Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal

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Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
Awarded by United States Marine Corps
Type Medal
Eligibility Officers and enlisted members of the US Marine Corps
Awarded for Land on foreign territory, engage in operations against armed opposition, or who operate under circumstances deemed to merit special recognition and for which no campaign medal has been awarded.
Status Currently Awarded
Clasps Wake Island
Established 8 May 1919
First awarded Panama 1873 (retroactive)
Next (higher) Marine Corps Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal
Navy – Fleet Marine Force Ribbon
Equivalent Navy – Navy Expeditionary Medal
Next (lower) China Service Medal
Related Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Marine Corps Expeditionary ribbon.svg

Streamer MCE.PNG
Service ribbon and streamer

The Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal is a military award of the United States Marine Corps which was established on 8 May 1919. Originally known as the Marine Corps Expeditionary Ribbon, a full-sized medal was authorized on 1 March 1921[1] by Presidential Order of Warren G. Harding. The Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal is therefore one of the oldest medals of the United States military which is still issued to active duty personnel.

To be awarded the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, personnel must have engaged in a landing on foreign territory, participated in combat operations against an opposing force, or must have participated in a designated operation for which no other service medal is authorized.[2] After 1961, some commands permitted eligible personnel to choose between the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, or the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, depending on the nature of the operation in question.

The medal was designed by Walker Hancock and feature's a 1920's era marine in full combat gear, advancing, bayonet at the ready, with the word "Expeditions". The reverse is the same as that of the Marine Corps Dominican Campaign Medal.[1]

Subsequent awards of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal were originally denoted by award numerals. After 1921, multiple awards were denoted by service stars. The Wake Island Device is authorized for any personnel who were awarded the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal as part of the defense of Wake Island during the opening days of the World War II.[3][4]

The United States Navy equivalent of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal is known as the Navy Expeditionary Medal.

See also[edit]

Awards and decorations of the United States military


  1. ^ a b Kerrigan, Evans E. (1964). "Expeditionary Medals". American War Medals and Decorations. New York: The Viking Press. p. 105. OCLC 702555627. 
  2. ^ Service Medals and Campaign Credit of the United States Navy, Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
  4. ^ Navy and marine corps awards manual, secnavinst 1650.1 series