The Gold Lifesaving Medal and Silver Lifesaving Medal are U. S. decorations issued by the United States Coast Guard. The awards were established by Act of Congress, 20 June 1874. S. C. § 500. These decorations are two of the oldest medals in the United States and were established at the Department of Treasury as Lifesaving Medals First and Second Class; the Department of the Treasury gave the award, but today the United States Coast Guard awards it through the Department of Homeland Security. They are not classified as military decorations, may be awarded to any person. A British Sea Gallantry Medal for saving life was authorized in 1854. Twenty years in the United States the Gold and Silver Lifesaving Medals were first authorized in an Act that furthered the United States Life-Saving Service; the Secretary of the Treasury was directed, among other provisions of the act, to create "medals of honor", to be distinguished as life-saving medals of the first and second class, bestow them upon any persons who endanger their own lives in saving, or endeavoring to save lives from perils of the sea, within the United States, or upon any American vessel.
The Lifesaving Medals have had three designs in their history. The original design in 1874 was "non-portable" and could not be worn by the recipient, but rather displayed much like a trophy. In 1882 the design was changed; the ribbon was red for the Gold Lifesaving light blue for the Silver Lifesaving medal. On 4 August 1949 the medals and ribbons were reduced in size so that they were more proportionate to medals awarded by the U. S. Armed Forces; the ribbons were redesigned to have multiple colors. The laws governing the awarding of medal were amended over the years, is awarded by the Coast Guard; the Commandant of the Coast Guard makes the final determination in authorizing the award. "The Gold Lifesaving Medal or the Silver Lifesaving Medal may be awarded to any person who rescues or endeavors to rescue any other person from drowning, shipwreck, or other perils of the water. The rescue or attempted rescue must either take place in waters within the U. S. or subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or one or the other of the parties must be a citizen of the U.
S. or from a vessel or aircraft owned or operated by citizens of the U. S. "The Lifesaving Medal is issued in two grades, being gold. "The Gold Lifesaving Medal may be awarded to an individual who performed a rescue or attempted rescue at the risk of his or her own life, demonstrates extreme and heroic daring. The Silver Lifesaving Medal may be awarded to an individual who performed a rescue or attempted rescue where the circumstances do not sufficiently distinguish the individual to deserve the medal of gold, but demonstrate such extraordinary effort as to merit recognition. If neither the Gold nor Silver Lifesaving Medal is appropriate a Certificate of Valor or an appropriate Coast Guard Public Service Award may be considered."Until the mid-20th century, the Lifesaving Medal was bestowed upon members of the military. This is due to the creation of a variety of additional military decorations that supplant the Lifesaving Medal; the United States Navy issues the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, instead of the Lifesaving Medal, for sea rescues involving risk of life.
"Military personnel serving on active duty would not be recommended for Gold and Silver Lifesaving Medals. In all other circumstances, a military award should be considered." The Lifesaving Medal is authorized for wear on U. S. military uniforms. The Lifesaving Medal is unusual among U. S. medals because it is struck from the eponymous precious metal, silver or gold. Multiple awards of the Lifesaving Medal are denoted by award stars on the decoration's ribbon and a gold clasp, inscribed with the recipient's name, is worn on the actual medal. Since 1874, more than 600 Gold Lifesaving Medals and more than 1,900 Silver Lifesaving Medals have been awarded. George Freeth, a swimming instructor and the "Father of Modern Surfing", who rescued seven fishermen off Venice Beach during a winter storm in December of 1908. Vice Admiral Harry G. Hamlet, U. S. Coast Guard – While in command of USS Marietta in the Bay of Biscay on 28 April 1919, rescued a crew of 47 persons from the sinking USS James Sergeant Marcus Hanna – Only person to receive both the Medal of Honor and the Gold Lifesaving Medal.
Joshua James – Legendary lifesaver. Jonas Johns - Native American who rescued the 14 man crew of the schooner Lily Grace wrecked near Gray's Harbor, Washington in January 1887 and a year rescued 3 more sailors. Medal awarded on December 9, 1889. James Larsin and Wisconsin state legislator. Ida Lewis, lighthouse keeper and first female recipient. Chief Warrant Officer John Allen Midgett Jr. USCG Rasmus Midgett Captain Henry C. Mustin, USN - Naval aviation pioneer. Sheppard Shreaves, for rescuing Henry Breault Lenny Skutnik Arland D. Williams, Jr. Richard Etheridge, Benjamin Bowser, Dorman Pugh, Theodore Meekins, Lewis Wescott, Stanley Wise, William Irving of the Pea Island Life-Saving Station, for rescue of the crew from the E. S. Newman on 11 October 1896. Awarded gold medals posthumously on 5 March 1996. Benjamin Dailey, keeper of the Cape Hatteras Lifeboat Station, led the rescue of the crew of the Ephraim Williams. William Babb, for the 1885 rescue of the American schooner A. C. Maxwell Coxswain Bernard C.
