Army unit awards are the Army Presidential Unit Citation, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Valorious Unit Award, Army Meritorious Unit Award, Army Superior Unit Award, Phillipine Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation and the Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation. Awards are given to motivate the army and to recognize excellence.
In addition to unit awards, the Army rewards many individuals with awards such as the Purple Heart, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Army Commendation Medal and the Soldier's Medal. There are medals related to specific wars and missions, such as World War I or the Cuban Occupation.
The highest unit award, the Army Presidential Unit Citation, is awarded for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy. The action must have occurred after Dec. 7, 1941, and the award is current as of Oct. 2014, and the award requires the same level of heroism as the Distinguished Service Cross to be granted.
Awards for the U.S. Army were first used during the Spanish-American War, with the combat awards being distributed much more in World War I. The Medal of Honor is the most significant award in the U.S. Military, but it is awarded to members of all branches, not just the Army.