NavyRifle Marksmanship Medal
Several versions of Marksmanship Ribbons are awarded by at least three branches of the United States Military services, the Air Force, the Navy and the Coast Guard. These US military medals are presented to service persons who pass a weapons qualification course and achieve an above-average score. The Navy began presenting two versions of these medals of America in 1920: one named the Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon and the other called the Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon. The pistol ribbon is currently awarded for qualification on the 9mm Beretta M9 pistol, and the rifle ribbon is awarded for qualification on the M-16 semi-automatic rifle. The Navy issues these military awards in three rankings: Marksman, Sharpshooter and Expert. These military ribbons are presented as a plain ribbon for Marksman qualification, with the Marksmanship Device added to denote Sharpshooter or Expert status.
In 1969 the Navy also began issuing military medals called the Navy Marksmanship Medal to personnel that qualify as Expert with either the M-16 semi-automatic rifle or the 9mm Beretta M9 pistol. To qualify at the expert level, a superior score must be obtained on an approved weapons qualification course. The standard weapons qualification course normally consists of several courses of fire from one handed kneeling, double handed standing, and (in the case of the M16), firing from a crouched position. A superior score, qualifying for the Marksmanship Medal, is typically 285 points out of a 300 point scale. This varies slightly depending on the awarding authority and the military command which is running a particular qualification course.
The Marksmanship Medal is worn as a full sized medal, on a dress uniform, but when worn on a duty uniform the award is displayed as the standard Marksmanship Ribbon with and Expert Device. In the U.S. Navy, the Marksmanship Medal is considered a successor decoration to the Distinguished Marksmanship Ribbon. This award was discontinued in 1960 and had been declared obsolete by 1965. The Marksmanship Medal is the equivalent of the Expert Marksmanship Badge in the Army and the Marine Corps. Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbons and Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbons are worn below the Republic of Korea War Service Medal and above the NATO Medal in the general order of precedence that the United States Navy has established for the proper display of all of its medals and ribbons. These Navy medals and ribbons can be worn as traditional full size medals, mini-medals, ribbons and lapel pins. They are available as traditional full sized medals, mini-medals, and slide on ribbons. In current times, more and more military service personnel are realizing the value to their career goals of always having their uniform decorations looking their best, and have turned to the slimmer and trimmer thin military medals and mini medals and the ultra thin ribbons to provide them with the smartest looking military award displays possible.