War broke out in Europe on September 1, 1939. Franklin D. Roosevelt, always a leader, proclaimed a state of limited national emergency on September 8, 1939 and unlimited national emergency on May 27, 1941. As a result of this the National Guard was inducted into federal service, personnel retained, the first peacetime draft enacted, the size of the Armed Forces expanded and equipment modernized. The American Defense Medal was established on June 28, 1941 to recognize service during this period and prior to December 7, 1941. Many ribbon groups of World War Two veterans will show this award as their first service decoration. The medal may have one of several clasps. This one shows the Army's "Foreign Service." The Navy had two clasps reading "Base" and "Fleet." Sailors serving on certain vessels of the Atlantic Fleet operating against submarines were given a bronze "A." Although the American Defense medal pre-dates the entry of the United States into World War Two, it was issued during the period of the war in general and represents an important period in American history.