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Navy Medals

What are Navy Medals?

Navy Medals are a type of military medals created by and for the United States Armed Forces. They are awarded for great acts of service within the US Navy. Occasionally, other branches of the military can receive Navy Medals when serving under the authority of the Navy, as can members of military forces in other countries allied with the United States, but only in very special circumstances. Active service members and veterans can both receive Navy Medals for exceptional heroism, bravery, and courage. There are several Navy honors that are recognized by medals.


History of Navy Medals

1861, the first proposal for a battlefield decoration of valor was submitted. However, the general-in-chief of the army, Winsfield Scott, did not want medals to be awarded. When Scott retired in October, the Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, decided he liked the idea of decoration to recognize and honor distinguished service in the Navy, and the proposal was reconsidered.

On December 21 of 1861, President Abraham Lincoln signed a proposal into law. The Navy Medal of Valor was created, with the desire to encourage efficiency of Navy. The Medal of Valor was established purposely for the Navy, so that petty officers, seaman, landsman, or even marines that distinguished themselves from others through exceptional heroism during the war could be acknowledged. The Philadelphia Mint designed the original medal.

The Navy Distinguished Service Medal and the Navy Cross were both created during World War One. The Navy created the medals on the 4th of February in 1919in order to recognize heroic acts that did not fully meet requirements forthe Medal of Honor. The Navy Distinguished Service Medal was first presented on the 13th of March 1919. The first actual recipient of the Navy Cross is unknown, since a long list was given at the end of the World War I. Originally, The Navy Distinguished Service Medal was awarded above the Navy Cross, but in 1942, congress reversed the placement, and it is now awarded below the Navy Cross. This is because the Navy Cross was originally presented for both combat heroism and for other distinguished service but is now a combat-only decoration.


Types of Navy Medals

Navy Distinguished Service Medal

The Navy Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to those who have displayed outstanding, and noteworthy service within the United States Navy. It is generally given to service members with a high level of responsibility that have displayed commendable service.

Who It Is Awarded To

Any member of the United States Navy in a position of responsibility can earn this medal by displaying extraordinary service to the government. They must perform their duty, command, or project in a manner that exceeds expectation. It is most often awarded to Commanding Officers at sea or in the field, but any individual who meets the necessary requirements may be given this medal. This award is for the Navy and Marine Corps, since the Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard all have equivalent medals.

What It Looks Like

The Navy Distinguished Service Medal is a bronze medalthat shows a bald eagle spreading its wings at the center of the medal. The eagle is holding an olive branch and arrows. The inscription “United States of America Navy” is written in gold on a blue ring around the eagle. The outer ring is a gold border of scroll waves. Above the medal is a white, five-pointed star. The star is tipped with gold balls, and there is a blue anchor in the center of the star. White-gold rays spread out from between the arms of the star. On the back of the medal, there is a trident with a laurel wreath around it, and a blue enamel ring around the laurel wreath reading: “For Distinguished Service”.


Navy Cross

The Navy Cross is currently the second-highest decoration in the United States Navy that is awarded for valor in combat. It is awarded to members of the US Navy and sometimes to US Marine Corps or the US Coast Guard. Is given to a serviceman or woman who displays outstanding heroism.

Who It Is Awarded To

This medal is presented by the Secretary of the Navy, and may be awarded to service members of other armed forces, and even to foreign military personnel that serve with the US Naval Forces. The Army, Air Force and Coast Guard all have their own version of the medal.

What It Looks Like

The Navy Cross medal itself is a modified cross pattée, a type of cross with arms that are more narrow at the center and flare out in a curve to be broader at the edge. A traditional cross pattée has arms that are straight on the end, but the arms of the Navy Cross are rounded on the ends. Four laurel leaves with berries rest in the crook of each of the arms. These laurels represent achievement. The center of the cross depicts a sailing vessel on waves. The vessel itself is a caravel, representative of the navel service and the tradition of the sea. The reverse of the medal has crossed anchors in the center of the medals with the letters “USN”.


Navy Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is the highest and most prestigious personal decoration that can be awarded in the US Military.

Who It Is Awarded To

It is given to service members who set themselves apart through acts of heroism. The President of the United States awards it in the name of the US Congress. Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor. The Army, Navy, and Air Force each have their own versions of the Medal of Honor, while the Marine Corps and Coast Guard receive the Navy Medal of Honor.

What It Looks Like

The Navy version of the Medal of Honor was created in 1861 and named the Medal of Valor. It is a five-pointed bronze star hanging from the bottom of an anchor. It is tipped with trefoils, inside which is a crown of laurel of oak. In the center, a depiction of the Roman goddess Minerva stands holding a shield with the US coat of arms in her right hand, while her left hand rests on a bundle of rods. The personification of the United States, Minerva is repelling the Roman goddess Discord, who is represented by snakes.


Custom Military Medals

Our custom medals are made of the highest quality materials available. We are committed to providing and manufacturing medals for any and every occasion. For more than 20 years, we have manufactured Military Medals. We offer unlimited artwork and design. We will guide you through every step of the process, and ensure that everything turns out exactly the way it should.

Here at GS-JJ, we pride ourselves on quality products and quality customer service. Our user-friendly design process is personalized and simple. We offer fast production time and free shipping to anywhere in the continental United States. Our medals can be customized for any occasion. In addition to military medals, we offer running medals, race medals, soccer medals, and more. We have a variety of colors and sizes to choose from so you always get the medal you need.


Every Service Medals Include:

FREE design and artwork with unlimited revisions

FREE full-color proof delivered via email

FREE Shipping - delivered via FedEx air service

100% Satisfaction Guarantee for materials and workmanship

FAST Production - ready to ship in 10 days or less


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