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Navy Unit Commendation
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Establishing Authority

The Navy Unit Commendation was established on December 19, 1944, by Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal.

Effective Dates

The Navy Unit Commendation has been in effect since December 7, 1941.


The Navy Unit Commendation may be awarded by the Secretary of the Navy to any unit of the Navy or Marine Corps that distinguishes itself by outstanding heroism in action against an enemy (but not sufficiently to justify the award of the Presidential Unit Citation). It may also be awarded to a unit that distinguishes itself by extremely meritorious service not involving combat (but in support of military operations), which renders that unit outstanding when compared to other units performing similar service.

This award may be conferred upon units of the other branches of the Armed Forces of the United States, as well as to the armed forces of foreign nations serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, provided they meet the standards established for Navy and Marine Corps units.

To justify this award, the unit must have performed service of a character comparable to that which would justify the award of a Silver Star Medal (for heroism) or a Legion of Merit (for meritorious service) to an individual.


Additional awards of the Navy Unit Commendation are denoted by bronze stars three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter.

Service Star

More United States Military Medals Awards and Decorations:

Army Medal of Honor
Navy Medal of Honor
Air Force Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross
Navy Cross
Air Force Cross
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Department of Transportation Distinguished Service Medal
Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Transportation Guardian Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Soldiers Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Medal for Heroism
Airmans Medal for Heroism
Coast Guard Medal for Heroism
Coast Guard Medal for Heroism Obsolete
Gold Lifesaving Medal
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal
Silver Lifesaving Medal
Aerial Achievement Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Coast Guard Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Department of Transportation 9 11 Medal
Coast Guard Achievement Medal
Commandants Letter of Commendation Ribbon
Combat Action Ribbon
Air Force Combat Action Medal
Army Presidential Unit Citation
Navy Presidential Unit Citation
Air Force Presidential Unit Citation
Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation
Air Force Gallant Unit Citation
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Army Valorous Unit Award
Navy Unit Commendation
Army Meritorious Unit Commendation
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
Army Superior Unit Award
Department of Transportation Outstanding Unit Award
Coast Guard Unit Commendation
Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation
Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation
Navy E Ribbon
Coast Guard E Ribbon
Coast Guard Bicentennial Unit Commendation
Prisoner of War Medal
Combat Readiness Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal
Navy Reserve Special Commendation Ribbon Obsolete
Navy Good Conduct Medal
Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
Air Force Good Conduct Medal
Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal
Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal
Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal
Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal
Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal
Coast Guard Reserve Good Conduct Medal
Coast Guard Enlisted Person of the Year Ribbon
Fleet Marine Force Ribbon
Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon
Air Force Recognition Ribbon
Navy Expeditionary Medal
Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
China Service Medal
American Defense Service Medal
Womens Army Corps Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal
European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
US Antarctic Expedition Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
Navy Occupation Service Medal
Medal for Humane Action
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal
Antarctica Service Medal
Arctic Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal
Kosovo Campaign Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
Navy Arctic Service Ribbon
Naval Reserve Sea Service Ribbon
Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
Navy Recruiting Service Ribbon
Navy Recruit Training Service Ribbon
Navy Ceremonial Honor Guard Ribbon
Marine Corps Recruiting Ribbon
Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon
Marine Security Guard Ribbon
Air Force Air and Space Campaign Medal
Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon
Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Frame
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon
Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon
Air Force Military Training Instructor Ribbon
Air Force Recruiter Ribbon
Transportation 911 Ribbon
Special Operations Service Ribbon
Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon
Coast Guard Restricted Duty Ribbon
Coast Guard Basic Training Honor Graduate Ribbon
Coast Guard Recruiting Service Ribbon
Armed Forces Reserve Medal Army
Armed Forces Reserve Medal Navy
Armed Forces Reserve Medal Air Force
Armed Forces Reserve Medal Marines
Armed Forces Reserve Medal Coast Guard
Armed Forces Reserve Medal National Guard
NCO Professional Development Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon
Army Service Ribbon
Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon
Naval Reserve Medal
Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon
NCO Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon
Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Air Force Training Ribbon
Croix De Guerre
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross
Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal
Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Medal
Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation Friendship Ribbon
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation
Philippine Defense Medal
Philippine Liberation Medal
Philippine Independence Medal
United Nations Service Medal Korea
United Nations Medal
NATO Medal
NATO Medal Article 5
Multinational Force and Observers Medal
Inter American Defense Board Medal
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal Saudi Arabia
Kuwait Liberation Medal Emirate of Kuwait
Republic of Korea War Service Medal
Navy Expert Rifleman Medal
Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal
Coast Guard Expert Rifleman Medal
Coast Guard Expert Pistol Shot Medal


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