An Overseas Service Bar is a decoration of the United States Army which is displayed as an embroidered gold bar worn horizontally on the right sleeve of the U.S. Army Class A uniform. The original concept of an Overseas Bar began in the First World War with what was known as an Overseas Chevron.
An Overseas Chevron was an inverted chevron patch worn on the lower left sleeve on the standard Army dress uniform. The Overseas Chevron was identical to the Wound Chevron which was worn on the opposite right sleeve. During World War II, the Overseas Chevron was redesignated as the Overseas Bar and the patch adopted its current design of a horizontal bar. For those who had performed overseas service in both the First and Second World Wars, the Overseas Bar and Chevron were worn simultaneously.
By the time of the Vietnam War, the Overseas Service Bar had adopted its current name and the patch was now worn on the lower right sleeve, instead of the left. In the modern U.S. Army, an Overseas Service Bar is presented for serving 6 months overseas in a combat zone.
Time spent overseas is cumulative, meaning one bar could be earned for two 3 month deployments. A service member may be presented multiple Overseas Service Bars in cases where several years were spent in an overseas combat zone. Multiple Overseas Service Bars are worn simultaneously, extending vertically on the sleeve of the uniform.
The Overseas Service Bar is a separate decoration from the Overseas Service Ribbon, and regulations permit receiving both awards for the same period of service.