Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal
Service: Navy, Marine Corps
Criteria: Meritorious service or achievement in a combat or noncombat situation based on sustained performance of a superlative nature
Devices: Bronze Letter “V” (for valor), Gold, Silver Star
Notes: Originally a ribbon only award: “Secretary of the Navy Commendation for Achievement Award with Ribbon”. Changed to present name in 1994
For heroic and meritorious achievement or service. The Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal is worn after the Joint Service Commendation Medal and before the Joint Service Achievement Medal.
The Navy and USMC Commendation Medal was originally established as a ribbon-only award on January 11, 1944. The current medal was authorized by the Secretary of the Navy on March 22, 1950. The medal is awarded for both heroism and meritorious achievement. To be awarded for heroism, the act must be worthy of recognition, but to a lesser degree than required for the Bronze Star Medal in combat or the Navy and Marine Corps Medal in a noncombat situation. To be awarded for meritorious achievement, the act must be outstanding and worthy of special recognition, but to a lesser degree than required for the Bronze Star Medal in combat or the Meritorious Service Medal or Air Medal when in a noncombat situation.
The Navy and USMC Commendation Medal was designed by the Institute of Heraldry. The medal is a bronze hexagon with the eagle from the Seal of the Department of Defense in the center. The reverse of the medal has a plaque for inscribing the recipient’s name and the raised words, “FOR MILITARY” (above the plaque) and “MERIT” (below the plaque). The ribbon is dark green with a narrow stripe of white near each edge. Additional awards of the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal are denoted by five-sixteenth inch gold stars. A Combat Distinguishing Device (Bronze letter “V”) may be authorized.