Marksmanship Device

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A Marksmanship Device is an award device of the United States Air Force, United States Navy, and United States Coast Guard which is presented as an attachment to the Marksmanship Ribbon. For the Air Force, the addition of a bronze service star is used to indicate expert qualification in both rifle and service pistol. For the Navy and Coast Guard, there are two marksmanship devices which are presented for scoring as a Sharpshooter or Expert on a pistol and rifle qualification course. The Coast Guard also has six additional devices which represent accomplishments in Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) sanctioned competitions.[1][2][3][4][5]

The Sharpshooter Marksmanship Device is typically referred to as the S Device and appears as a bronze colored "S" for the Navy and a silver colored "S" for the Coast Guard. The Expert Marksmanship Device is referred to as the E Device (not to be confused with the Battle E Device) and appears as a silver colored "E".[3][5][6]

The Navy and Coast Guard Expert Marksmanship Device is worn on the Marksmanship Ribbon in lieu of the full sized Marksmanship Medal. When wearing the Marksmanship Medal, the Marksmanship Ribbon with Expert Device is not worn.[3][5]

For a period of time the E Device was bronze until three consecutive expert qualifications were achieved, then the device would change to silver with a permanent award status.[7]

Coast Guardsman who have been awarded the bronze or silver Coast Guard Excellence-in-Competition Pistol Shot or Rifleman Badge can wear a bronze or silver miniature replica of the M1911 or M14 attached to the U.S. Coast Guard Pistol or Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon respectively. For Coast Guardsman who have been awarded the Coast Guard Distinguished Pistol Shot or Marksman Badge, a small gold metal replica of a pistol or rifle target can be attached to the appropriate marksmanship ribbon.[4][6][8]

From 1942 to 1960, the Navy awarded unique Distinguished Marksmanship Ribbons vs. devices for their existing marksmanship ribbons. Today, only Distinguished Marksmanship Badges are authorized for wear on Navy uniforms.[3][9]

Governor's Twelve Ribbon with 3 bronze Hawthorn Clusters

Some State National Guard organizations also award marksmanship ribbons to their top shooters. In the Missouri National Guard, the top twelve guardsman selected to represent their state at the Winston P. Wilson Rifle and Pistol Championships are awarded a Governor's Twelve Ribbon. Any guardsman who earns the award more than once wear a bronze or silver Hawthorn Cluster Device(s) on top of the ribbon. A bronze Hawthorn Cluster notes the award of a second and seceding awards while a silver Hawthorn Cluster is worn in lieu of five bronze Hawthorn Clusters.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Air Force Instruction (AFI) 36-2803, The Air Force Awards and Decorations Program, Department of the Air Force, dated 25 June 2015, last accessed 12 July 2015
  2. ^ Air Force Personnel Center, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Personnel Center, dated 5 August 2010, last accessed 12 July 2015
  3. ^ a b c d U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 5, Department of the Navy, last accessed 12 July 2015
  4. ^ a b U.S. Coast Guard Uniform Instruction COMDTINST M1020.6H, Department of Homeland Security, dated April 2013, last accessed 12 July 2015
  5. ^ a b c U.S. Coast Guard Medals and Awards Manual COMDTINST M1650.25D, Department of Homeland Security, dated May 2008, last accessed 12 July 2015
  6. ^ a b U.S. Coast Guard Ribbons & Devices chart, dated 12 July 2015
  7. ^ Navy Expert Pistol Medal,, last accessed 7 April 2013
  8. ^ U.S. Coast Guard Competitive Marksmanship Program, COMDTINST 3590.1A, U.S. Coast Guard, dated 23 April 2013, last accessed 3 September 2013
  9. ^ A Short History of the Distinguished Shooter Program, by Hap Rocketto, dated 28 September 2010, last accessed 18 February 2013
  10. ^ Tabs and Badges a Measure of Marksmanship, Missouri National Guard, dated 14 December 2010, last accessed 2 December 2014
  11. ^ National Guard Devices, by Eric Bush, last accessed 2 December 2014