Army Award Memorandum Example: How to Write an Outstanding Recognition Letter

Table of contents
  1. Structure of an Army Award Memorandum
  2. Example of an Army Award Memorandum
  3. Best Practices for Writing an Army Award Memorandum
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Reflection

In the United States Army, recognition and appreciation are essential for maintaining morale and motivation among service members. One way to acknowledge outstanding performance or achievements is through an award memorandum. These formal documents serve as a testament to the recipient's dedication and excellence. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to write an exceptional army award memorandum, accompanied by examples and best practices.

Whether you are a commanding officer, a senior NCO, or an administrative specialist, understanding the intricacies of crafting a compelling award memorandum is crucial. From the structure and content to the significance of each section, this guide will equip you with the necessary knowledge to create impactful recognition letters within the military context.

Structure of an Army Award Memorandum

The typical structure of an army award memorandum includes specific elements that are essential for conveying the significance of the recognition. Understanding each component and its purpose is fundamental to creating a well-crafted document.

Heading and Date

The memorandum should begin with the official letterhead of the issuing unit or organization, including the full name and address. Below the letterhead, the date of the memorandum should be clearly indicated. This sets the formal tone and provides essential information for record-keeping purposes.

Subject and Reference

Following the date, the subject line should concisely state the purpose of the memorandum, such as "Award for Outstanding Performance" or "Commendation for Valor." Additionally, a reference line may be included to indicate any relevant orders or regulations pertaining to the award.

Opening and Body

The opening paragraph should introduce the memorandum and provide context for the recognition. It may include a brief statement on the unit's commitment to excellence or the specific criteria for the award. The body of the memorandum details the accomplishments or actions that warrant the recognition, highlighting the exemplary performance of the recipient.

Recommendation and Justification

Within the body of the memorandum, a recommendation for the award should be clearly articulated, along with a comprehensive justification for why the individual or unit deserves the recognition. This section should emphasize the impact of the actions or achievements and how they align with the army's values and mission.

Closing and Signature

The memorandum concludes with a closing paragraph that reaffirms the significance of the recognition and expresses confidence in the recipient's continued contributions. It should be followed by the signature of the issuing authority, affirming the authenticity and approval of the award.

Example of an Army Award Memorandum

Below is a hypothetical example of an army award memorandum, showcasing the application of the aforementioned structure and content:

**U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division**

Date: June 15, 2023

Subject: Award for Exceptional Leadership

Reference: Division Regulation 670-1

**Memorandum for Commanding General, 25th Infantry Division**

**From: Company Commander, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion**

**Subject: Award for Exceptional Leadership**

I. The 25th Infantry Division recognizes the exemplary leadership demonstrated by Staff Sergeant [Recipient's Full Name] during Operation Guardian Shield. His outstanding performance and unwavering dedication to mission success have significantly contributed to the operational effectiveness of Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion.


Staff Sergeant [Recipient's Last Name] is highly deserving of the Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of his exceptional leadership and steadfast commitment to the welfare of his subordinates. His actions reflect the highest standards of the U.S. Army's core values and have inspired his fellow soldiers to uphold the division's legacy of excellence.

II. I recommend approval of the Meritorious Service Medal for Staff Sergeant [Recipient's Last Name] in accordance with the criteria outlined in Division Regulation 670-1.

III. Your prompt attention to this recommendation is requested.

**John Doe**

Captain, U.S. Army

Commanding Officer, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion

25th Infantry Division

Best Practices for Writing an Army Award Memorandum

When crafting an army award memorandum, adhering to best practices can elevate the quality and impact of the recognition. Consider the following tips to ensure that your memorandum effectively conveys the significance of the award:

Be Specific and Detailed

Provide specific details of the recipient's accomplishments or actions that warrant the recognition. Highlight the impact of their contributions and the exemplary nature of their performance.

Align with Army Values

Emphasize how the recipient's actions exemplify the core values of the U.S. Army, such as loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. Showcase how they have upheld these values in their conduct.

Use Official Language and Terminology

Ensure that the language and terminology used in the memorandum align with official military standards. Maintain a professional and formal tone throughout the document.

Seek Input from Multiple Sources

Gather input and feedback from colleagues, superiors, and subordinates who have witnessed the recipient's performance. This can provide valuable insights and evidence to support the recommendation for the award.

Review and Edit Carefully

Thoroughly review the memorandum for accuracy, clarity, and coherence. Check for any errors or inconsistencies in the content, and make necessary revisions before finalizing the document.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of an army award memorandum?

The purpose of an army award memorandum is to formally recognize and acknowledge outstanding performance, achievements, and contributions within the military context. It serves as a testament to the recipient's dedication and excellence, while also providing a documented record of the recognition for official purposes.

Who can initiate an army award memorandum?

An army award memorandum can be initiated by any individual within the military chain of command who has the authority to recommend and approve awards. This may include commanding officers, senior non-commissioned officers, and administrative personnel responsible for award processing.

What are some common types of army awards and decorations?

Common types of army awards and decorations include the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal, among others. These honors are awarded to service members for acts of valor, meritorious service, and exemplary conduct.


Recognizing the exceptional contributions and sacrifices made by service members is pivotal in maintaining a strong and resilient military force. The meticulous crafting of army award memorandums serves as a tangible expression of gratitude and admiration for the invaluable efforts of soldiers. By embracing the guidelines and examples provided in this article, individuals entrusted with the task of writing award memorandums can ensure that their recognition letters resonate with authenticity and honor, upholding the spirit of appreciating excellence within the U.S. Army.

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