Commissioned Corps E-Bulletin
Military Decorations and Awards
Submittted by LCDR Van Morfit, USPHS, DoD/TRICARE Management Activity,
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs)
TO: Officers of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

On June 29, 2009, Ms. Gail McGinn, Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), signed a new policy memorandum authorizing officers of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (Corps) as being eligible to receive all military decorations and awards. This authorization will also be included in the soon to be published, updated version of Department of Defense (DoD) 1348.33-M, Manual of Military Decorations and Awards.

The memorandum states, ‘on or after August 2, 1990, Corps officers assigned, attached, or detailed for full-time or part-time duty to DoD and any of its components (the Services, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, DoD Field Activities, Defense Agencies, the Joint Staff or the Combatant Commands, are eligible for U.S. military ribbons, medals, and decorations on the same basis as a member of the Armed Forces assigned to DoD and any of its components.’ This includes both Personal/Individual Performance Awards and Service Awards [Campaign, Expeditionary, and Service (CES) medals]. DoD is also issuing specific eligibility criteria for Corps officers to receive relevant military CES medals.

The Office of the Commissioned Corps Force Management and the Office of Commissioned Corps Operations have finalized policies and procedures governing implementation of these changes designed for Corps officers who qualify for DoD decorations and awards.

If you believe that you may be eligible for a DoD decoration or award which was awarded to members of the armed services but denied to you due to your status as an officer in the Corps, you will need to contact the DoD/TRICARE Management Activity (TMA) Commissioned Corps Liaison at:

CDR Michael Lackey, USPHS
Commissioned Corps Liaison
DoD/TRICARE Management Activity
Skyline 5, Suite 810
5111 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041
Health and Human Services Public Health, Commissioned Corps Public Health, Commissioned Corps

HHS, Office of Public Health and Science
Office of Commissioned Corps Force Management
Tower Building
1101 Wootton Parkway, Plaza Level Suite 100
Rockville, MD 20852