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The Meritorious Service Medal with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster

A decorated military veteran, Sergeant Roy Bowser Jr. performed a range of administrative duties as a chief master sergeant, the highest enlisted rank in the United States Air Force. Among his other honors and awards, Sergeant Roy Bowser Jr. has a Meritorious Service Medal with a silver oak leaf cluster.

In the late 1960s, military officials conceived of the Meritorious Service Medal as a noncombat equivalent to the Bronze Star Medal, which acknowledges the outstanding actions and achievements of U.S. military members on the battlefield. President Lyndon Johnson officially recognized the Meritorious Service Medal in 1969, and President Reagan expanded its purview in 1981 to include military members of friendly foreign countries.

In terms of prestige, the Meritorious Service Medal ranks just above the Air Medal and below the Purple Heart. The military denotes additional awards of the Meritorious Service Medal by augmenting it with one through five bronze oak leaf clusters. Service members who accumulate six awards receive a silver oak leaf cluster.


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