Coast Guard Arctic Service
Display Recognition

Site Index

      • Example Display Recognition
      • Display Types
      • Issue Requirements
      • Issue Regulations
      • Who May Apply
      • Administration Processing and Delivery
      • How To Apply For This Display Recognition and/or Medal
      • Mailing Address
      • Questions?
      • Other Display Recognitions
      • Naval Service Websites
      • Example Display Recognition:
        Actual Size: 8 1/2 x 11

        Who May Apply

        • Veteran recipients
        • Active Duty recipients
        • Family Members of recipients
        • Estate Inheritors

        Display Types

        You have four display types to choose from:
        Black & White (No Color)
        Heavy Bond Enclosure

        Heavy Bond Enclosure
        Colors: Regal, Black, Navy
        Trimmed inAppearance Gold

        Ready for Mantle or Shelf Display

        Issue Requirements
        You must submit the following:

      • An unaltered photocopy of your DD-214 or other military issued document clearly displaying your award of the Coast Guard Arctic Service.
      • Contact The War Library if you do not have a DD-214 or other military issued documentation authorizing your award: 1-562-422-4100 (Pacific Time Zone).
      • NOTICE

        This Display Recognition is available ONLY to authorized recipients who possess orders, or authorization form, or release documentation that confirms award eligibility. (See "Issue Requirements"). To obtain either a Display Medal or a Display Recognition for your authorized award you will be required to provide military-issued documentation authorizing your award. There are no exceptions.

        You must NOT submit a military issued document or photocopy that:

        • has been altered in any way by you after
          the original's official issue
        • contains information or corrections or
          additions that you entered
        • lists awards or training you knowingly did not receive
        • contains highlighting, colorizing or other markings you entered

        Be advised that on request any knowingly fraudulent document sent by you will be released to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that may result in prosecution and/or fine/imprisonment.

        Email Questions, or Phone: 1-562-422-4100 (Pacific Time Zone)

        Personnel Branch
        Processing and Delivery

        Style Admin Shipping Total
        Full Color .PDF (Printable) $7.50 Emailed $7.50
        Published Document only (Full Color) $14.00 $12.60 USPS $26.60
        Published Document in Heavy Bond Enclosure (Full Color) $19.00 $12.60 USPS $31.60
        Full Color Printable Certificates
        on CD-Rom (minimum 20 Certificates)
        $7.50 $7.50 By Count

      • Total/Shipping fees, above, apply to 50 U.S. states
      • Contact The War Library for international shipping cost
      • How to Apply

        You may apply for your Display Recognition using a...

      • Check Debit card (* Shipped within 1 week)
      • Charge card (* Shipped within 1 week)
      • Personal, Business, Bank or Cashiers Check (* Shipped in 6 weeks)
      • Money Order (* Shipped in 6 weeks)
      • (* Upon reception of required documentation)

        Complete and MAIL this APPLICATION FORM.
        Don't forget to include an unaltered COPY of your DD-214, WD AGO 53-55 or other pre-arranged document(s).


        Mailing Address

        Records Chief (REC-AMW)
        The American War Library
        817 East Via Carmelitos Ste 319
        Long Beach CA 90805-7549


        Click here for answers to common questions

        Email: USCG Arctic Service Display Recognition Inquiry

        Telephone: 1-562-422-4100 (Pacific Time Zone)

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        Issue Regulations

        Coast Guard Arctic Service

        Click for larger image

        Establishing Authority

        The Arctic Service Medal was established by Admiral Owen W. Siler, Commandant of the Coast Guard, on May 20, 1976.

        Effective Dates

        The Arctic Service Medal has been retroactively awarded for qualifying service since January 1, 1946.


        The Arctic Service Medal may be awarded to any member of the Coast Guard who has served twenty-one consecutive days subsequent to January 1, 1946, under any of the following conditions:

        -- During summer operations (May 1 to October 31) aboard a Coast Guard vessel operating in polar waters north of the Arctic Circle;

        -- During winter operations (November 1 to April 30) aboard a Coast Guard vessel operating in polar waters north of latitude 60 degrees North in the Bering Sea, Davis Strait, or Denmark Strait.

        -- At the Radio Station at Barrow, Alaska or any of the following Loran Stations: Cape Athol, Greenland; Cape Christian (Baffin Island), Canada; Port Clarence, Alaska; Bo, Norway; or January Mayen Island, Norway.

        -- The medal can also be earned by crew members of Coast Guard aircraft flying to or from any of the stations listed above or any shore stations north of the Arctic Circle. The time required is a cumulative total of 21 days, with a flight in and out within a 24 hour period counting only one day. On a case by case basis, awards can be made to other personnel including civilians who participate in Coast Guard Arctic Programs, perform significant service, and share the hardships and hazards of the operation.

        Order of Precedence

        The Arctic Service Medal is worn after the Antarctica Service Medal and before the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.


        No attachments have been authorized for this medal.

        First Recipient

        The first recipient of the Arctic Service Medal is not known.


        The Arctic Service Medal was designed by Arnold P. Simmons of the Army's Institute of Heraldry.

        Description and Symbolism


        In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, a polar bear is shown in profile with its head to the left. Above the bear and following the contour of the upper quarter of the medal, the words ARCTIC SERVICE. An eight pointed star is above the bear's back (and beneath the inscription).

        The bear stands on a sheet of ice represented by a straight line; below the line are two undulating lines. The polar bear, whose sole habitat is the Arctic region, alludes to the polar region and to the Coast Guard Cutter Bear. The star represents the Stella Polaris, prominent in the northern sky.


        In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, the Seal of the United States Coast Guard, under whose authority the medal is awarded is displayed.


        The ribbon is the reverse of the Antarctic service Medal, thus indicating service at its opposite (North) pole.