Webber, EN3 Andrew Fitzgerald.
Navy Unit Commendation
The Navy Unit Commendation is a United States Navy unit award, established by order of the Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal on 18 December 1944. Navy and U. S. Marine Corps commands may recommend any Navy or Marine Corps unit for the NUC that has distinguished itself by outstanding heroism in action against the enemy, but not sufficient to justify the award of the Presidential Unit Citation. A unit must have performed service of a character comparable to that which would merit the award of a Silver Star Medal for heroism, or a Legion of Merit for non-combat meritorious service to an individual. Normal performance of duty or participation in a large number of combat missions does not, in itself, justify the award. An award will not be made to a unit for actions of one or more of its component parts, unless the unit performed uniformly as a team, in a manner justifying collective recognition. U. S. Army, U. S. Air Force, U. S Coast Guard units are eligible to be awarded the NUC as long as they are directly attached or assigned to U.
S. Navy or Marine Corps units during the time period or event for which the award is given. U. S. Army members of units awarded the NUC, wear the Navy Unit Commendation ribbon on the right side of the uniform jacket rather than left side along with any other unit award emblems which are authorized for wear; the NUC may be conferred upon the armed forces of friendly foreign nations serving with the U. S. Armed Forces, provided such units meet the standards established for Marine Corps units. Additional awards of the Navy Unit Commendation are denoted by 3⁄16 inch bronze stars. Military awards of the United States Armed Forces Military awards of the United States Department of the Navy
United States Department of Homeland Security
The United States Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the U. S. federal government with responsibilities in public security comparable to the interior or home ministries of other countries. Its stated missions involve anti-terrorism, border security and customs, cyber security, disaster prevention and management, it was created in response to the September 11 attacks and is the youngest U. S. cabinet department. In fiscal year 2017, it was allocated a net discretionary budget of $40.6 billion. With more than 240,000 employees, DHS is the third largest Cabinet department, after the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Homeland security policy is coordinated at the White House by the Homeland Security Council. Other agencies with significant homeland security responsibilities include the Departments of Health and Human Services and Energy. Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned on April 7, 2019, effective April 10. By law, Undersecretary for Management Claire Grady was to become the acting Secretary of Homeland Security.
On April 7, President Donald J. Trump designated the current U. S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan as acting Secretary. McAleenan named David Pekoske, who also serves as the TSA Administrator, as the acting Deputy Secretary. Whereas the Department of Defense is charged with military actions abroad, the Department of Homeland Security works in the civilian sphere to protect the United States within, at, outside its borders, its stated goal is to prepare for and respond to domestic emergencies terrorism. On March 1, 2003, DHS absorbed the U. S. assumed its duties. In doing so, it divided the enforcement and services functions into two separate and new agencies: Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Citizenship and Immigration Services; the investigative divisions and intelligence gathering units of the INS and Customs Service were merged forming Homeland Security Investigations, the primary investigative arm of DHS. Additionally, the border enforcement functions of the INS, including the U.
S. Border Patrol, the U. S. Customs Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service were consolidated into a new agency under DHS: U. S. Customs and Border Protection; the Federal Protective Service falls under the National Programs Directorate. The Department of Homeland Security is headed by the Secretary of Homeland Security with the assistance of the Deputy Secretary; the department contains the components listed below. AgenciesUnited States Citizenship and Immigration Services: Processes and examines citizenship and asylum requests from aliens. U. S. Customs and Border Protection: Law enforcement agency that enforces U. S. laws along its international borders including its enforcement of U. S. immigration and agriculture laws while at and patrolling between all U. S. ports-of-entry. U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Law enforcement agency divided into two bureaus:Homeland Security Investigations investigates violations of more than 400 U. S. laws and gathers intelligence on national and international criminal activities that threaten the security of the homeland.
Transportation Security Administration: Responsible for aviation security, as well as land and water transportation security United States Coast Guard: Military service responsible for law enforcement, maritime security, national defense, maritime mobility, protection of natural resources. United States Secret Service: Law enforcement agency tasked with two distinct and critical national security missions:Investigative Mission – The investigative mission of the USSS is to safeguard the payment and financial systems of the United States from a wide range of financial and electronic-based crimes. Protective Mission – The protective mission of the USSS is to ensure the safety of the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, their immediate families, foreign heads of state. Federal Emergency Management Agency: agency that oversees the federal government's response to natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, forest fires. Passports for U. S. citizens are issued by the U.
