Navy Commendation Medal
and Navy and Marine Corps
Commendation Medal
Display Recognition

Site Index

      • Example Display Recognition
      • Click Here to EMAIL THIS PAGE to a friend
      • Applicable Military Branches
      • 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
      • Military Medals Website
      • Military Medals Discussion Forum
      • Example Display Recognition:
        Actual Size: 8 1/2 x 11
        Displayed: The Navy Commendation Medal.
        (The Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
        display recognition is similar.

        Military Branches

        All Military Service branches are applicable:
        Marine Corps, Navy

        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 in Appearance Gold

        Ready for Mantle or Shelf Display

        Issue Requirements
        You must submit the following:

      • An unaltered photocopy of your DD-214 or DD-214 and DD-215 (post WW2), OR unaltered photocopy of WD AGO 53-55 (WW2).

      • Contact The War Library if you do not have a DD-214: 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)


        Don't forget to include an unaltered COPY of your DD-214, DD-215 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: Recognition Inquiry

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

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        Issue Regulations
        The Navy Commendation Medal
        and Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal

        Establishing Authority

        Click for larger image

        Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox established the Navy Commendation Ribbon on November 1, 1943, and announced its creation by ALNAV 11 of January 11, 1944. It was redesignated as the Navy Commendation Ribbon With Metal Pendant on March 22, 1950, and as the Navy Commendation Medal on September 21, 1960. On September 23, 1994, Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton announced in ALNAV 084/94 that the name had been changed to The Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.

        Effective Dates

        The Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal has been in effect (with modifications) since December 7, 1941.


        The Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal may be awarded to service members who, while serving in any capacity with the Navy or Marine Corps, distinguish themselves by heroism, outstanding achievement or meritorious service (but not of sufficient nature to warrant a higher decoration).

        Acts of Heroism

        To be awarded for heroism, the act must be worthy of special recognition but not the degree required for the Bronze Star Medal when combat is involved or the Navy and Marine Corps Medal when combat is not involved.

        Meritorious Achievement

        To be awarded for meritorious achievement, the act or acts must be outstanding and worthy of special recognition, but not to the degree required for the Bronze Star Medal or Air Medal when combat is involved or the Meritorious Service Medal or Air Medal when combat is not involved. The achievement should be such as to constitute a definite contribution to the naval service, such as an invention or improvement in design, procedure or organization.

        Meritorious Service

        To be awarded for meritorious service, the service must be outstanding and worthy of special recognition, but not to the degree required for the Bronze Star Medal or Air Medal when combat is involved or the Meritorious Service Medal or Air Medal when combat is not involved. the award may cover an extended period of time during which a higher award may have been recommended or received for specific act(s). The criteria, however, should not be the period of service involved, but rather the circumstances and conditions under which the service was performed. The performance should be well above that usually expected of an individual commensurate with the individual's grade or rate, and above that degree of excellence which can be appropriately reflected in the individual's fitness report or personnel records.

        Order of Precedence

        The Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal is worn after the Joint Service Commendation Medal and before the Joint Service Achievement Medal.


        Additional awards of the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal are denoted by gold stars five-sixteenths of an inch in diameter. The Combat Distinuishing Device (a bronze letter "V") may be authorized.


        The Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal was designed and sculpted by Thomas Hudson Jones (1892-1969) of the Army's Institute of Heraldry. The medal was originally designed as the Army Commendation Medal, but its design was subsequently adopted by the Navy.

        First Recipient

        The first person to receive the Navy Commendation Medal (or its predecessor awards) is unknown.

        Description and Symbolism


        In the center of a bronze hexagon one and three-eighths inches wide, there is an eagle with horizontally displayed wings bearing on its breast a shield paly of thirteen pieces and a chief. In its talons the eagle holds three arrows.

        The shape of the medal was designed to distinguish the Commendation Medal from all other decorations. The eagle is from the Seal of the Department of Defense, and the shield on the eagle's breast is taken from the Great Seal of the United States.


        In the center of the bronze hexagon there is a plaque for engraving the recipient's name. Above the plaque, in two lines, the inscription in raised letters, FOR MILITARY, and below the plaque, MERIT. Below the word MERIT, and in the bottom point of the medal, there is a spray of laurel, representing achievement.


        The ribbon to the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal consists of a field of Myrtle Green with a white stripe one quarter inch wide situated one-eighth of an inch inside each edge of the ribbon.

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