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Texas Division
United Daughters of the Confederacy®

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Military Service Awards

After the War Between the States, there was no official recognition of the service of Confederate Veterans, as the U.S. War Department did not, until much later, recognize these men as Veterans.  Furthermore, metal was scarce, so none were awarded by the Confederate Government during the War. Around the turn of the 20th century, the United Daughters of the Confederacy® (UDC) created a medal appropriate for the defenders in grey; one which would show their appreciation to their Confederate ancestors and also, honor their heritage. The medal would be called the Southern Cross of Honor. Thousands of these medals were awarded. Winnie Davis, a daughter of Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, an original Daughter of the Confederacy, traveled around the South bestowing this medal on aging Confederate Veterans.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy has always come to the aid of the nation in times of crisis. At the beginning of World War I, the President General of the UDC wrote to President Woodrow Wilson and offered the loyal support of the 100,000 members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in whatever capacity their services would be needed. During the war, the UDC supported 70 hospital beds at the American Military Hospital at Neuilly, France, at a cost of $42,000 per year. It contributed $82,069 for French and Belgian orphans. On the home front, UDC members purchased $24,843,368 worth of war bonds and savings stamps. In addition, $841,676 was donated to the Red Cross and other war relief work.

 

During World War II, the United Daughters of the Confederacy was the first national women's organization to offer its service to the United States government for war relief. The work of the UDC was recognized by its inclusion at various national conferences held by the War Department. The UDC assisted the National Nursing Association by giving financial support for student nurses until the Bolton Act was passed by the United States Congress creating the first Cadet Nurse Corps. The UDC also donated ambulances for use at European battle sites and donated a blood plasma unit through the Red Cross. Daughters sold $18,534,213 in war bonds. The Red Cross commended the UDC for its outstanding work and contributions.

 

During the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, and Desert Shield/Desert Storm -- and in the aftermath of September 11 -- the United Daughters of the Confederacy has continued its patriotic work. Daughters donate thousands of dollars and spend countless hours every year working with the nation's veterans in Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities and nursing homes. The UDC presently has representatives and deputies in VA medical centers in 18 states.

 

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Southern Cross of Honor

The "Southern Cross of Honor" was made in the shape of a Maltese Cross with a wreath of laurel surrounding the words Deo Vindice 1861-1865 (God our Vindicator) and the inscription Southern Cross of Honor was on the face. On the reverse was a Confederate Battle Flag surrounded by a laurel wreath and the words United Daughters of the Confederacy to the UCV. (United Confederate Veterans) Only a Confederate veteran could wear the Southern Cross of Honor, and it could only be bestowed through the UDC.  Money could not buy the Cross. They were bought by loyal, honorable service to the South and were given in recognition of this devotion. The UDC kept a record of each man who received this precious award. These records are on file in the UDC Business Office in Richmond, Virginia.

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Cross of Military Service

The Cross of Military Service is presented to veterans of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict and the Global War on Terror who are lineal blood descendants of Confederate military personnel and who have given a minimum of 90 days' active duty military service to our country, honorably discharged or currently serving.   The branches of military service recognized by the U.D.C. are U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Merchant Marines, and U.S. Navy.  Recipients have the privilege of wearing these Crosses and Medals on their regular military uniform, as approved by the U.S. Congress.  The medal may be presented posthumously and is awarded with a numbered certificate.  A certificate suitable for framing is presented with each Cross or Medal.  Veterans may receive one Cross for each war or conflict in which they served.  Veterans may only receive one National Defense Medal and one Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal. The Southern Cross of Honor, Spanish-American Cross and Philippine Insurrection Cross are no longer available.

UDC Crosses of Military Service

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Spanish American War 

World War One

World War Two

Korean War

Vietnam War 

Global War on Terror

 

War/Conflict

Dates of Service

Qualifications

Status

Spanish American War

25 April  - 12 August 1898

Served stateside or foreign service

Retired

World War I

5 Apr 1917 - 11 Nov 1918

Served stateside or foreign service

Retired

World War II

8 Dec 1941 - 31 Dec 1946

Served stateside or foreign service

 

Korean War,

27 Jun 1950 - 11 Nov 1955

Served in Korea, or on land/airspace/waters

 

Vietnam Conflict

6 Jul 1964 - 28 Mar 1973

Served in Vietnam, or on land/airspace/waters

 

Global War on Terror

11 Sep 2001 - Present

Served in Iraq or Afghanistan or contiguous waters

 

 

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National Defense Service Medal

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A National Defense Service Medal was approved in 1991 at the Annual General UDC Convention. This medal, issued with a certificate, is awarded to men and women for a minimum of 90 days active duty service that does not meet the Cross of Military Service requirements during the Korean War or Vietnam Conflict, and is also awarded for Persian Gulf (Desert Shield/Desert Storm) service. If a recipient is eligible for a Korean or Vietnam Cross of Military Service, the Military Service Cross should be awarded as the National Defense Medal may not be bestowed for the same war/conflict. A recipient may receive only one National Defense medal even if eligible during more than one time frame. The medal may be presented posthumously and is awarded with a numbered certificate.

