Decorations and Awards of the U.S. Naval and Maritime Services

This listing is arranged in order of precedence to conform to the uniform regulations of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Merchant Marine that was in effect at the end of 1945.  Each ribbon and the devices displayed on this page is in correct proportions of those used by the naval and maritime services during the Second World War.  All ribbons of the naval and maritime services are 1/2 inch in width by 1-3/8 inches in length.  The ribbons for the Gold and Silver Lifesaving Medals, which are awards presented by the Treasury Department, are 1/2 inch in width by 2 inches in length.  Detailed information for each decoration and award is available at the hyperlinked text.  If applicable, notes below each decoration or award provide information on which devices were authorized for wear on the respective ribbon.  These devices are described at the bottom of this page.

United States Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Medal of Honor     Marine Corps Brevet Medal     Navy Cross     Distinguished Service Cross     Distinguished Service Medal  
MEDAL OF HONOR MARINE CORPS BREVET MEDAL NAVY CROSS DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS  DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL
- NOTES: 1 & 2     -     NOTE: 1     NOTE: 2     NOTE: 1 -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Distinguished Service Medal     Legion of Merit     Silver Star     Distinguished Flying Cross     Navy and Marine Corps Medal  
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL LEGION OF MERIT SILVER STAR DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS NAVY AND MARINE CORPS MEDAL
- NOTE: 2     NOTES: 1 & 9 & 11     NOTES: 1 & 2     NOTES: 1 & 2     NOTE: 1 -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Soldier's Medal     Bronze Star     Air Medal     Navy Commendation     Coast Guard Commendation  
SOLDIER'S MEDAL BRONZE STAR AIR MEDAL NAVY COMMENDATION COAST GUARD COMMENDATION
- NOTE: 2     NOTES: 1 & 2 & 11     NOTES: 1 & 2     NOTES: 3 & 11     NOTES: 3 & 11 -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Purple Heart - - Specially Meritorious Service Medal - - Presidential Unit Citation -   Navy Unit Commendation     American Typhus Commission Medal  
PURPLE HEART SPECIALLY MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION AMERICAN TYPHUS COMMISSION MEDAL
- NOTES: 1 & 2     -     NOTE: 5     NOTE: 3     - -
- - - - - - - - -
  Gold Lifesaving Medal     Silver Lifesaving Medal     Dewey Medal  
GOLD LIFESAVING MEDAL SILVER LIFESAVING MEDAL DEWEY MEDAL
- -     -     - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Sampson Medal     Perry Polar Expedition Medal     NC-4 Medal     Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal     Seconf Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal  
SAMPSON MEDAL PERRY POLAR EXPEDITION MEDAL NC-4 MEDAL BYRD ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION MEDAL SECOND BYRD ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION MEDAL
- -     -     -     -     - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  U.S. Antarctic Expedition Medal     Civil War Campaign Medal     Indian Campaign Medal     Navy Expeditionary Medal     Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal  
UNITED STATES ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION MEDAL CIVIL WAR CAMPAIGN MEDAL INDIAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL NAVY EXPEDITIONARY MEDAL MARINE CORPS EXPEDITIONARY MEDAL
- -     -     -     NOTES: 4 & 8     NOTES: 4 & 8 -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Spanish Campaign Medal   - Spanish War Service Medal     Cuban Occupation Medal     Puerto Rican Occupation Medal     Philippine Campaign Medal  
