Navy Unit Commendation — Military Decorations

Navy Unit Commendation Medal and Ribbon Design Images

The Navy Unit Commendation comes with a unique service ribbon, which is worn on the recipient's uniform in situations where the full medal is not worn. If you have earned this decoration, you can wear the service ribbon on your ribbon rack.

What is the Navy Unit Commendation Decoration?

The ribbon itself is similar to the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation. It bears the same colour scheme of hunter green with bands of royal blue, Spanish yellow, and scarlet. In the ribbon, a large green central stripe is flanked by three stripes of royal blue, Spanish yellow and scarlet on the edges.

The royal blue, Spanish yellow, and scarlet create a border on the pennant and the streamer follows suit to the design of the ribbon.

The United States military sorts decorations into categories called Classes and Types. The Navy Unit Commendation medal is classified as a Unit Award of the type Presidential Unit Citation.

How Do You Earn the Navy Unit Commendation?

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.

Displaying the Navy Unit Commendation

The Order of Precedence of the Navy Unit Commendation is 45, and this precedence is used when placing the associated service ribbon on your uniform ribbon rack. You can see a full list of decorations in the order of precedence on the Decorations homepage.

All members of the unit may wear the decoration, whether or not they personally participated in the acts for which the unit was cited. Only those assigned to the unit at the time of the action cited may wear the decoration as a permanent award.

U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and U.S Coast Guard units are also 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 Navy and Marine Corps units.

Additional awards of the Navy Unit Commendation are denoted by  3/16 inch bronze stars.

A four foot long streamer may be present upon unit flags who receive this distinction. Pennants are also authorised when designated appropriate.

Navy Unit Commendation Associated Branches


Marine Corps

Navy Unit Commendation Associated Branches


Marine Corps

Navy Unit Commendation and the Stolen Valor Act

The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 is a federal law that makes it illegal for any person to falsely claim to be the recipient of certain military awards, "with the intention of obtaining money, property, or other tangible benefit by convincing another that he or she received the award".This decoration is covered by the Stolen Valor act. Fraudulently claiming to have received a Navy Unit Commendation can result in punishment including a fine, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both

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