Marksmanship Medal

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Not to be confused with Marksmanship Ribbon.
Marksmanship Medal
Navy and Coast Guard Marksmanship Medals
Awarded by United States Navy & United States Coast Guard
Type Ribbon
Status Current

USN Expert Rifle Ribbon.png USCG Expert Rifle Ribbon.png

USN Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon.png USCG Expert Pistol Ribbon.png
ribbons: Navy (left), Coast Guard (right); rifle (above), pistol (below)
Midshipmen aboard the USS Nassau train with M16s

The Marksmanship Medal is a decoration of the United States Navy and the Coast Guard and is the highest award one may receive for weapons qualification. The Marksmanship Medal is the equivalent of the Expert Marksmanship Badge in the United States Army and Marine Corps.

The Marksmanship Medal is awarded for qualifying as an expert marksman on either the 9 mm M9 pistol (Navy or Coast Guard), .40 S&W SIG P229 DAK (Coast Guard only), or M16 rifle. To qualify at the expert level, a superior score must be obtained on an approved weapons qualification course. The standard Navy weapons qualification course for pistol normally consists of several courses of fire from strong-side supported (standing), weak-side supported (standing), and strong-side supported (kneeling) positions. For the rifle, the Navy qualification course consists of firing from a sitting and prone positions.[1][citation needed]

Those qualifying as an expert marksman are authorized to wear the Marksmanship Medal, awarded as two separate decorations for rifle or pistol qualifications. Those having qualified on both pistol and rifle may receive both medals for simultaneous wear. The Marksmanship Medal is worn as a full-sized medal on dress uniforms. On a duty uniform all successful qualifiers may wear the award as the standard Marksmanship Ribbon. Those qualifying as an expert are authorized to affix the Expert Device and those qualifying as a sharpshooter are authorized a device in shape of an "S" (bronze for Navy and silver for Coast Guard) on their ribbon.[1][2][3]

The Navy Marksmanship Medals were first issued in 1969.[4]

M9 Service Pistol Qualification M16 Rifle or M4 Carbine
180-203 Marksman 140-159
204-227 Sharpshooter 160-169
228-240 Expert 170-200
Coast Guard[citation needed]
M9 or P229R DAK Qualification M16A2, M4 or M14-T Rifle
114-128 Marksman 140-166
129-143 Sharpshooter 167-174
144-150 Expert 175-200

Similarly, the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs awards the Alaska Adjutant General's Marksmanship Proficiency Medals, one for rifle and one for pistol, to the top ten guardsman with the highest aggregate scores at the Alaska National Guard Adjutant General’s Match. The winners of these awards are selected to join the State Marksmanship Team that represents the state at the Winston P. Wilson Rifle and Pistol Championships for a chance to win the Chief's 50 Marksmanship Badge. A red, white, and blue ribbon is used to represent both medals ( Alaska National Guard - Pistol Marksms Medal.JPG ); however the actual rifle and pistol medals suspended by this ribbon are distinct.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c OPNAVINST 3591.1F, Small Arms Training and Qualification, Department of the Navy, dated 12 August 2009, last accessed 18 February 2013
  2. ^ U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations: Chapter 5, Section 3 Identification Badges/Awards/Insignia, Navy Personnel Command, updated 27 July 2011, last accessed 4 October 2011
  3. ^ U.S. Coast Guard Uniform Regulations COMDTINST M1020.6G, Commandant United States Coast Guard, dated March 2012, last accessed 4 June 2012
  4. ^ Navy Rifle Marksmanship Medal, by Military Medals, last accessed 18 February 2013
  5. ^ Alaska National Guardsmen take aim during marksmanship competition, Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, 134th Public Affairs Detachment, by SGT Michelle Brown, dated 20 May 2013, last accessed 3 August 2014