Researched Veterans
US Air Force Medals


Prisoner of War Medal

Awarded to any service member who was a prisoner of war after April 5, 1917. It is awarded to any person who was taken prisoner or held captive while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing Armed Force; or while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing Armed Force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. Hostages of terrorists, and persons detained by governments in which the U.S. is not actively engaged in armed conflict are not eligible for the medal. The person's conduct, while in captivity, must have been honorable. This medal may be awarded posthumously to the surviving next of kin of the recipient. Multiple awards of the Prisoner of War Medal are denoted in all branches of the military by service stars. The medal is retroactive, but not retroactive to conflicts prior to the First World War including the pre-20th century conflicts of the Spanish-American War, American Civil War, Mexican-American War, and the American Revolution.