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.
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