The Army of the Shenandoah Service Medal and ribbon has been conceived as an award unique to the ACWGC Union Army of the Shenandoah, and may only be issued to a current or former AotS officer under the guidelines and criteria stated herein and as stated at the Union Army Awards webpage.
This medal and the accompanying ribbon are meant to be awarded to those officers of the ACWGC Union Army of the Shenandoah who have demonstrated their abiding good service as veteran members of the AotS by having completed or attained the criteria listed below. The award should be viewed as an earned, plateau achievement of continued army membership. Officers who have earned this medal and ribbon will have done so from their demonstrated commitment to their duties and resulting sense of contribution to the good health and welfare of the ACWGC Army of the Shenandoah.
The ACWGC Army of the Shenandoah Service Medal is a morphed version of an actual Society of the Army of the Shenandoah’s badge created for that historical army’s surviving members. There are two singular differences. The ACWGC version has a red, white and blue ribbon behind the metallic portions. The actual medal had no background ribbon. The superimposed corps symbol portion of the original medal contained only a red XXII Corps badge superimposed upon a blue VIII Corps badge, the arrangement probably being custom made to reflect the owner's actual service. The ACWGC version incorporates the badges of all three corps historically associated with the Army of the Shenandoah.
The hanging corps medallion is composed of a bronze VI Corps Greek cross superimposed upon a silver XIX Corps "fan-leaved cross, with an octagon center", which is, in turn, superimposed upon a golden VIII Corps six-pointed star. The corps medallion is suspended from a brace of crossed rifles, emblazoned with three white scrolls containing the words, "Veteran," "Association" and "Survivors." The crossed rifles are suspended, in turn, from a stylized, bronzed sunrise , bordered on the semi-rounded top with an engraved "Army of the" and prominently across the bottom with an engraved "SHENANDOAH." Behind the whole extends a swallow-tailed, royal blue, white and red ribbon, the central white being the widest of the three colors.
Time in AotS Service - An officer must have “served” within the AotS, per se, a total of 6 months as an “officer in good standing;” that is, he must have, at a minimum, have provided his personal response to the monthly Muster Call for a total of 6 months, the months need not being consecutive in nature. There is no maximum time for the total number of months it may take to achieve this requirement. However, within that time there may not have been any instance of that officer having been “Hospitalized,” defined as having been legitimately assigned to the AotS Hospital by reason of three, successive months of non-contact. If that should have occurred, a new time frame for the 6-month Muster response must be started.
Returning Service - An officer returning to duty from either retirement or discharge may also be granted the AotS Service Medal by the AC, if sufficient record is found within the DoR to support any claim that might be made.
The AotS Sevice medal ribbon may be embellished with one of three metallic frames, signifying the officer's highest command achievement, or one corded gold and black border, signifying a Chief of Staff appointment. If an officer is or was an AotS division commander for the period of six months, the ribbon may display a bronze border. If an officer is or was an AotS corps command for a period of six months, the ribbon may display a silver border. If an officer is or was an AotS army commander for a period of six months, the ribbon may display a golden border. If an officer is or was a Chief of Staff for a period of six months, the ribbon may display a gold/black border. An officer will display only the higher of any command/service ranks he may have attained, a corps commander always taking precedence over a chief of staff.