The Coast Guard Medal was established by Act of Congress (Public Law 207, 81st Congress) on August 4, 1949.
The Coast Guard Medal has been in effect since August 4, 1949.
The Coast Guard Medal is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces who, while serving in any capacity with the Coast Guard, distinguishes himself or herself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy. To justify this decoration, the individual must have performed a voluntary act of heroism in the face of great personal danger of such a magnitude that it stands out distinctly above normal expectations.
ORDER OF PRECEDENCE
The Coast Guard Medal is worn after the Distinguished Flying Cross and before the Gold Lifesaving Medal.
Additional awards of the Coast Guard Medal are denoted by Gold Stars.
The Coast Guard Medal was designed and sculpted by Thomas Hudson Jones (1892-1969) of the Army's Institute of Heraldry.
The first Coast Guard Medals were awarded in June of 1958 to:
The Seal of the United States Coast Guard appears in the center of a bronze octagon. The Seal is contained within a border of continuous cable. The octagon shape was adopted from the shape used by the Soldier's Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, and the Seal in the center refers to Coast Guard service. The border of continuous cable refers to both naval service and perfection of ideals in the service of man.
In raised letters, the inscription FOR HEROISM with space for engraving the recipient's name.
Central and edge stripes of light blue; and centered on either half of the ribbon a field of white containing three red stripes. The colors of the ribbon were adapted from those of the Coast Guard Seal.