Awards and decorations of the United States Merchant Marine

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Medals and Decorations of the United States Merchant Marine

Awards and decorations of the United States Merchant Marine are civilian decorations of the United States which are issued to the members of the United States Merchant Marine for a variety of duties both in peace and war. Originally authorized to be issued by the War Shipping Administration of the World War II era, these awards were later issued by the Maritime Commission and are currently issued by the Department of Transportation's Martitime Administration.

All historical and active decorations of the U.S. Merchant Marine are as follows:

U.S. Merchant Marine Decorations[edit]

Distinguished Service Medal Meritorious Service Medal Gallant Ship Citation Outstanding Achievement Medal
01 MM DSM.gif
02 MM MSM.png
04 MM GS Plaque.gif
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Merchant Marine Distinguished Service ribbon.svg
Merchant Marine Meritorious Service ribbon.svg
Gallant Ship Citation Ribbon
Merchant Marine Outstanding Achievement ribbon.svg

World War II Decorations & Service pins[edit]

Mariner's Medal Combat Bar Combat Bar with Silver star Honorable Service Button Service Emblem
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No medal
No medal
12 MM Hon-Svce.png
13 MM Emblem.png
Merchant Marine Mariner's Medal ribbon.svg
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No ribbon
No ribbon

World War II Campaign Medals[edit]

Defense Medal Atlantic War Zone Medal Mediterranean & Middle East War Zone Medal Pacific War Zone Medal World War II Victory Medal
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07 MM AWZM.png
08 MM MMEWZM.png
09 MM PWZM.png
10 MM VM.png
Merchant Marine Defense ribbon.svg
Atlantic War Zone ribbon.svg
Mediterranean & Middle East War Zone ribbon.svg
Pacific War Zone ribbon.svg
Merchant Marine Victory ribbon.svg

Decorations awarded by the US Department of Defense and foreign governments[edit]

Prisoner of War Medal Soviet Commemorative Medal Philippine Defense Ribbon Philippine Liberation Ribbon
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No medal
No medal
Prisoner of War ribbon.svg
50 years of victory rib.png
Philippine Defense ribbon.png
Phliber rib.png
  • The Prisoner of War Medal — may be awarded to any person who was a prisoner of war after April 5, 1917, (the date of the United States entry into World War I). It is awarded to any person who was taken prisoner or held captive while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing Armed Force; or while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing Armed Force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. Hostages of terrorists, and persons detained by governments in which the U.S. is not actively engaged in armed conflict are not eligible for the medal. The person's conduct, while in captivity, must have been honorable. This medal may be awarded posthumously to the surviving next of kin of the recipient.
  • Soviet Commemorative Medal"50th Anniversary in the Victory of the Great Patriotic War" — Awarded to U.S. merchant mariners who participated in the Arctic Convoys to the city of Murmansk.
  • Philippine Defense Medal (ribbon) — Was presented to any service member, of either the Philippine military or an allied armed force, which participated in the defense of the Philippine Islands between December 8, 1941 and June 15, 1942.
  • Philippine Liberation Ribbon — Was presented to any service member, of both Philippine and allied militaries, who participated in the liberation of the Philippine Islands between the dates of October 17, 1944 and September 2, 1945.

USMM Decorations from other past conflicts[edit]

Korean Service Medal Vietnam Service Medal 9-11 Medal 9-11 Ribbon
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15 MM VSM.gif
No medal
Merchant Marine Korean Service ribbon.svg
Merchant Marine Vietnam Service ribbon.svg
9-11 Medal ribbon.svg
9-11 Ribbon.svg
  • Korean Service Medal is a civil decoration awarded for Merchant Marine service during the Korean War between June 30, 1950 and September 30, 1953, in waters adjacent to Korea.
  • Vietnam Service Medal is a civil decoration awarded to officers and men for service aboard merchant vessels flying the American flag in Vietnam waters between July 4, 1965 and August 15, 1973.[1]
  • 9-11 Ribbon is a military decoration of the U.S. Department of Transportation that was issued to both civilians and military personnel who, through service with the United States Department of Transportation, contributed to the recovery of the September 11, 2001 attacks against the United States of America. The ribbon was issued primarily to the United States Coast Guard, but was also authorized for any civilian personnel, and members of other military branches, who were assigned to the Department of Transportation for relief efforts against the terrorist attacks.

Merchant Marine Expeditionary Medal[edit]

Merchant Marine Expeditionary Medal
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MM Expeditionary.JPG

The Merchant Marine Expeditionary Medal is awarded to U.S. merchant seamen who serve on U.S.-flag ships in support of operations involving American and allied military forces. The medal is not specific to a certain military operation or conflict, but the award citation would give such details.[2] It has been presented to individuals for service in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.


  1. ^ Its military analog is the Vietnam Service Medal, which is a military award; it was created in 1965 by order of President Lyndon B. Johnson. The medal is issued to recognize military service during the Vietnam War and is authorized to service members in every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces provided they meet qualification criteria which is DoD 1348 a department of Defense regulation. The Vietnam Service Medal is presented to any service member who served on temporary duty for more than thirty consecutive days, or 60 non-consecutive days, (Attached to or regularly serving for one, or more, days with an organization participating in or directly supporting ground (military) operations or attached to or regularly serving for one, or more, days aboard a naval vessel directly supporting military operations in the Republic of Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos within the defined combat zone (DoD 1348 C6. revised Sept. 1996) between the dates of 1961-11-15 and 1973-03-28, and from 29 April 1975 to 30 April 1975.)
  2. ^ "Persian Gulf crew recognized by United States government". Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. April 18, 1996. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 

External links[edit]