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The Navy Unit Commendation
of the United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...
is an award that was established by order of the Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal
James Vincent Forrestal was the last Cabinet-level United States Secretary of the Navy and the first United States Secretary of Defense....
on 18 December 1944. This commendation is awarded by the Navy Secretary to any ship, aircraft, detachment, or other unit of the United States Navy or Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...
which has since 6 December 1941 distinguished itself in action against the enemy with outstanding heroism but not sufficient to justify award of the Presidential Unit Citation (United States). To justify this award, the unit must have performed service of a character comparable to that which would merit the award of a Silver Star Medal, or achievement of like caliber in a non-combat situation, to an individual. It is also awarded for non-combat service, in support of military operations, which was outstanding when compared to other units or organizations performing similar service.
The Coast Guard equivalent is the Coast Guard Unit Commendation
The Coast Guard Unit Commendation is the highest peacetime unit award that may be awarded to military commands of the United States Coast Guard. The decoration was first created in 1963 and is presented to members of any Coast Guard unit that distinguishes itself by valorous or extremely...
U.S. Army units are also eligible so long as they are directly attached or assigned to U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps units during the time period or event for which the award is given. U.S. Army personnel do not wear the Navy Unit Commendation as a part of their personal awards and medals but, rather, above the right breast pocket with other unit awards authorized for wear.