Insignia awarded for Service In World War II
This circular provides Information in response to question’s which have been asked concerning the insignia and awards authorized by the Central Committee for service in World War II
1. INSIGNIA AND AWARDS AVAILABLE, FOR VARIOUS GROUPS OF WORKERS
Service in World War II by volunteers and paid workers, both in this country and overseas, is recognized as stated below. (The reference numbers designate the paragraphs in Sections II and III which describe the various certificates and insignia, the basis for their issuance and the rules relating to the wearing of the insignia.)
I-1. Volunteers serving within the period January 1, 1940, to the
official close of the war in chapters or on the national staff in this
a. A certificate for 200 hours or more in organized volunteer service in this country, Form 1867 or 1868. (See II?1.)d. Red sleeve bars or chevrons to indicate years of service. (See II?6, III-4.)
b. If eligible for the above certificate, a pin or button with the inscription "World, War II. " (See II?2, III?1.)
c. After 12 months of service, a ribbon bar with Gold and silver stripes to designate hours of service,
(See II?4, III-2, III-3.) (See 11?4, 111?22 111?3.)
I-2. Volunteers (Americans) serving oversea's during the war period may receive:
a. A certificate for 200 hours or more in organized volunteer service overseas, Form 1869, (See II?1)I-3. Paid workers serving within the period January 1. 1940, to the official close of the war in chapters or on the national staff in this country may receive:
b. If eligible for this certificate, a pin or button with the inscription "Overseas." (See II?2, III?1.)
c. After 12 months of service, a ribbon bar with gold and silver stripes to designate hours of service, (See II?4, III?2, III?3.)
d. A ribbon bar to designate each theater in which the worker was assigned and. reported. for service. (see II?5, III?3.)
e. A silver sleeve bar to designate each six months of service overseas during World War II. (see II?7, III?4.)
a. A certificate for one year's satisfactory service in this country, Form 1867 or 1868. (See II?1. )Page 1 79787
b. If eligible for this certificate, a pin or button with the inscription "World War II. " ( See 11?2, III?1I-4. Paid workers ( American ) serving overseas during the war Period may receive:
c. Red sleeve bars or Chevrons to indicate years of service. ( See II?6, III-4. )
a. A certificate for one year's satisfactory service overseas, Form1869. ( See II?1.)I-5. Citizens of other countries who aided American Red Cross operations overseas may receive:
b. If eligible for this certificate, a pin or button with the inscription "Overseas." ( See II?2, III-1.)
c. A ribbon bar to designate each theater in which the worker was assigned. and reported for service.
(See II?5, III?3.)
d. A silver sleeve bar to designate each six months of service overseas during World War II. (See II?7, 111 4.)
a. A certificate for 200 hours of volunteer service or one year's satisfactory paid service, Form 1870. ( See II?1.)I-6. Workers, paid or volunteer, in this country or overseas, who died in active service with the American Red
b. A ribbon bar for 200 hours of volunteer service or one year's satisfactory paid service. ( See II?3.)
c. A silver medal for service performed "with special distinction and in an outstanding manner. ( See II-8. )
I-7. Nurses recruited or enrolled by the American
Red Cross who died during their active war service in
World War II may Ye awarded posthumously this same bronze medal (See II?8.)
II. DESCRIPTION OF CERTIFICATES, INSIGNIA, AND MEDALS
The various form of recognition available to the groups of persons listed in Section I are described below.
II-1. Certificates for workers in chapters,
for members of the national staff, both domestic and overseas,
volunteer and paid and for citizens of foreign countries who aided the American Red Cross in its
The period during which service is counted to establish eligibility
for certificates is January 1, 1940, to the official close of the war.
Since the official close of the war has not yet been announced, workers
are still rendering war service. Those certificates are awarded to volunteers
who have given 200 hours of service in this country or 200 hours of service
overseas, and to paid workers who have given satisfactory service of one
year. In the continental United States or one year overseas. Certificates
may also be awarded to others who have given effective service of special
significance of less than 200 hours or 12 months as a volunteer or
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These certificates are awarded to adult workers only. The American National Red Cross is sincere in its appreciation and commendation of the extensive work and valuable service performed by the Junior Red Cross during the Second World War. Since the measurement of Junior Red Cross services in hours, however, has never been approved and has never been imposed upon the schools, these certificates for service during World War II are not to be issued to Junior Red Cross workers.
