TheThe Navy and Marine Corps Medal was established by Act of Congress (Public Law 702, 77th Congress), approved August 7, 1942.
The Navy and Marine Corps Medal has been in effect since December 6, 1941, with a provision for converting earlier letters of commendation (which must be considered on a case-by-case basis).
The Navy and Marine Corps Medal may be awarded to service members who, while serving in any capacity with the Navy or Marine Corps, distinguish themselves by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy. For acts of lifesaving, or attempted lifesaving, it is required that the action be performed at the risk of one's own life.
ORDER OF PRECEDENCE
The Navy and Marine Corps Medal is worn after the Distinguished Flying Cross and before the Bronze Star Medal.
Additional awards of the Navy and Marine Corps Medal are denoted by gold stars five-sixteenths of an inch in diameter.
The Navy and Marine Corps Medal was designed by Lieutenant Commander McClelland Barclay and sculpted by John R. Sinnock (of the Philadelphia Mint). The ribbon was designed by M.A. Crawford.
The first person to receive the Navy and Marine Corps Medal is not known.
DESCRIPTION AND SYMBOLISM
In the center of a bronze octagon one and a quarter inches wide, an eagle facing to its right, its upraised wings truncated by the edge of the medal. The eagle is perched upon a fouled anchor with the flukes beneath the eagle's right wing. Beneath the anchor is a globe. The inscription, HEROISM appears in raised letters at the base of the medal. The shape of the medal and the central theme of an eagle with displayed wings were suggested by the Soldier's Medal (the Army's counterpart decoration which was established sixteen years earlier). The anchor represents naval service, and the globe is from the Marine Corps insignia and represents that service. The inscription denotes the category of service for which the Navy and Marine Corps Medal is awarded.
The reverse of the Navy and Marine Corps Medal is blank, that space being used for inscribing the recipient's name.
The ribbon to the Navy and Marine Corps Medal consists of three equal stripes of Navy blue, old gold, and scarlet, in that order. The blue and gold are the Navy's colors and the scarlet and gold are the colors of the Marine Corps.