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Navy Occupation Service Medal

Navy Occupation Service Medal
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Establishing Authority

The Navy Occupation Service Medal was established by ALNAV 24 on January 22, 1947 and implemented by Navy Department General Orders 10 of January 28, 1948.

Effective Dates

Occupation duty in the European-African-Middle Eastern area may be credited to organizations for duty performed on and subsequent to May 8, 1945. Terminal dates for eligibility periods and occupation territories in this area are as follows:

Units performing service in the Korean area during the period of June 27, 1950 to April 27, 1952, inclusive, and which are eligible for the Korean Service Medal, will not be credited with eligibility for the Navy Occupation Service Medal for the same period.


The Navy Occupation Service Medal was awarded for military service in one of the occupied territories or afloat in their home waters after World War II during the inclusive dates noted above. NOTE: No person could receive both the Army and Navy occupation medals. Those who met the criteria for both had to select which one they wished to have on their record. For additional information, see Paragraph 7, SECNAVINST 1650.15, pages 4-18 and 4-20.


The Berlin Airlift Device (a small gold C-54 aircraft) was awarded for military service of 90 consecutive days or more with units participating in direct support of the Berlin Airlift between June 26, 1948, and September 30, 1949.


The Navy Occupation Service Medal was designed by Adolph A. Weinman (1870-1952).


Obverse: In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, a male figure is shown bearing a trident and riding an animal composed of a horse's head and a sea serpent's tail. His left arm is pointing forward, and under this scene, in two lines, are the words OCCUPATION / SERVICE.

The male figure is Poseidon, who in Greek mythology was lord of the sea (in Roman mythology he is known a Neptune). In mythology he is regarded as the ruler of all other Marine deities and of all animals that live in the sea. The animal he is riding is his war horse, which was regarded as sacred to Poseidon and is one of the symbols of his power. Another of his major symbols is the trident, or three-pronged sea spear.

Reverse: In the center of a bronze medallion, an eagle is shown alight upon an anchor; the eagle is facing to the left, and the flukes of the anchor are to the right side of the medallion. The eagle is grasping sprigs of laurel, which extend beyond the anchor in both directions. Above the eagle are the words UNITED STATES NAVY (or UNITED STATES MARINE COPRS). Above the laurel on the left is the word FOR, and over the laurel on the right, SERVICE.

The eagle is the American bald eagle and represents the United States; the anchor alludes to naval service. The laurel is symbolic of victory and achievement.

The ribbon to Navy Occupation Service Medal consists of equal portion of red and black with white edge stripes. The colors are taken from the American Campaign Medal, where they appear as pinstripes inside each edge. The red and white represent Japan and the black and white represent Germany, the primary opponents of the United States during the Second World War, and the primary countries occupied after the war.

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