Description: On a Bronze medal, 1 3/8
inches in diameter, an eagle with wings opened surrounded by a circle of
barbed wire and bayonet points. The reverse has the inscription "AWARDED TO"
around the top and "FOR HONORABLE SERVICE WHILE A PRISONER OF WAR" across
the center in three lines with a space between the two inscriptions for
engraving the name of the recipient. The shield of the Coat of Arms of the
United States is centered on the lower part of the reverse side with the
inscription "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" around the bottom of the medal.
Criteria: a. The Prisoner of War Medal is
issued only to those U.S. military personnel who were taken prisoner and
held captive after 5 April 1917;
(1) While engaged in an
action against an enemy of the United States;
(2) While engaged in military
operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
(3) While serving with
friendly forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing force in
which the United States is not a belligerent party.
b. Civilians who have
been credited with military service which included the period of captivity
are also eligible for the medal.
c. Hostages of
terrorists and persons detained by governments with which the United States
is not engaged actively in armed conflict are not eligible for the medal.