S. Department of State, not the Department of Homeland Security. Advisory groups: Homeland Security Advisory Council: State and local government, first responders, private sector, academics National Infrastructure Advisory Council: Advises on security of public and private information systems Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee: Advise the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council: Coordinate infrastructure protection with private sector and other levels of government Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities Task Force on New Americans: "An inter-agency effort to help immigrants learn English, embrace the common core of American civic culture, become American."Other components: Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office: Counter attempts by terrorists or other threat actors to carry out an attack against the United States or its interests using a weapon of mass destruction.
Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen established the CWMD Office in December 2017 by consolidating the Domes
Awards and decorations of the United States Coast Guard
Awards and decorations of the United States Coast Guard are military medals and ribbons of the United States Coast Guard which are issued under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to 2002, such awards were issued by the Secretary of Transportation and Coast Guard personnel were eligible to receive a variety of Department of Transportation civilian decorations. Since transferring to the Department of Homeland Security, the issuance of DOT awards has been discontinued in the Coast Guard, although such awards may still be seen on active duty Coast Guard uniforms. Coast Guard military awards are similar to U. S. Navy awards and Coast Guard personnel are eligible to receive all inter-service awards and decorations, authorized foreign awards and international decorations; the current active awards and decorations of the U. S. Coast Guard are as follows: Note: These are not classified as military decorations, but are awarded by the Commandant of the Coast Guard The following is the ribbon order of precedence authorized for wear by the U.
S. Coast Guard; the list contains awards and decorations for the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Transportation: Key: Bold = denotes agency-level award or U. S. Coast Guard award Bold italic = denotes U. S. Coast Guard award is obsolete Italic = denotes award is obsoletePersonal decorationsUnit decorationsConduct medalsU. S. Service and training awards Authorized non-U. S. Service awards and foreign decorations Marksmanship awards
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is the coastal defense and maritime law enforcement branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's seven uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, multi-mission service unique among the U. S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the U. S. Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, can be transferred to the U. S. Department of the Navy by the U. S. President at any time, or by the U. S. Congress during times of war; this has happened twice: in 1917, during World War I, in 1941, during World War II. Created by Congress on 4 August 1790 at the request of Alexander Hamilton as the Revenue-Marine, it is the oldest continuous seagoing service of the United States; as Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton headed the Revenue-Marine, whose original purpose was collecting customs duties in the nation's seaports. By the 1860s, the service was known as the U.
S. Revenue Cutter Service and the term Revenue-Marine fell into disuse; the modern Coast Guard was formed by a merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the U. S. Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915, under the U. S. Department of the Treasury; as one of the country's five armed services, the Coast Guard has been involved in every U. S. war from 1790 to the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. The Coast Guard has 40,992 men and women on active duty, 7,000 reservists, 31,000 auxiliarists, 8,577 full-time civilian employees, for a total workforce of 87,569; the Coast Guard maintains an extensive fleet of 243 coastal and ocean-going patrol ships, tenders and icebreakers called "cutters", 1650 smaller boats, as well as an extensive aviation division consisting of 201 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. While the U. S. Coast Guard is the smallest of the U. S. military service branches in terms of membership, the U. S. Coast Guard by itself is the world's 12th largest naval force; the Coast Guard carries out three basic roles, which are further subdivided into eleven statutory missions.
The three roles are: Maritime safety Maritime security Maritime stewardshipWith a decentralized organization and much responsibility placed on the most junior personnel, the Coast Guard is lauded for its quick responsiveness and adaptability in a broad range of emergencies. In a 2005 article in Time magazine following Hurricane Katrina, the author wrote, "the Coast Guard's most valuable contribution to may be as a model of flexibility, most of all, spirit." Wil Milam, a rescue swimmer from Alaska told the magazine, "In the Navy, it was all about the mission. Practicing for war, training for war. In the Coast Guard, it was, take care of our people and the mission will take care of itself." The eleven statutory missions as defined by law are divided into homeland security missions and non-homeland security missions: Ice operations, including the International Ice Patrol Living marine resources Marine environmental protection Marine safety Aids to navigation Search and rescue Defense readiness Maritime law enforcement Migrant interdiction Ports and coastal security Drug interdiction See National Search and Rescue Committee See Joint Rescue Coordination CentersWhile the U.
