As Jacket indicated, Commendation Medals, especially Joint Service, were rather rare 'back in the day.' It is very likely that he was extremely proud of whatever it took to be recognized for that medal. Hopefully somewhere is the actual written order that awarded it. That document would contain the details of what he did to be recognized with such.These days, I think most get one for simply serving four years. It was common in the 90s to see every soldier get either one of these (branch specific) or an AAM (Army Achievement Medal - one step lower than the Army Commendation Medal) for simply staying out of trouble during their enlistment.IIRC, every officer in my unit (and enlisted E7 and above) got a Bronze Star upon returning from the 1st Gulf War - and no one fired a shot. Rediculous.I (and about 15 others) got one (Commendation Medal) as an E3 during a Brigade field training exercise.
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