SPANISH CAMPAIGN MEDAL SPANISH WAR SERVICE MEDAL CUBAN OCCUPATION MEDAL PUERTO RICAN OCCUPATION MEDAL PHILIPPINE CAMPAIGN MEDAL
- -     -     -     -     - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Philippine Congressional Medal     Chine Relief Expedition Medal     Cuban Pacification Medal     Nicaraguan Campaign Medal   - Mexican Service Medal  
PHILIPPINES CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL CHINA RELIEF EXPEDITION MEDAL CUBAN PACIFICATION MEDAL NICARAGUAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL MEXICAN SERVICE MEDAL
- -     -     -     -     - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Hatian Campaign Medal (1915)     Mexican Border Service Medal     Doninican Campaign Medal     World War I Victory Medal     Occupation of Germany Medal  
HAITIAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL 1915 MEXICAN BORDER SERVICE MEDAL DOMINICAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL WORLD WAR I VICTORY MEDAL OCCUPATION OF GERMANY MEDAL
- NOTE: 4     -     -     NOTES: 3 & 10     - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Hatian Campaign Medal     Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal (1919-1920)     Yangtze Service Medal     China Service Medal     American Defense Service Medal  
HAITIAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL 1919-1920 SECOND NICARAGUAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL YANGTZE SERVICE MEDAL CHINA SERVICE MEDAL AMERICAN DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL
- -     -     -     -     NOTES: 3 & 7 -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Wonen's Army Corps Service Medal     American Campaign Medal     European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal     Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal     World War II Victory Medal  
WOMEN'S ARMY CORPS SERVICE MEDAL AMERICAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL EUROPEAN-AFRICAN-MIDDLE EASTERN CAMPAIGN MEDAL ASIATIC-PACIFIC CAMPAIGN MEDAL WORLD WAR II VICTORY MEDAL
- -     NOTE: 3     NOTE: 3     NOTE: 3     - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Philippine Defense Medal     Philippine Liberation Medal     Reserve Special Commendation Ribbon     Navy Good Conduct Medal     Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal  
PHILIPPINE DEFENSE MEDAL PHILIPPINE LIBERATION MEDAL RESERVE SPECIAL COMMENDATION NAVY GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL MARINE CORPS GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL
- -     NOTE: 3     -     NOTE: 3     NOTE: 6 -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Army Good Conduct Medal   - Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal     Bailey Medal -   Naval Reserve Medal     Organized Marine Corps Reserve Medal  
ARMY GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL   COAST GUARD GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL BAILEY MEDAL NAVAL RESERVE MEDAL ORGANIZED MARINE CORPS RESERVE MEDAL
- -     NOTE: 3     -     NOTE: 3     NOTE: 3 -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Medal for Merit     Navy Distinguished Marksman and Pistol Shot Ribbon     Navy Expert Rifleman Ribbon     Navy Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon     Coast Guard Distinguished Marksman and Pistol Shot Ribbon  
MEDAL FOR MERIT NAVY DISTINGUISHED MARKSMAN AND PISTOL SHOT NAVY EXPERT RIFLEMAN NAVY EXPERT PISTOL SHOT COAST GUARD DISTINGUISHED MARKSMAN AND PISTOL SHOT
- -     -     -     -     - -
- - - - - -  
  Coast Guard Expert Rifleman Ribbon     Coast Guard Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon  
COAST GUARD EXPERT RIFLEMAN COAST GUARD EXPERT PISTOL SHOT
- -     -  

