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Prisoner of War Medal

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.