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MyMilitaryMedals.com Blog

Defense Superior Service Medal

September 24th 2010 - 4:02 pm

On February 6, 1976 President Ford issued an Executive Order creating the Defense Superior Service Medal as one of the Defense Department awarded medals of America.  These US military medals are presented by the Department of Defense as a senior award to members of the U.S. military for superior meritorious service in a position of significant responsibility.  These military medals are generally awarded to flag and general officer grades in each of the 5 branches of service in the name of the Secretary of Defense. In the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all military awards, the Defense Superior Service Medal is worn just below the Silver Star and just above the Legion of Merit. These military ribbons and medals use the same design as the Defense Distinguished Service Medals, but are finished in silver instead of gold. The Defense Superior Service Medal can be worn as traditional full size military medals and mini medals, military ribbons and lapel pins.  Like most military medals, they are available as traditional slide-on, full size military medals or mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons.  Nowadays however, 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 military ribbons to provide them with the smartest looking military award displays possible.


Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal

September 22nd 2010 - 9:19 am

The Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal was authorized by Congress in August of 1949.  Since Congress recognized different types and degrees of heroism and meritorious service, it created separate versions of the Distinguished Service Medal for each branch of service and a fifth version recognizes US Department of Defense personnel contributions.  Until the Coast Guard got its own version, their personnel were awarded the Navy version of the Distinguished Service Medal.  These medals of America were to be awarded by the President to persons who distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility in time of war or in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States.  It takes much more than just exceptional performance of normal duty to justify award of these US military medals, which is why they are relatively rare. The term "duty of a great responsibility" applies to a narrower range of positions when the US is not at war, than in time of war, and requires evidence of conspicuously significant achievement.  However, justification for award of these Coast Guard ribbons and medals may accrue by virtue of exceptionally meritorious service in a succession of high positions of great importance.  Under exceptional circumstances, and with the express approval of the President, these military medals are occasionally awarded for wartime services to persons who are not members of the US Armed Forces. Until 2003, the bestowing authority of the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal was the United States Secretary of Transportation.  In 2003 the Coast Guard was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security, and they now authorize the presentation of these Coast Guard medals.  Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medals are normally only bestowed to senior or flag officers, such as the Commandant of the Coast Guard.   However, in 1998, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Rick Trent became the first enlisted member to receive the medal.  These military medals are worn below the Army, Navy, Air Force and Defense Department versions of the Distinguished Service Cross and above the Silver Stars awarded by each branch of service, in the general order of precedence which has been established for the proper display of all military ribbons and medals.  Additional awards of these military medals are denoted by Gold Award Stars.   These military awards are generally available as traditional full size military medals and mini medals, military ribbons and lapel pins.  Like most military awards, they are available as traditional slide-on, full size military medals or mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons.  In more recent times and the sleek new thin military medals, mini-medals and the ultra thin military ribbons have garnered a wide following with military personnel who have realized the importance of always looking their best to enhance their chances of advancement in their respective military services.


Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

September 21st 2010 - 4:02 pm

The Air Force Distinguished Service Medal was authorized by Congress in 1960.  Congress recognized different types and degrees of heroism and meritorious service and included provisions for award criteria.  The Air Force version is one of the newer of the four service branch Distinguished Service Medals, and the fifth and newest version recognizes US Department of Defense personnel contributions.  Until 1960, Air Force personnel were awarded the Army version of the Distinguished Service Medal.  These US military medals were to be awarded by the President to persons who distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility in time of war or in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States.  It takes more than exceptional performance of normal duty to justify the presentation of one of these unique medals of America, and relatively few potential candidates ever earn one. The term "duty of a great responsibility" applies to a narrower range of positions when the US is not at war, than in time of war, and requires evidence of conspicuously significant achievement.  However, justification for these Air Force ribbons and medals may accrue by virtue of exceptionally meritorious service in a succession of high positions of great importance.  Under exceptional circumstances, and with the express approval of the President, these military medals are occasionally awarded for wartime services to persons who are not members of the US Armed Forces. Air Force Distinguished Service Medals are normally only bestowed to senior to officers who hold at least the rank of Major General.  However, as is customary for most Air Force medals, the requirements for the Distinguished Service Medal are interpreted more liberally when awarded upon retirement.  As a result, it is the typical decoration for a retiring Brigadier General, and in recent years it has also been awarded to the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force upon retirement. These military medals are worn below the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Defense Department versions of the Distinguished Service Cross and above the Silver Stars awarded by each branch of service, in the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all military ribbons and medals.  Additional awards of these military medals are denoted by Oak Leaf Clusters.   These military awards are generally available as traditional full size military medals and mini medals, military ribbons and lapel pins.  They are available as traditional full size military medals or mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons; or the newer thin mini-medals, and ultra thin military ribbons that have become so very popular among up and coming military personnel who know how important it is to their career advancement to always maximize the neatness and smartness of their uniform appearance.


