Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Award – Do you Qualify?

Below is the Official information taken from the Navy Awards Manual on the MILITARY OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER SERVICE MEDAL (MOVSM)

While many sailors qualify for the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal very few have actually gone through the application process and are wearing it. If you think you qualify for the MOVSM review the criteria below and contact your chain of command.

The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (MOVSM) was established by  Executive Order 12830, 9 January 1993. It may be awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States and their Reserve Components, who subsequent to 31 December 1992, perform outstanding volunteer community service of a sustained, direct and consequential nature. To qualify for award of the MOVSM a service members volunteer service must meet the following requirements:


(1) Be to the civilian community, to include the military family community.
(2) Be significant in nature and produce tangible results.
(3) Reflect favorably on the Military Service and the Department of Defense.
(4) Be of a sustained and direct nature.

While there is no specific time period to qualify for the MOVSM (for example, 500 hours of community service within 24 calendar months), approval authorities shall ensure the service to be honored merits the special recognition afforded by this medal. The MOVSM is intended to recognize exceptional community support over time and not a single act or achievement. Further, it is intended to honor direct support of community activities. For the purpose of this award, attending  membership meetings or social events of a community service group is not considered qualifying service, while manning a community crisis action telephone line is considered qualifying service.

Approval authority for award of the MOVSM will be commanders (overseas and CONUS) serving in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel or higher and colonel level commanders who exercise general court-martial authority. Before the recommendation is forwarded to the award approval authority, the recommender  must certify that the service member meets the eligibility criteria for award of the MOVSM. Substantiating documentation, such as record of hours contributed, letters or certificates from activity supervisors, or other proof of the service member’s volunteer services may be attached as enclosures to the recommendation.