Listed below, in order of precedence, are Merchant Marine Awards authorized for wear by Air Force members.  The Philippine Defense Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, and Philippine Independence Ribbon continue to follow the overall order of precedence of awards and decorations. (AFI 36-2903 paragraphs 11.5.100. through

Philippine Defense Ribbon

Awarded to members of crews of ships who served in Philippine waters for not less than 30 days from December 8, 1941 to June 15, 1942.

Philippine Liberation Ribbon 

Awarded to members of crews of ships who served in Philippine waters for not less than 30 days from October 17, 1944, to September 3, 1945

Philippine Independence Ribbon 

Awarded by the Philippine Commonwealth to those members of the Armed Forces who received both the Philippine Defense Ribbon and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon. The Philippine Independence Ribbon was authorized in 1946 by the United States and the Philippine Commonwealth. It is one of the more unusual awards presented to U.S. Service personnel since it has two independent and totally applicable sets of award criteria. As originally promulgated, the ribbon was presented to those members of the United States Armed Forces who were actually serving in the Philippine Islands or in Philippine territorial waters on 4 July 1946. In 1954, the criteria was changed to grant the ribbon to all those who were previously awarded both the Philippine Defense Ribbon and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon. Although the award qualifications established in 1946 were removed from applicable regulations, no attempt was made to rescind the previous awards made under those earlier criteria. The Philippine Independence Ribbon is classified as a foreign service award. Although not authorized for wear on the U.S. military uniform, a medal was designed and struck for the Philippine Government by the Manila firm of El Oro. The medal is a circular gold disc with a female figure in the center, dressed in native garb and holding the Philippine flag. There are flags on either side of the figure and she is surrounded by a circular border. Inside the border is a raised inscription, “PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE” (in English) around the top and July 4, 1946 at the bottom. The reverse contains the inscription, “GRANTED PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” set in six lines (also in English). The ribbon is derived from the colors of the Philippine flag and consists of a medium blue base with a narrow white center stripe bordered by thin red stripes. There are thin, golden yellow stripes at each edge.

Merchant Marine Combat Bar 

The Combat Bar is issued to seamen who serve in a ship which, at the time of such service, is directly attacked or damaged by an instrumentality of war. There is further prescribed for issuance a star (to be attached to such bar) to seamen who are forced to abandon ship when so attacked or damaged. For each additional abandonment, an additional star is attached.

Merchant Marine Atlantic War Zone 

For mariners who served in the Atlantic War Zone including the North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, Barents Sea, and the Greenland Sea, between December 7, 1941, and November 8, 1945. Design (Medal): The compass rose is traditionally associated with maritime navigation and the superimposed triangle with duty and service other than in the Armed Forces. The eagle symbolizes the United States and freedom.


Merchant Marine Mediterranean-Middle East War Zone 

For seafarers who served in the zone including the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and Indian Ocean west of 80 degrees east longitude, between December 7, 1941, and November 8, 1945. Design: The shield and anchor symbolize a strong maritime service. The palms suggest the Mediterranean-Middle East area while denoting victory and achievement.


Merchant Marine Pacific War Zone 

For merchant marine service in the Pacific War Zone, which included the North Pacific, South Pacific, and the Indian Ocean east of 80 degrees east longitude, during the period December 7, 1941, to March 2, 1946. Design: The trident, a symbol of naval prowess, rests upon a shaft of bamboo denoting the Pacific theater of operations. The sea seascape suggests maritime activities and service.