Joint Meritorious Unit Award

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Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Joint Meritorious Unit Award ribbon.svg
Awarded by United States Department of Defense
Type Ribbon
Eligibility Military Unit
Awarded for Awarded to joint units or units tasked to perform a joint mission.
Status Currently awarded
Established June 4, 1981; 35 years ago (1981-06-04)
First awarded September 30, 1982 (1982-09-30) (retroactive to January 1979)
Last awarded Ongoing
Next (higher) Presidential Unit Citation
Next (lower) Army – Valorous Unit Award[1]
Navy/Marine Corps – Unit Commendation[2]
Air Force – Gallant Unit Citation[3]
Coast Guard – Department of Transportation Outstanding Unit Award[4]

award streamer

The Joint Meritorious Unit Award (JMUA) is a military award that was established on June 4, 1981 by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and was implemented by Department of Defense Directive 1348.27 dated July 22, 1982. The Joint Meritorious Unit Award was made retroactive to January 23, 1979.[5]


The Joint Meritorious Unit Award is the only ribbon award granted by the Department of Defense and is the organizational equivalent of the Defense Superior Service Medal. It is awarded to joint units or activities where the joint activity must either report through Unified, Combined, or Specified Command channels or pursue a joint mission under the cognizance of the Secretary of Defense; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the commander of a Unified, Specified or Combined Command that is also a joint command; or the Secretary of a military department that has been designated the Executive Agent for the Secretary of Defense.

The first organization to receive the Joint Meritorious Unit Award was the "Electronic Warfare During Close Air Support Joint Test Force" and was awarded the decoration on September 30, 1982.[6]

The Joint Meritorious Unit Award is a ribbon, enclosed in a gold frame. The ribbon is very similar to the Defense Superior Service Medal, indicative of the fact that the service performed would warrant the award of the medal to an individual. Subsequent decorations of the Joint Meritorious Unit Award are annotated with oak leaf clusters.[7]


  1. ^ "Unit Awards". The Institute of Heraldry. United States Department of the Army. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Navy Awards Precedence Chart". Navy Personnel Center. United States Navy. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Awards and decorations". Air Force Personnel Center. United States Air Force. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "COMDTINST M1650.25D Medals and Awards Manual" (PDF). US Department of Homeland Security, United States Coast Guard. pp. 22–2. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  5. ^ Department of Defense Manual NUMBER 1348.33, Volume 1 (23 November 2010), DTIC Online, date accessed 201-04-05.
  6. ^ Joint Meritorious Unit Award – Approved DoD Activities, Department of Defense OEPM, date accessed 2011-04-05
  7. ^ Fact Sheet: Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Personnel Center, date accessed 2011-04-05.