The NAVY was somewhat remiss in awarding ribbons, badges, etc during the Vietnam Conflict era. Especially in regards to the awarding of the Combat Action Ribbon after '65 (it was not available/issued prior to 65). This is unfortunate because if one is eligible and awarded it they receive "head of the line privileges" for veterans medical treatment and benefits.
There are at least two ways to apply for issuance of medals:
The first is to write a short letter to:
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
NAVY PERSONAL COMMAND
RETIRED RECORDS SECTION (PERS 312D2)
9700 PAGE AVENUE
ST LOUIS MO 63132-5100
and request a review of your records for the possible award of medals, buttons, etc and an amendment to your DD-214, specifically asking for eligibility for the Combat Action Ribbon. Including a copy of your old DD-214 and a short history of assignments will facilitate your request.
The other way is to go to the Veteran Service Office in your county/parish etc. of residence and request the form , APPLICATION FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORD, DD FORM 149.
Doing both is a good idea as it gives you two chances (different review boards) to be awarded medals, citations, etc. that you are ENTITLED to. You may be surprised at your issuance of other awards as well, some that most of us are unaware of.
A good source of reference is DOD 1348.33-M Manual of Military Decorations, available on web site http://usmilitary.about.com/od/publicationsregulations/p/m1348.33.htm.
Submitted by Warren Canfield