S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue is not the oldest search and rescue organization in the world, it is one of the Coast Guard's best-known operations; the National Search and Rescue Plan designates the Coast Guard as the federal agency responsible for maritime SAR operations, the United States Air Force as the federal agency responsible for inland SAR. Both agencies maintain rescue coordination centers to coordinate this effort, have responsibility for both military and civilian search and rescue; the two services jointly provide instructor staff for the National Search and Rescue School that trains SAR mission planners and coordinators. Located on Governors Island, New York, the school is now located at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown at Yorktown, Virginia. Operated by the Coast Guard, the National Response Center is the sole U. S. Government point of contact for reporting all oil, radiological and etiological spills and discharges into the environment, anywhere in the United States and its territories.
In addition to gathering and distributing spill/incident information for Federal On Scene Coordinators and serving as the communications and operations center for the National Response Team, the NRC maintains agreements with a variety of federal entities to make additional notifications regarding incidents meeting established trigger criteria. The NRC takes Maritime Suspicious Activity and Security Breach Reports. Details on the NRC organization and specific responsibilities can be found in the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement database system is managed and used by the Coast Guard for tracking pollution and safety incidents in the nation's ports. The National Maritime Center is the merchant mariner credentialing authority for the USCG under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security. To ensure a safe and environmentally sound marine transportation system, the mission of the NMC is to issue credentials to qualified mariners in the United States maritime jurisdiction.
The five uniformed services that make up the U. S. Armed Forces are defined in Title 10 of the U. S. Code: The term "armed forces" means the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard; the Coast Guard is further defined by Title 14 of the United States Code: The Coast Guar
The Achievement Medal is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces. The Achievement Medal was first proposed as a means to recognize the contributions of junior officers and enlisted personnel who were not eligible to receive the higher Commendation Medal or the Meritorious Service Medal; each military service issues its own version of the Achievement Medal, with a fifth version authorized by the U. S. Department of Defense for joint military activity; the Achievement Medal is awarded for outstanding achievement or meritorious service not of a nature that would otherwise warrant awarding the Commendation Medal. Award authority rests with local commanders, granting a broad discretion of when and for what action the Achievement Medal may be awarded; the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, is the United States Navy and U. S. Marine Corps' version of the Achievement Medal; the U. S. Navy was the first branch of the U. S. Armed Forces to award such a medal, doing so in 1961, when it was dubbed the “Secretary of the Navy Commendation for Achievement Medal”.
This title was shortened in 1967 to the "Navy Achievement Medal". On 19 August 1994, to recognize those of the United States Marine Corps who had received the Navy Achievement Medal, the name of the decoration was changed to the "Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal"; the award is referred to in shorthand speech as a "NAM". From its inception in the early 1960s to 2002, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal could not be approved by the commanding officers of ships, aviation squadron, or shore activities who held the rank of Commander. Awards for crewmembers had to be submitted to the Commodore or Air Wing Commander or the first appropriate O-6 in the chain of command for approval, who signed the award and returned it; this led to a lower awarding rate when compared to similar size units in the Army or Air Force awarding their own achievement medals considering that those services did not establish their respective achievement medals until the 1980s. Since 2002 the commanding officers of aviation squadrons and ships have had the authority to award NAMs without submission to higher authority.
For the Army, battalion commanders (or the first O-5 in a soldier's chain of command for the Army Achievement Medal. The United States Coast Guard created its own Achievement Medal in 1967. S. Army and U. S. Air Force issued their own versions of the award with the Army Achievement Medal in 1981 and Air Force Achievement Medal in 1980. Effective 11 September 2001, the Army Achievement Medal may be awarded in a combat area. Since this change over sixty thousand Army Achievement Medals have been awarded in theaters of operations such as Iraq and Afghanistan; the Joint Service Achievement Medal was created in 1983. This award was considered a Department of Defense decoration senior to the service department Achievement Medals; the following devices may be authorized to be worn on the following achievement medals suspension ribbon and service ribbon: All Achievement Medals, "C" device, which signifies meritorious performance "under combat conditions", after January 2016 Army Achievement Medal, for additional awards - oak leaf clusters Air Force Achievement Medal, for additional awards - oak leaf clusters Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, for additional awards - 5/16 inch stars Coast Guard Achievement Medal, for additional awards - 5/16 inch stars Joint Service Achievement Medal, for additional awards - oak leaf clusters Coast Guard Achievement Medal - Operational Distinguishing Device Coast Guard Achievement Medal - Combat Distinguishing Device The following ribbon devices were authorized in the past but have now been discontinued: Air Force Achievement Medal - "V" Device, until December 2016 Army Achievement Medal - "V" Device, until December 2016 Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal - Combat Distinguishing Device, until December 2016 Awards and decorations of the United States government Awards and decorations of the United States military Awards and decorations of the United States Coast Guard Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal Citation Examples HRC Joint Awards FAQ
Good Conduct Medal (United States)
The Good Conduct Medal is one of the oldest military awards of the United States Armed Forces. The U. S. Navy's variant of the Good Conduct Medal was established in 1869, the Marine Corps version in 1896, the Coast Guard version in 1923, the Army version in 1941, the Air Force version in 1963; the criteria for a Good Conduct Medal are defined by Executive Orders 8809, 9323, 10444. The Good Conduct Medal, each one specific to one of the five branches of the U. S. Armed Forces, is awarded to any active duty enlisted member of the United States military who completes three consecutive years of "honorable and faithful service"; such service implies that a standard enlistment was completed without any non-judicial punishment, disciplinary infractions, or court martial offenses. If a service member commits an offense, the three-year mark "resets" and a service member must perform an additional three years of service without having to be disciplined, before the Good Conduct may be authorized. During times of war, the Good Conduct Medal may be awarded for one year of faithful service.