 

Time frames and locations for eligibility

Korean War, 27 Jun 1950 - 11 Nov 1955, not in Korea or on land/in airspace/in waters contiguous thereto

Vietnam Conflict, 1 Jan 1961 - 14 Aug 1974, not in Vietnam or land/in airspace/in waters contiguous thereto (note, time frame is longer than for that of the Vietnam Cross of Military Service)

Persian Gulf (Desert Shield/Desert Storm), 2 Aug 1990 - 30 Nov 1995

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Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal

An Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal was approved at the 1995 Annual General Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The medal, issued with a numbered certificate, is awarded for a minimum of 90 days active-duty services in the U.S. Armed Forces to those men and women who meet the requirements of the U.S. Presidential Executive Order 10977 dated Dec. 4, 1961, and its amendments. The medal is authorized for service after 1 Jul 1958, in US military operations, U.S. operations in direct support of the United Nations, and U.S. operations of assistance for friendly foreign nations. The medal may be awarded posthumously. Eligibility (having met one of the following)

1. Must have served not less than 30 consecutive days in the area of operation.
2. Must have been in direct support of an operation a minimum of 30 consecutive days.
3. Must have been engaged in actual combat, or on duty that is equally as hazardous as combat, during the operation with armed opposition.
4. Must have participated as a regularly assigned crew member of an aircraft flying to/out of/within/over the seas in the area of operation and in support of it.

Only one Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal may be received, regardless of the number of operations in which he/she served.

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Time frames and locations include (tbd indicates operation is ongoing)

Berlin (14 Aug 1961 - 1 Jun 1963)
Cambodia (29 Mar 1973 - 15 Aug 1973)
Congo (14 Jul 1960 - 1 Sep 1962)
Cuba  (24 Oct 1962 - 1 Jun 1963)
Dominican Republic (28 Apr 1965 - 21 Sep 1966)
El Salvador  (1 Jan 1981 - 1 Feb 1992)

Global War on Terror (Afghanistan, Iraq) (11 Sep 2001 – tbd)
Grenada  (23 Oct 1983 - 21 Nov 1983)
Haiti (16 Sep 1994 - 31 Mar 1995)
Korea  (1 Oct 1966 - 30 Jun 1974)
Laos (19 Apr 1961 - 7 Oct 1962)
Lebanon (1 Jul 1958 - 1 Nov 1958)
Lebanon (1 Jun 1983 - 1 Dec 1987)
Panama (20 Dec 1989 - 31 Jan 1990)

Persian Gulf (24 Jul 1987 - 1 Aug 1990)

Quemoy and Matsu Islands (23 Aug 1958 - 1 Jun 1963)
Somalia  (5 Dec 1992 - 31 Mar 1995)
Southwest Asia Southern Watch (1 Dec 1995 - tbd)
Maritime Intercept (1 Dec 1995 - tbd)
Vigilant Sentinel (1 Dec 1995 - 15 Feb 1997)
Northern Watch  (1 Jan 1997 - tbd)
Desert Thunder  (11 Nov 1998 - 22 Dec 1998)
Desert Spring  (31 Dec 1998 - tbd)
Taiwan Straits (23 Aug 1958 - 1 Jan 1959)
Thailand (Cambodia ops only) (29 Mar 1973 - 15 Aug 1973)
Vietnam (1 Jul 1958 - 3 Jul 1965)
Yugoslavia, Former Republic of (1 Jun 1992 - 20 Jun 1998)

(Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia only)
Yugoslavia, Former Republic of (21 Jun 1998 - tbd)

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Meritorious Service Medal

 

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A Meritorious Service Award medal and certificate may be presented to men and women of collateral lineage to a Confederate soldier who served honorably and nobly during the War Between the States. This award is presented through the Meritorious Service Awards Committee. Please check with the United Daughters of the Confederacy Chapter nearest you for more information on this medal and certificate.
 

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A new Cross of Military Service for the Global War on Terror (GWOT) was approved at the 118th Annual General Convention in Fort Worth, Texas. Due to the unusual way the GWOT went from an Expedition to Conflict, veterans who have already received the UDC Expeditionary Service Medal for the Global War on Terror (GWOT) may also be eligible for the Cross of Military Service for the Global War on Terror should Chapters wish to pursue it. These veterans will be authorized to wear both. The reason is that the Department of Defense originally considered Iraq and Afghanistan to be an Expedition, but as the conflict continued to rage, by April 2005 it was acknowledged to be a full-fledged conflict and the Armed Forces ceased authorizing the Expeditionary Service Medal for Iraq and Afghanistan and instead authorized only the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (GWOT-S) and campaign medals for Iraq and Afghanistan. The Expeditionary and GWOT-S overlapped for several years so we believe that UDC should do the same. However, not everyone who was awarded a UDC Expeditionary Service Medal will be eligible for the Cross. He/she must have served in Iraq or Afghanistan or contiguous waters and have been awarded campaign medals as well as the GWOT-S. If you have questions, please contact your Division Recorder.

If you are a serviceman or woman, or have a relative (living or deceased), who may qualify for one of these awards, please contact a UDC chapter near you. We will respond. Your genealogy, honorable discharge (DD 214 or similar) and a copy of your Confederate ancestor's military service records are the documents required for consideration for bestowal. Your lineage to the Confederate soldier must be listed on the application form. Both he and you must have served your country honorably.

We thank you for your service to our Country!
 
  For more information contact the Recorder of Military Service Awards Gloria Wilson.