II-2. Pins and buttons for workers in chapters and for members of
the national staff both domestic and overseas,
volunteer and paid
Those pins and buttons are available to those who receive certificates. There are two designs, one for those who served abroad, on which the word "Overseas" appears, and one for chapter workers and members of the national staff who served in this country, on which the words "World War II” appear. The resale price of these pins and buttons to chapters is 47 cents and to individuals 50 cents.
For regulations for wearing these pins and buttons, see Section, III?1.
II-3. Ribbon bar for citizens of other countries who have aided Red Cross operations abroad
This bar is presented to citizens of foreign countries who gave 200 hours of volunteer service or one year's satisfactory paid service in connection with Red Cross operations abroad. These qualifications are the same as those established for the certificate awarded to foreigners. The bar is 1 3/8in. x 1/2in., with wide blue stripes at either end broken by a narrow white stripe on each side near the center portion, which is white. Woven into the white portion is a red cross and the initials "ARC.”
II-4. Volunteer ribbon bars and stripes
The volunteer ribbon bar can be purchased by any volunteer who has been a regular worker for 12 months within the period from January 1, 1940, to the official close of the war, regardless of the hours or continuity of service, or whether the service was rendered in one or more activities. Volunteers who have served conscientiously and faithfully for a total of 12 months, and have met the requests for service made of them by the chapter, whether it be a few or many hours a week, may be considered eligible. Stripes can be affixed to the ribbon bar to denote hours of service. The resale price of these bars to chapters is 22 cents, and to individuals 25 cents, The stripes are supplied without charge.
a. Ribbon bar ? The bar is 2in. x 3/8in., woven in red taffeta with a red cross on white at the left end of the bar.Silver stripes 1/16in. wide denote 500 hours. Gold stripes 1/4in. wide denote 5000 hours. Gold stripes 1/16in. wide denote 1000 additional hours over the first 5000.
b. Stripes ? Stripes of silver and Gold are furnished to designate the number of hours a volunteer has worked:
Nine narrow silver stripes may be placed on the bar to denote 4500 hours
of service. When thr number of hours reaches 5000, the silver stripes are
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The eligibility of each volunteer to add stripes to the service ribbon bar will be determined in the cane of chapter workers as directed by the chapter chairman, for area office staff as directed by the area manager, and at national headquarters by the Service head concerned. In Volunteer Special Services, actual records of hours served will be used in determining eligibility for the silver and gold stripes.
In calculating the length of service by volunteer workers whose hours of service are not regularly recorded, estimates should be based upon the best information obtainable as to the approximate number of hours worked. Every effort should be made to give full credit to volunteer workers whose hours are?not regularly recorded.
Volunteers may count hours for stripes on volunteer service bars on the basis of service performed in activities organized by the American Red Cross or service performed in programs conducted by other agencies, providing they are specifically assigned to such duties by the Red Cross. (See the general rules contained in AM 634, November 27, 1944, and AM 662, February 5, 1945, which apply specifically to Volunteer Special Services.)
All hours served from January 1, 1940, to the official close of the war may be counted in attaching stripes. This includes hours served during the initial 12?month minimum period necessary to qualify for the volunteer ribbon bar.
The stripes are made with f langes ?which bend over the top and bottom of the ribbon. The stripes can be kept at a uniform distance from each other by placing the flanges tightly together at the back, of the bar.