The Good Conduct Medal may be awarded posthumously, to any service member killed in the line of duty. Service for the Good Conduct Medal must be performed on active duty; this restriction does not apply to full-time active duty enlisted members in the Reserve Component, such as Army and Air Force personnel in an Active Guard and Reserve status, Navy personnel in a Full Time Support known as Training & Administration of the Reserve, Marine Corps Active Reserve programs. On 1 January 2014, the Navy discontinued the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal, a de facto Good Conduct Medal for Navy Reserve enlisted personnel. Since that date, all Navy enlisted personnel have received the Navy Good Conduct Medal, whether in a full-time active duty or a part-time drilling reserve status; the various services have established separate Reserve Good Conduct Medals, albeit under various names, as a comparable award available to enlisted Reserve and National Guard members who satisfactorily perform annual training, drill duty and any additional active duty of less than 3 consecutive years duration.
The exception, as stated, is the United States Navy, which discontinued that service's separate award for Reserve Component enlisted personnel as of 1 January 2014. Enlisted Navy Reservists now earn time towards the Navy Good Conduct Medal, the same as the Active Component and any time earned towards an unawarded Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal is automatically carried over to the Navy Good Conduct Medal; the Navy Good Conduct Medal is the oldest Good Conduct Medal, dating back to 26 April 1869. There have been a total of four versions of the Navy Good Conduct Medal, the first version of, issued from 1870 to 1884; the original Navy Good Conduct Medal was not worn on a uniform, but issued with discharge papers as a badge to present during reenlistment. A sailor in the Navy received a new Good Conduct Medal for each honorable enlistment completed; the second version of the Navy Good Conduct Medal was issued between 1880 and 1884. The medal was considered a "transitional decoration" and was the first of the Good Conduct Medals to be worn on a uniform.
The medal was phased out by 1885 and a new medal issued between 1885 and 1961. The new medal was a Good Conduct medallion suspended from an all red ribbon. Enlistment bars, denoting each honorable enlistment completed, were pinned on the ribbon as attachments. There was slight oddity during the Spanish–American War when the Navy created the Specially Meritorious Service Medal which had an all red suspension and service ribbon. There were recorded cases of Navy enlisted personnel who were awarded both the Good Conduct Medal and the Specially Meritorious Service Medal who wore two red service ribbons on their Navy service uniforms; this is one of the rare times in the history of U. S. military awards that two awards had identical ribbons. In the 1950s bronze and silver 3/16 inch stars, with one silver star worn in lieu of five bronze stars, replaced the enlistment bars. Although the medal itself had not changed since 1884, in 1961 a ring suspension for the ribbon and medal combination was adopted, differentiating the suspension from its Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal counterpart and standardizing it with the majority of other service medals.
It is this 1961 version of the Navy Good Conduct Medal, still in use today. The current Navy Good Conduct Medal is issued to every active duty enlisted sailor who completes three years of honorable and faithful service since 1 January 1996. For prior awards to personnel between 1 November 1963 and 1 January 1996, four years of service were required; the four year requirement applies for award of the Navy Good Conduct Medal from its original establishment until 1 November 1963. Additional awards of the Navy Good Conduct Medal are denoted by bronze and silver 3/16 inch stars; the reverse side of the medal has three words, "FIDELITY ZEAL OBEDIENCE" superimposed in a semicircle. Upon 12 years of honorable and faithful service, sailors are allowed to w