1. Careers

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Navy & Marine Corps Awards and Decorations
Additional Information About Navy Unit Awards
 More of this Feature
• Main Menu  
 Join the Discussion
Visit Our Message Forum   
 Related Resources
• Army Awards & Decorations
• Air Force Awards & Decorations
• Navy/Marines Awards Regulation

DEFINITION. A unit is any ship, aircraft squadron, shore command or military organizational element composed of military personnel under control of a military command and charged with carrying out a military mission or function.

GENERAL INFORMATION. To foster unit morale, incentive, and esprit de corps through prompt recognition of outstanding performance of group effort. Unit awards recognize entire organizations for outstanding heroism or achievement performed during periods of war, international tension, national emergencies, or extraordinary situations that involve national interests. They are restricted to the recognition of acts or services that clearly and distinctly, by nature and magnitude, place the unit's performance significantly above that of other units performing similar missions. They are not intended to recognize individual actions, but to acknowledge the combined efforts of the organization. The performance should be that which can be recognized adequately in no other way.

The Navy Unit Commendation (NUC) and Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) may be awarded to units of the Army, Air Force or Coast Guard with concurrence of the parent service.

Personnel of the naval service may participate in unit awards tendered by the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, or U.S. Coast Guard, providing such awards have been concurred with by CNO/CMC.

Participation of Civilians in Military Unit Awards. Subsequent to 16 March 1969, civilian U.S. citizen employees of the Department of the Navy (DON), assigned to a unit recommended for a Presidential Unit Citation (PUC), NUC or MUC may be nominated for participation in the award provided the officer recommending the award certifies that they played a key role in the achievement for which the award is recommended.

ELIGIBILITY TO WEAR UNIT AWARDS. When a unit award is issued, component, reinforcing or supporting units, which are authorized to participate in the award will be designated. The Commanding Officer of the unit determines individual eligibility to participate in unit awards in accordance with Article 115. The criteria for personnel assigned to those units to wear the unit award is as follows:

Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, and Meritorious Unit Commendation

a. Military personnel:

(1) All personnel permanently assigned or attached to the cited unit who were actually present and participated in the action(s) for which the unit was cited are authorized to wear the ribbon permanently. Eligibility may be established by evidence in service records, such as orders to officers or page five and/or 13 service record entries for enlisted members. In those cases where a determination cannot be made at the local level, requests for award eligibility will be submitted to the BUPERS (PERS-324) or CMC (MMMA).

(2) Transient, limited active duty for training (less than 30 days), special active duty (of limited duration), and temporary duty personnel assigned to the cited unit are normally not eligible. However, exceptions may be made for individuals because of an outstanding need for the skills possessed which were not adequately available within the unit. Such personnel will be authorized participation by CNO/CMC as appropriate upon receipt of a certification from the cited unit's commanding officer that the individual made a direct, recognizable contribution to the performance of the services which qualified the unit for the award.

(3) Reserve augmentees and IMAs assigned to a unit are eligible to receive unit awards and should be specifically considered by Commanding Officers for inclusion as appropriate with the contributory service provided.

b. Civilian personnel, when specifically authorized by SECNAV, may wear the appropriate lapel device, point up. The command is responsible for ordering the lapel devices to civilians who earned the award.

c. Naval reservists who receive unit awards as civilians, are not eligible to wear the ribbon bars on their naval uniforms.

d. Students are not eligible.

Navy "E" Ribbon

a. Military Personnel:

(1) Navy personnel permanently attached to and serving with cited ships and units during the competitive cycle for which the award was given, or any part thereof, are entitled to the award as of 01 July 1974.

(2) Marine Corps personnel who are serving as a part of the ship's detachment or otherwise designated as "ship's company" are eligible. Embarked elements of Marine Corps troops are not eligible for the award.

(3) All selected Reserve personnel permanently attached to and serving with the mobilization augmentation Naval Reserve unit(s) during the competitive cycle for which the award was given, or any part thereof, are entitled to the award provided the individuals concerned performed active duty for training aboard the unit during that competitive cycle.

(4) Reservists performing active duty for training aboard units awarded the "E", but not members of the dedicated Reserve unit(s), and Reservists who were members of the dedicated Reserve unit(s), but who did not perform active duty for training aboard, shall not be eligible for the award.

(5) Transients, temporary duty personnel, and those assigned to the cited ships and squadrons for active duty for training are not eligible for this award.

(6) Embarked personnel, staffs, squadrons or detachments are not eligible.

b. Civilian personnel are not eligible for the Navy "E" Award.


No unit or part thereof may be awarded more than one unit award, regardless of type (including Joint unit awards), for the same act or service.

Recommendations for PUC, NUC and MUC must be submitted within 3 years from the date of the action or service and the award must be made within 5 years thereof. When a recommendation has been initiated and placed in official channels within the time limits prescribed and has become lost, a certified copy of the original recommendation may be resubmitted. If a copy is not available, a statement may be submitted by the originator and the case will be considered on its merits.


Ribbon bars and accompanying citation facsimiles to represent PUC, NUC and MUC are issued to eligible military personnel. Commanding officers will procure ribbon bars. Civilian personnel will be issued a 9/16-inch triangular lapel device and accompanying citation facsimile. There are no medals authorized for these awards.

Originals of the citations are held by the cited unit and copies by either CNO (N09B13) or CMC (MMMA). Either command will furnish copies upon request.

For officer and enlisted personnel, the appropriate page entry documentation is forwarded to the member for update to the service record.

Navy "E" Ribbons are issued to eligible military personnel. There is no medal, citation or certificate to accompany this award. Documentation for service records are made as appropriate.

Subscribe to the Newsletter


©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.