II-5. Ribbon bar for American Red Cross overseas personnel to designate theaters of service
These theater bars are red, white, and blue, with the initials "ARC"
woven in blue on the left?hand red section., a red cross woven in the center
white section, and. the theater initials woven in red in the right?hand
blue section. There is a separate bar for each theater as here listed;
The bars have the same significance as the military campaign ribbon, simply indicating that a person has served in the theater of operations identified by the ribbon. A worker may have the theater ribbon bar for each theater in which he has been assigned and has reported for service.ETO European Theater
MTO Mediterranean Theater
MEO Middle East Operation
POA Pacific Ocean Area
SWP Southwest Pacific
IFO Insular and Foreign operations (includes theaters and stations not designated above)
FET Far Eastern Theatre (hand written on paper)
These bars are distributed without charge. For workers who have returned
to this country prior to overseas distribution, the bars are distributed
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II-6. Red sleeve bar and chevron to indicate years of service in the continental United States
A red bar, 3/8in. x 1 1/2"in. and a chevron, 1 1/2in. from tip to tip and 3 /8in. wide, may be worn to designate total years of' service, paid or volunteer, with the American Red Cross in the continental United States. The bar represents one?year, the chevron four years. Service time is counted from January 1, 1928. Members of a Volunteer Special Services corps are not restricted to wearing on the corps uniform only those bars and chevrons which indicate their years of service with that corps, but may wear the bars and chevrons denoting all service. The resale price of the bars is 7 cents, of the chevrons 10 cents. They are furnished without change overseas to persons who may have earned them in previous domestic service.
II-7. Silver sleeve bar to designate six month, overseas service
This bar is of silver bullion, 1/4in. wide and 1 3/8in. long, on olive drab felt background for issue to men and on Gray felt background for issue to women.' These bars are issued overseas, or upon presentation to the Supply Office at national headquarters of a memorandum from the head of the Service concerned giving actual dates of departure from and. return to the United States. This bar is issued without charge.
The expression "six months' service" is interpreted to mean actual service outside the continental limits of the United States and is dated from and including the day of actual departure through the day of actual return.
11-8. The bronze medal
The bronze medal
consists of a red cross bordered in white, surrounded by heraldic devices
to form a square. The ribbon is red, bordered with white.
The medal is awarded posthumously, as explained in Sections I?6 and I?7.
II-9. The silver medal
The silver medal
is of the same design as the bronze. It is awarded to citizens of other
countries who have assisted with special distinction and in an
outstanding manner the work of the American Red Cross oversea’s.
III. SPECIAL REGULATIONS FOR WEARING INSIGNIA
III-1. World War II service pins and buttons
These pins and buttons are intended for wear on ordinary dress only. They are not part of the uniform and cannot be worn with it.
Volunteer ribbon bars
III-2, Those bars may be worn on both uniform and ordinary dress.
They are worn over the left breast.
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Ribbons are worn over the left breast in the sequence shown below, starting on the top row nearest the center of the body and reading toward left arm. Rows of service ribbons are spaced 1/8in. apart.
III-4. Bars and chevrons for serviceArmy, Navy, or other military decorations
Decorations from foreign governments
Decorations from foreign Red Cross societies
American Red Cross 5?40 year service bars
World War I service ribbon and badge
World War II overseas ribbon bar (theater bar)
World War II volunteer ribbon bar
a. Red bars and chevrons? on women's uniforms, the first red bar is placed 31/2in. above and parallel to the end of the left sleeve. The next two red bars are placed at intervals of 1/4in. above the first. At the end of the fourth year the bars are replaced by a red chevron 5in. from the end of the sleeve, point upward. Bars for additional years are placed below the chevron at intervals. At the end of the eighth year, the bars are replaced by a second chevron, 1/4in. above the first. With short sleeves, service bars and chevrons start one inch from end of sleeve or 1/4in. above cuff on sleeve of Hospital and Recreation Corps uniform.
On men’s uniforms, the above rules apply with the exception that the first bar is placed 4in. above and parallel to the end of the left sleeve and the first chevron 51/2in. above the end of the sleeve.
b. Silver bars ? On women's suit jackets, the first silver bar is worn from and parallel to the end of the left sleeve. Upon completion of an additional six months service overseas, another silver bar may be added above the first, the space between being formed by the felt background of the bars. Additional periods of overseas service of six months each may be denoted in a similar manner.
. On men's uniforms, the same regulations obtain except that the first bar is placed 4in. above the end of the sleeve.
c. Red and silver bars worn together?If both the red bars and chevrons for service in the continental United States and the silver sleeve bars for overseas service are worn, the silver bars are worn immediately above the red bars and chevrons in accordance with instructions in The Handbook for Services to the Armed Forces (ARC 1228) and Uniforms and Uniform Regulations ? Services to the Armed Forces (ARC 1248).
Special regulations for wearing chevrons from World War I with the red and silver bars may be found in ARC 1228 and 1248.