Navy Distinguished Service Medal

September 20th 2010 - 5:49 am

The Navy Distinguished Service Medal was authorized by Presidential Order and confirmed by Congress in 1919.  Congress recognized different types and degrees of heroism and meritorious service and included provisions for award criteria.  Separate versions of the Distinguished Service Medal exist for each branch of service and a separate much newer version recognizes US Department of Defense personnel contributions.  These US military medals were to be awarded by the President to persons who distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility in time of war or in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States.  Exceptional performance of normal duty will not alone justify the award of one of these outstanding medals of America. The Navy version of the Distinguished Service Medal is also awarded to Marine Corps personnel.  The term "duty of a great responsibility" applies to a narrower range of positions when the US is not at war, than in time of war, and requires evidence of conspicuously significant achievement.  However, justification for these Navy ribbons and medals may accrue by virtue of exceptionally meritorious service in a succession of high positions of great importance.  Under exceptional circumstances, and with the express approval of the President, these military medals are occasionally awarded for wartime services to persons who are not members of the US Armed Forces. Navy Distinguished Service Medals are normally only bestowed to senior Navy Flag and Marine Corps General Officers.  These Navy medals are rarely awarded to enlisted personnel, and then only to those who hold extremely senior enlisted positions such as the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy.  The Navy Distinguished Service Medal was originally senior to the Navy Cross, until August 1943 when the precedence of the two decorations was reversed.  These military medals are worn below the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and Defense Department versions of the Distinguished Service Cross and above the Silver Stars awarded by each branch of service, in the general order of precedence that has been established for the display of all military ribbons and medals.  Additional awards of these military medals are denoted by Gold Award Stars.   These military awards are generally available as traditional full size military medals and mini medals, military ribbons and lapel pins.  They are available as traditional slide-on, full size military medals or mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons.  Nowadays however, 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 military ribbons to provide them with the smartest looking military award displays possible.


Army Distinguished Service Medal

September 19th 2010 - 7:26 pm

The Army Distinguished Service Medal was authorized by Presidential Order and confirmed by Congress in July of 1918.  Congress recognized different types and degrees of heroism and meritorious service and included provisions for award criteria.  Separate versions of the Distinguished Service Medal exist for each branch of service and a fifth, the most recent version, recognizes US Department of Defense personnel contributions.  These US military medals were to be awarded by the President to persons who distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility in time of war or in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States.  Exceptional performance of normal duty will not alone justify award of one of these unique medals of America decorations. These Army  medals are typically referred to simply as the "Distinguished Service Medal" while the other branches of service use the service name as a prefix.  The term "duty of a great responsibility" applies to a narrower range of positions when the US is not at war, than in time of war, and requires evidence of conspicuously significant achievement.  However, justification of these military medals may accrue by virtue of exceptionally meritorious service in a succession of high positions of great importance.  Under exceptional circumstances, and with the express approval of the President, these Army ribbons and medals are occasionally awarded for wartime services to persons who are not members of the US Armed Forces. The Army Distinguished Service Medal is worn below the Army, Navy and Air Force versions of the Distinguished Service Cross and above the Silver Stars awarded by each branch of service, in the order of precedence for all military ribbons and medals.  Additional awards of these military medals are denoted by Oak Leaf Clusters.   These military awards are generally available as traditional full size military medals and mini medals, military ribbons and lapel pins.  They are available as traditional slide-on, full size military medals or mini-medals, slide-on military ribbons, and the newer thin military medals, mini-medals and ribbons which are greatly valued for their sleeker appearance.