United States Merchant Marine

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal     Merchant Marine Meritorious Service Medal     Gallant Ship Citation     Merchant Marine Mariner's Medal     Merchant Marine Combat Bar  
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL GALLANT SHIP CITATION MARINER'S MEDAL COMBAT BAR
- NOTE: 1     NOTE: 1     NOTE: 12     NOTE: 1     NOTE: 13 -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Merchant Marine Defense Medal     Merchant Marine Atlantic War Zone Medal     Merchant Marine Mediterranean Middle-East War Zone Medal     Merchant Marine Pacific War Zone Medal     Merchant Marine Victory Medal  
DEFENSE MEDAL ATLANTIC WAR ZONE MEDAL MEDITERRANEAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN WAR ZONE MEDAL PACIFIC WAR ZONE MEDAL VICTORY MEDAL
- -     -     -     -     - -

Authorized Devices for Decorations and Awards

-
  Large Gold and Silver Star Devices   1. LARGE GOLD AND SILVER STAR DEVICES: A 1/4 inch gold star is presented in lieu of additional awards of the same decoration.  The first star authorized to be worn shall be centered upon the ribbon. If more than one star is worn, they shall be placed in a horizontal line close to and symmetrically about the center of the ribbon..  In lieu of five such stars, one silver star of the same dimensions will be worn on the ribbon in the same manner prescribed for gold stars.  
-
  Oak Leaf Cluster   2. BRONZE AND SILVER OAK LEAF CLUSTER DEVICES: A bronze oak leaf cluster device, 13/32 inches in length, presented by the Army in lieu of additional awards of the same Army or Navy decoration shall be worn, centered on the ribbon of such decoration.  If more than one oak leaf cluster is worn, they shall be placed in a horizontal line close to and symmetrically about the center of the ribbon..  In lieu of five bronze oak leaf clusters, one silver oak leaf cluster of the same dimensions will be worn in the same manner prescribed for bronze oak leaf clusters.  
-
  Small Bronze and Silver Star Devices     3. BRONZE AND SILVER STAR DEVICES: Bronze stars are authorized to be worn upon the ribbon bars of the Navy Commendation, Coast Guard Commendation, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Good Conduct Medal, Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal, Naval Reserve Medal, and Organized Marine Corps Reserve Medal to denote additional awards.  Bronze stars shall also be worn on campaign and service medals to denote participation in recognized engagements.  Such device shall be 3/16 inches in diameter.  The first star authorized to be worn shall be centered upon the ribbon. If more than one star is worn, they shall be placed in a horizontal line close to and symmetrically about the center of the ribbon.  In lieu of five such stars, one silver star of the same dimensions will be worn on the ribbon in the same manner prescribed for bronze stars.  
-
  Large Bronze Star Device   4. LARGE BRONZE STAR DEVICE: A 1/4 inch bronze star shall be worn centered on the Navy Expeditionary Medal and the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal to denote additional awards.  This same device shall also be worn on the Haitian Campaign Medal for those authorized to wear this award for both the 1915 and 1919-1920 campaigns.  
-
  Large Blue Star Device   5. LARGE BLUE STAR DEVICE: A 1/4 inch blue star shall be worn on the Presidential Unit Citation by participants in cited actions.  The first star authorized to be worn shall be centered upon the ribbon. If more than one star is worn, they shall be placed in a horizontal line close to and symmetrically about the center of the ribbon.  
-
  Number Device   6. BRONZE NUMBER DEVICE: A 3/16 inch bronze number device shall be worn on the ribbon of the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal indicating the number of bars awarded.  
-
  'A' Device   7. BRONZE "A" DEVICE: The bronze letter "A" is authorized to be worn on the ribbon of the American Defense Service Medal by personnel of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard who served on prescribed vessels operating in actual or potential belligerent contact with the Axis forces in the Atlantic Ocean between 23 June and 7 December 1941.  Such letter shall be 1/4 inch in height and shall be worn centered on the ribbon. When the "A" is worn, no star shall be worn upon the ribbon.  
-
  'W' Device   8. SILVER "W" DEVICE: A silver letter "W" is authorized for wear on the service ribbon of the Navy Expeditionary Medal or Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal for those who served in the defense of Wake Island from 7 to 22 December 1941.  Such letter shall be 1/4 inch in height and shall be worn centered on the ribbon.  
-
  Chief Commander Level   9. LEGION OF MERIT DEGREE DEVICES: The Legion of Merit is awarded in four distinct degrees, three of which have distinguishing devices, while the fourth has no distinguishing device.  The device for the most senior, that of "Chief Commander," consists of a gold miniature of the medal centered on a gold bar.  The next degree, that of "Commander," consists of a silver miniature of the medal centered on a silver bar.  The last degree for which a device is authorized if that of "Officer."  The distinctive device for that degree is a gold miniature of the medal.  In all cases, these distinguishing devices are to be worn centered on the ribbon, and when worn, no other types of devices shall be worn upon the ribbon.  For those with multiple awards of different degrees, only the device for the most senior award will be worn.  
Commander Level
Officer Level
-
  Maltese Cross   10. BRONZE MALTESE CROSS DEVICE: A 3/16 inch bronze Maltese Cross is authorized for wear in the center of the World War I Victory ribbon by members of the Marine Corps and the Navy Medical Corps who served with the Expeditionary Forces in France from 1917 through 1918 and did not participate in recognized engagements.  
-
  Combat 'V'   11. BRONZE COMBAT "V" DEVICE: Personnel who have been awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Navy Commendation or Coast Guard Commendation for acts or services involving direct participation in combat operations may be authorized to wear a bronze block letter "V."  This device shall be 1/4 inch in height, and shall be worn centered on the ribbon.  Only one combat "V" may be worn per ribbon.  Gold or silver stars indicating more than one award of the same decoration shall be arranged symmetrically, to either side of the device; the first star to the wearer's right of the combat "V," the second to the left.  
-
  Silver Seahorse Device   12. SILVER SEAHORSE DEVICE: A 5/16 inch silver seahorse device shall be worn centered on the ribbon of the Merchant Marine Gallant Ship Citation.  
-
  Small Silver Star Device   13. SILVER STAR DEVICE: A 3/16 inch silver star device is authorized for wear on the Merchant Marine Combat Bar when the crew is forced to abandon their ship as a result of damage sustained through enemy action.  The first star authorized to be worn shall be centered upon the ribbon. If more than one star is worn, they shall be placed in a horizontal line close to and symmetrically about the center of the ribbon.  
 -