CIVILIAN DEFENSE AWARD FOR SERVICE: United States. 1943-1945. Established 8 May 1943 by Operations Letter Number 127, signed by James M. Landis. This ribbon award was intended for volunteer members of five organizations: the Administrative Staff of the Office of Civilian Defense, the United States Citizens Defense Corps, the United States Citizens Service Corps, the Forest Fire Service, and the Civilian Evacuation Service. Qualification for the awards was based on time spent in initial qualification training, participation in exercises, regular meetings, and other activities authorized by the local Defense Council. One Defense Council, for Maplewood, New Jersey, adopted a specific formula to simplify records keeping (see Table 1).

Table 15-1.  Maplewood New Jersey Civil Defense Service Hours

Type Service Hours Credited A Month
participation in tests and demonstrations 50
serving as Defense Council Chairman 30
service as Unit Leaders and Defense Council Vice Chairmen 20
service as Assistant Leaders, Unit Secretaries, and nurses 15
other active members 10

Service was recognized by military pattern service ribbons.  The woven ribbon bars were defined by regulation as being inch high and 1 inch wide, and were issued without a means of attachment. Inspection of actual bars shows height dimensions consistent with the regulation, but a width of 1 3/8 inches. Centered on the ribbon was a Civil Defense blue disc with white triangle and red letters CD.

The ribbon was awarded in six levels based on cumulative service (see Table 2).

Table 15-2.  Civil Defense Award For Service

Service Hours Ribbon Description
500 hours white ribbon with broad red stripe on either side of the disc
1000 hours white ribbon with broad dark blue stripe on either side of the disc
2000 hours white ribbon with two narrow red stripes on either side of the disc
3000 hours white ribbon with two narrow blue stripes on either side of the disc
4000 hours white ribbon with one blue and one red narrow stripe on either side of the disc
5000 hours gold (yellow) ribbon - the triangle may have been yellow in color

Sources: United States, Office of Civilian Defense, Operations Letter No. 127 (Supplement No. 1 to Operations Letter No. 90), Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Office of Civilian Defense, 8 May 1943. Weber, Mark T. and Charles P. McDowell, "From the Council of National Defense to the Federal Emergency Management Agency: Ribbons and Medals," The Journal of the Orders and Medals Society of America: The Medal Collector, Volume 47, Number 7, August-September 1996, pages 12-21. Items 01-2-US-03 and 01-2-US-04, ribbons, Richmond, Virginia, United States of America, University of Richmond, The Physical Archive of Civil Defense.

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