA) Circular 91 (AF Letter 35-25) dated 20 July 1949. On 20 March 1950, the Secretary of the Navy approved the Navy Commendation Ribbon, and authorized use of the same pendant with a different ribbon on 6 April 1950.
c. DA General Order No. 10, dated 31 March 1960, renamed the Commendation Ribbon with Medal Pendant to the Army Commendation Medal. President Kennedy, in a memorandum to the Secretary of Defense, dated 1 June 1962, authorized the award of the Army Commendation Medal to members of the Armed Forces of friendly foreign nations who, after 1 June 1962, distinguished themselves by an act of heroic, extraordinary achievement, or meritorious service.
d. Order of precedence and wear of decorations is contained in Army Regulation (AR) 670-1. Policy for awards, approving authority, supply, and issue of decorations is contained in AR 600-8-22.