a. The Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command, recommended adoption of a medal for the Reserve Components that would be comparable to the Good Conduct Medal for the Active Army on 11 August 1969. The Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, on 29 January 1970, requested The Institute of Heraldry (TIOH) provide proposed designs for consideration by the Secretary of the Army. Designs were submitted in May 1970 and the Secretary of the Army approved the award on 3 March 1971.
b. The star symbolizes achievement and its twelve points refer to measurement of time and to the sustained meritorious service. The inner disc represents a circle of perfection and bears the torch for guidance and the laurel for honor and glory. The two swords, one for active and one for reserve, attest to eternal readiness and the two stars symbolize equality of effort. The red, white and blue of the ribbon, our National colors, stand for patriotism. The gold symbolizes merit.
c. The Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal may be awarded to enlisted personnel and officers in the grade of Colonel or below. AGR soldiers and officers are not authorized the ARCAM. Subsequent awards are reflected by the attachment of an oak-leaf cluster to the ribbon.