Navy and Marine Corps Medal
Service: Navy, Marine Corps
Criteria: Heroism not involving actual conflict with an armed enemy of the United States
Devices: Gold Star
For heroism that involves the voluntary risk of life under conditions other than those of conflict with an opposing armed force. The Navy and Marine Corps Medal is worn after the Distinguished Flying Cross and before the Bronze Star Medal.
The Navy and Marine Corps Medal was established by an Act of Congress and approved on August 7, 1942. The medal was established to recognize non-combat heroism. For acts of lifesaving, or attempted lifesaving, it is required that the action be performed at the risk of one’s own life. The Navy and Marine Corps Medal is prized above many combat decorations by those who have received it.
The Navy and Marine Corps Medal was designed by Lt. Commander McClelland Barclay, USNR. The medal is a bronze octagon with an eagle perched upon a fouled anchor. Beneath the anchor is a globe and below that is the inscription, “HEROISM” in raised letters. The reverse of the medal is blank to allow for engraving the recipient’s name. The ribbon consists of three equal stripes of navy blue, gold and scarlet - the blue-gold representing the Navy and the scarlet-gold being the Marine Corps’ official colors. Additional awards are denoted by five-sixteenth inch gold stars.