Army Distinguished Service Cross

September 14th 2010 - 1:22 pm

The Army Distinguished Service Cross was created by President Woodrow Wilson at the beginning of 1918 at the request of General Pershing, Commander-In-Chief of the Expeditionary Forces France.  These US military medals are the second highest award issued by the US Army and they are presented to Army personnel who, while serving in any capacity with the Army, distinguish themselves by extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of a Medal of Honor; while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing/foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing Armed Force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.  The act or acts of heroism leading to these unique medals of America must have been so notable and have involved risk of life so extraordinary as to set these individuals apart from their comrades. During World War I, 6,309 awards of the Distinguished Service Cross were made to 6,185 recipients.  Eddie Rickenbacker, the top U.S. ace of the war, was awarded a record eight of these military medals, one of which was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor.  Two recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross during World War I went on to earn the Medal of Honor in World War II - Major Theodore Roosevelt Jr., son of the former President, and Douglas MacArthur.  During World War II, just over 5,000 awards were made.  A number of recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross in earlier conflicts were again honored in World War II. Three recipients of two Distinguished Service Crosses in World War I - Douglas MacArthur, Hanford MacNider, and Harry H. Semmes - received their third in World War II, and George S. Patton, Jr., won his second Distinguished Service Cross.  In the Korean War, there were just over 800 awards, of which over 300 were posthumous.  Ten World War II recipients received a second Distinguished Service Cross in Korea.  There were just over 1,000 awards in the Vietnam War, almost 400 of which were posthumous.  One World War II recipient, William DePuy, and two Korean War recipients, Richard E. Cavazos and Ralph Puckett, Jr., received a second Distinguished Service Cross in Vietnam.  Since Vietnam, as of May 2009, 19 Distinguished Service Crosses have been awarded - five during Operation Enduring Freedom and thirteen in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Army regulations provide for a 10% increase in retired pay for enlisted personnel who have retired with more than 20 years of service if they have been awarded the Army Distinguished Service Cross.  These military medals are worn below the Medal of Honor, and above the Distinguished Service Medals of all branches in the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all US military ribbons and medals.  Multiple awards are denoted by Oak Leaf Clusters.   These military awards are generally available as traditional full size military medals and mini medals, military ribbons and lapel pins.  Like most military medals, they are available as traditional full size military medals or mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons.  Nowadays however, 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 military ribbons to provide them with the smartest looking military award displays possible.


North Atlantic Traety Org. Non-Article Five Medal

September 13th 2010 - 7:21 pm

The world wide distribution of the Non-Article Five Medals are wll known and widely ditributed. These medals and service ribbons are not US military medals, but foreign awards, and unlike the medals of America, they are presented by the authority of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  These military medals are a specific issue for service in the Balkans after the beginning of 2003.  For U.S. Forces, eligibility for these military medals for the Balkans requires service of 30 days either continuous or accumulated.  Aircrew members will receive credit for only one day of service for the first sortie flown during any day of the operation, toward these military ribbons and medals.  The Balkans area is delineated as the political boundaries and airspace of  Bosnia-Hersegovina, Croatia, Yugoslavia (including Kosovo), the Republic of Macedonia and Albania.  Service members who are entitled to more than one NATO medal during the same period will only be awarded one NATO Medal. The NATO chain of command will deem which military awards are appropriate. There are other NATO medals approved for US service persons including the Kosovo Medal, the NATO Meritorious Service Medal to name just two.  The multiple award insignia that NATO has authorized to be worn on these medals are not always approved by the US military which prefers the display of the more traditional stars for additional awards.  The NATO Non-Article Five Medal is worn as the lowest ranking medal or ribbon in the general order of precedence that the US military has established for the proper display of all of its medals and ribbons.  These military awards can be worn as traditional full size military medals and mini medals, military ribbons and lapel pins.  Like all military decorations available from commercial suppliers they are available as traditional slide-on, full size military medals, mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons.  Nowadays however, 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 military ribbons to provide them with the smartest looking military award displays possible.


