Created by the United States Department of War in December 1917, the Mexican Service Medal was awarded to military personnel who carried out duties against hostile Mexican parties during designated periods between 1911 and 1919 amid what is generally referred to as the Border War or Border Campaign.
Qualifying terms of duty include participation in any of the activities and/or engagements listed below:
-The Vera Cruz Expedition, dates ranging from April 24 through November 26 of 1914
-The Punitive Expedition in Mexico, dates ranging from March 14 of 1916 to February 7 or 1917
-Buena Vista, December 1 of 1917
-San Bernardino Canyon, December 26 of 1917.
-LeGrulla, TX, January 8 and 9 of 1918
-Pilares, March 28 of 1918
-Nogales, AZ, dates ranging from November 1 to November 5 of 1915 or the day of August 27 of 1918.
-El Paso, TX, June 15 and 16 of 1919
-Juarez, June 15 and 16 of 1919
-All actions and/or engagements with Mexican enemy parties that resulted in the death or injury of any United States military personnel between the dates of April 12 of 1911 and February 7 or 1917.
The Army and Navy versions of the award are not distinct; however, the appearance of the medal differs slightly between the two. The Navy’s medal features an image of the San Juan de Ulua fortress located in the harbor at Vera Cruz and text reading “MEXICO 1911-1917.” The Army’s edition, on the other hand, depicts a flowering yucca plant superimposed over a background of desert landscape and mountains. The ribbon for both is the same: a vertical stripe of blue in the central with a thin green vertical stripe on each edge and a thicker yellow stripe separating the green and the blue.
The award was limited as a one-time honor; Army members commended for notably gallant conduct were eligible to receive the Citation Star as a device. This allowance was not made for the Navy version of the award.