The Army Overseas Service Ribbon was first issued in August 1981. It is presented to any member of the United States Army who completes a standard overseas tour of duty. In the 11 December 2006 revision of AR 600-8-22 (Military Awards), the Army eliminated the policy which had restricted the awarding of the Overseas Service Ribbon when another campaign or service medal is awarded.
Additional awards of the Army Overseas Service Ribbon are denoted by award numerals. For those Army service members performing overseas duty prior to 1981, the Army Overseas Service Ribbon may be awarded retroactively, provided that a service member was on active duty subsequent to 1981.