Merchant Marine Defense Bar

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Merchant Marine Defense Medal (Bar)
USA Merchant Marine Defense Medal obverse.pngUSA Merchant Marine service medals common reverse.png
Merchant Marine Defense Medal obverse (left) and reverse
Awarded by United States Maritime Administration
TypeIndividual Award
EligibilityMerchant Marine seamen
Awarded forService between September 8, 1939 and December 7, 1941.
Campaign(s)Second World War
EstablishedAugust 24, 1944
Total awarded17,091
Next (higher)Merchant Marine Combat Bar
Next (lower)Merchant Marine Atlantic War Zone Medal
Merchant Marine Defense ribbon.svg
Merchant Marine Defense Bar

The Merchant Marine Defense Medal (Bar) is a decoration of the United States Merchant Marine. The decoration was established by an Act of Congress on August 14, 1944.


The decoration is awarded to members of the Merchant Marine who served aboard United States merchant ships between September 8, 1939 and December 7, 1941.


Prior to 1992, the Merchant Marine Defense Medal was a ribbon-only decoration; otherwise known as the Merchant Marine Defense Bar.

On May 19, 1992, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the availability of new medals for civilian merchant seamen, in recognition of their service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The medals are being issued to supplement war zone ribbon bars previously awarded to civilian mariners who supported the nation's armed forces in these wars.[1]

The new medal design consists of:

The shield and anchor, from the United States Maritime Service Seal, are superimposed in a ship's wheel, denoting control and maritime service. The laurel branches symbolize achievement and excellence.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Mariner Medals – MARAD".

External links[edit]