CFA 21/JUN/12-1

Project name
Proposed Department of Defense Distinguished Warfare Medal

United States

Institute of Heraldry
U.S. Department of the Army
Obverse, reverse, and ribbon designs
Review Type


Dear Mr. Mugno:

In its meeting of 21 June, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed design alternatives for a proposed Distinguished Warfare Medal under consideration by the U.S. Department of Defense. While not recommending a specific alternative, the Commission offered comments and encouraged the development of several of the submitted alternatives.

In comparing the solid and pierced forms of the various alternatives, the Commission members acknowledged that the pierced form is typically used for combat medals and suggested using the solid form for this award; the solid form would also accommodate a space on the reverse for inscription of the recipient's name. Accordingly, they supported development of the obverses in Options #1 and #2. They questioned the emphasis on technological references in some of the obverse design motifs, commenting that fast–changing technology could result in an obsolete appearance for a medal that may be awarded for many decades into the future; they therefore supported an abstract approach to the design. They suggested removing the eagle from the center of Option #1, commenting that this national symbol appears inappropriately at the center of the target configuration; they also questioned the polar orientation of mapping lines in Option #2 and suggested that an equatorial view would be more readily legible.

For the reverse, the Commission members supported the repetition of the wreath as a completion of this element from the obverse. They also supported the ribbon design of Option #2, with its emphasis on the light blue color symbolizing the Department of Defense.

The Commission looks forward to further review of submissions from the Institute of Heraldry. As always, the staff is available to assist you.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Charles V. Mugno, Director
The Institute of Heraldry
U.S. Department of the Army
9325 Gunston Road, Room S113
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060–5579