NATO Kosovo Medal

September 12th 2010 - 5:04 am

NATO Kosovo Medals are not US military medals, but foreign awards, and unlike the medals of America, they are presented by the authority of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  These military medals were authorized by the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for Kosovo operations, and the US Secretary of Defense approved US service personnel to wear these military medals in October of 1998.  Service personnel must provide 30 days of continuous or accumulated service to be eligible for these military ribbons and medals, and that service must be in one of the approved Kosovo operations, which are known by the following campaign names:  Allied Force, Joint Guardian, Allied Harbor, Sustain Hope and Shinning Hope, Noble Anvil, Hawk, Saber, Falcon, and Hunter.  Additional military awards for service in other NATO operations may be denoted by attaching a Bronze Service Star or approved Campaign Clasp, though the regulations are quite specific and prohibit the display of some NATO issued insignia in favor of more traditional US military stars.  The NATO Kosovo Medal is worn below the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and above the NATO Non-Article Five Medal in the general order of precedence that has been established for the display of all military medals and ribbons.  These military awards can be worn as traditional full size military medals and mini medals, military ribbons and lapel pins.  They are available from commercial military insignia suppliers as traditional slide-on, full size military medals, mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons.  In more recent times the sleek new thin military medals, mini-medals and the ultra thin military ribbons have garnered a wide following with military personnel who have realized the importance of always looking their best to enhance their chances of advancement in their respective military services.


NATO Medal

September 11th 2010 - 9:00 am

NATO Medals are not US military medals, but foreign awards, and unlike the medals of America, they are presented by the authority of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  There are currently ten versions of these military medals in existence.  These military medals honor service in Yugoslavia, Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia, Article 5 operations Eagle Assist and Active Endeavor, and Non-Article 5 NATO operations ISAF, Balkans, NTM-Iraq and Pakistan.  In the USA, NATO medals authorized for wear include the NATO Medal for Former Yugoslavia, the NATO Medal for Kosovo Service, both of the Article 5 Medals, the Non-Article 5 medals for the Balkans and Afghanistan (ISAF), The NATO Meritorious Service Medal and the Macedonia NATO Medal and the Non-Article 5 Medal for service in Iraq, under the NTM-I.  There are some NATO medal versions that have special requirements.  For U.S. Forces, eligibility for the Non-Article 5 Medal for the Balkans remains the same as those previous NATO medals with the exception of the dates of service.  Military personnel entering the Balkans during or after January 2003 must provide 30 days of continuous or accumulated service to be eligible for the Non-Article 5 medal.  Aircrew members will only be credited for one day of service for the first sortie flown during any day of the operation. Service members who are entitled to more than one NATO medal during the same period will only be awarded one NATO Medal. The NATO chain of command will deem which medal is appropriate. NATO Medals for Service with ISAF are issued with the ISAF clasp for service in Afghanistan and the NTM-1 clasp for service in Iraq for NATO forces.  However, for U.S. Forces the eligibility for the Non-Article 5 Medal for service with the ISAF are for members of units or staffs as set out in the Joint Operations Area taking part in operations in Afghanistan.  The service must be a minimum of 30 days either continuous or accumulated, from June 2003 to May 2009. The NATO Meritorious Service Medal is now authorized for wear on U.S. Military uniforms.  These military medals and ribbons were first awarded in 2003 to commend NATO staff whose personal initiative and dedication went beyond their required duties to make a difference both to their colleagues, and to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as a whole.  There are several criteria taken into consideration in presenting these awards: the performance of acts of courage in difficult or dangerous circumstances; showing exceptional leadership or personal example; making an outstanding individual contribution to a NATO sponsored program or activity; or enduring particular hardship or deprivation endured while advancing the interests of NATO. Different patterns are used to differentiate between all the various military ribbons and medals issued by NATO.  All these military awards except the Macedonian medals have corresponding Campaign Clasps.  However, the US prohibits wearing them and has authorized Service Stars to indicate additional awards of NATO medals.   These NATO medals are normally worn below the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and above the Kosovo NATO Medal in the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all military medals and ribbons.  These military awards can be worn as traditional full size military medals and mini medals, military ribbons and lapel pins.  They are available as traditional slide-on, full size military medals, mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons.  Nowadays however, 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 military ribbons to provide them with the smartest looking military award displays possible.


Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal

September 10th 2010 - 5:40 pm

The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal was created by George H.W. Bush in January of 1993 as one of the newest medals of America, but was not issued until December of that same year.  These US military medals honor active duty, reserve and National Guard military personnel who perform substantial volunteer service to the local community above and beyond the duties required as a member of the United States Armed Forces.  This volunteer service must contribute in a sustained and direct way towards the well-being of the civilian community and must produce tangible results which reflect favorably on the military service and the US Department of Defense.  Volunteering for Emergency Services, Habitat for Humanity, and other such community enhancing services are examples of the wide variety of efforts that would be considered for eligibility for receiving these military medals and ribbons.  There is no minimum time requirement for earning the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, but generally the volunteer service must exceed three years, or 100 hours of service time. The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal has no official citation attached, but most Commanders present personal letters commending the recipients of these military awards.  Multiple awards of these military medals are denoted by Service Stars.  These military medals and ribbons are worn below all service specific military awards and above the NATO medal in the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all military decorations.  These military awards can be worn as traditional full size military medals, mini medals, military ribbons and lapel pins.  They are available as traditional slide-on, full size military medals or mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons; or in the newer, custom thin mini-medals and ultra thin military ribbons which are being embraced by members of the modern military who value their sleeker appearance as a competitive edge that promotes their advancement through the ranks of their respective services.


Coast Guard Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon

September 8th 2010 - 7:28 pm

Some type of marksmanship ribbon is awarded by three of the Unites States service branches: the Air Force, the Navy and the Coast Guard.  These medals of America are awarded to service persons who pass a weapons qualification course and achieve an above-average score.  The Coast Guard established two US military medals to reward superior marksmanship: one named the Coast Guard Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon and the other called the Coast Guard Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon.  The pistol ribbon is currently awarded for qualification on the 40 cal SIG-Sauer P229R DAK pistol, and the rifle ribbon is awarded for qualification on the M-16 semi-automatic rifle.  The Coast Guard issues these military medals 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.  The Coast Guard also issues military medals called the Coast Guard Marksmanship Medal to personnel that qualify as Expert with either the M-16 semi-automatic rifle or the .40 cal SIG-Sauer P229R DAK 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.  The Marksmanship Medal is the equivalent of the Expert Marksmanship Badge in the Army and the Marine Corps.  Coast Guard Rifle Marksmanship Ribbons and Pistol Marksmanship Ribbons are worn below the Republic of Korea War Service Medal and above the Outstanding Volunteer Service Ribbon in the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all Coast Guard medals and ribbons.  These Coast Guard medals and ribbons can be worn in traditional full size medals, mini-medals, ribbons and lapel pins.  They are generally available from commercial suppliers of military insignia as traditional full size medals, mini-medals, and slide-on ribbons.  Nowadays however, 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 military ribbons to provide them with the smartest looking military award displays possible.


Coast Guard Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon

September 7th 2010 - 7:19 am

Various United States military services award Marksmanship medals and ribbons, including the Air Force, the Navy and the Coast Guard.  These medals of America are awarded to service persons who pass a weapons qualification course and achieve an above-average score.  The Coast Guard has established two US military medals for marksmanship: one named the Coast Guard Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon and the other called the Coast Guard Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon.  The pistol ribbon is currently awarded for qualification on the a .40 cal SIG-Sauer P229R DAK pistol, and the rifle ribbon is awarded for qualification on the M-16 semi-automatic rifle.  The Coast Guard issues these military medals 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.  The Coast Guard also issues military medals called the Coast Guard Marksmanship Medal to personnel that qualify as Expert with either the M-16 semi-automatic rifle or the .40 cal SIG-Sauer P229R DAK 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.  The Marksmanship Medal is the equivalent of the Expert Marksmanship Badge in the Army and the Marine Corps.  Coast Guard Rifle Marksmanship Ribbons and Pistol Marksmanship Ribbons are worn below the Republic of Korea War Service Medal and above the Outstanding Volunteer Service Ribbon in the general order of precedence that the United States Coast Guard has established for the proper display of all of its authorized medals and ribbons.  These Coast Guard medals and ribbons can be worn in traditional full size medals, mini-medals, ribbons and lapel pins.  They are available as traditional full sized medals, mini-medals, and slide-on ribbons, or in the newer, custom thin mini-medals and ultra thin military ribbons which are being embraced by members of the modern military who value their sleeker appearance as a competitive edge that promotes their advancement through the ranks of their respective services.


The Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon

September 6th 2010 - 4:14 pm

Some variations of Marksmanship Ribbons are awarded by the Air Force, the Navy and the Coast Guard to servicepersons who pass a weapons qualification course and achieve an above-average score.  The Navy began awarding two slightly different US military medals for marksmanship1920: one named the Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon and the other called the Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon.  The first of these medals of America, the pistol ribbon, is currently awarded for qualification on the 9mm Beretta M9 pistol, and the second, the rifle ribbon, is awarded for qualification on the M-16 semi-automatic rifle.  The Navy issues these military medals 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 has been established for the proper display of all Navy medals and ribbons.