Listed below is the U.S. Merchant Marine awards authorized for wear on the Army uniform in their order of precedence.


Distinguished Service Medal 

Distinguished Service Medal 

The Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to any Seaman in the U.S. Merchant Marine who, on or after September 3, 1939, has distinguished himself during the war by outstanding conduct or service in the line of duty. Not more than one medal shall be issued to any one seaman, but for each succeeding instance sufficient to justify the award of a medal, there will be awarded a suitable insignia to be worn with the medal.


Meritorious Service Medal 

Meritorious Service Medal 

The Merchant Marine Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to Seamen of any ship operated by or for the War Shipping Administration who is commended by the Administrator for conduct or service of a meritorious nature, but not sufficient to warrant the Distinguished Service Medal.


Gallant Ship Citation

Gallant Ship Citation

Awarded to officers and seamen who served on a ship which at the time of service, was cited for gallantry by the Maritime Administration. The bronze plaque is awarded to the ship.


Mariner’s Medal 

Mariner’s Medal 

The Mariner’s Medal is awarded to any seaman who while serving in a ship during the war period is wounded, suffers physical injury, or suffers through dangerous exposure as a result of an act of enemy of the United States. In the event any such seaman dies from the wounds or injuries before the award can be made to him, the medal may he presented to the person named in the War Risk Policy as his beneficiary. 


Combat Medal

Combat Medal

The Combat Bar is issued to seamen who serve in a ship which, at the time of such service, is directly attacked or damaged by an instrumentality of war. There is further prescribed for issuance a star (to be attached to such bar) to seamen who are forced to abandon ship when so attacked or damaged. For each additional abandonment, an additional star is attached.


Defense Medal

Defense Medal

Awarded for service in the U.S. Merchant Marine prior to Pearl Harbor. It may be worn by all merchant seamen who served as members of the crews of U.S. merchant ships from September 8, 1939 and December 7, 1941.


Atlantic War Zone Medal

Atlantic War Zone Medal

For mariners who served in the Atlantic War Zone including the North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, Barents Sea, and the Greenland Sea, between December 7, 1941, and November 8, 1945. Design (Medal): The compass rose is traditionally associated with maritime navigation and the superimposed triangle with duty and service other than in the Armed Forces. The eagle symbolizes the United States and freedom.


Pacific War Zone Medal

Pacific War Zone Medal

For merchant marine service in the Pacific War Zone, which included the North Pacific, South Pacific, and the Indian Ocean east of 80 degrees east longitude, during the period December 7, 1941, to March 2, 1946. Design: The trident, a symbol of naval prowess, rests upon a shaft of bamboo denoting the Pacific theater of operations. The sea seascape suggests maritime activities and service.


Mediterranean-Middle East War Zone Medal

Mediterranean-Middle East War Zone Medal

For seafarers who served in the zone including the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and Indian Ocean west of 80 degrees east longitude, between December 7, 1941, and November 8, 1945. Design: The shield and anchor symbolize a strong maritime service. The palms suggest the Mediterranean-Middle East area while denoting victory and achievement.


Victory Medal

Victory Medal

Awarded to members of the crews of ships who served 30 days or more during the period December 7, 1941 to September 3, 1945.


Korean Service Medal

Korean Service Medal

Recognizing service in the American merchant marine during the Korean Conflict. It is awarded for service between June 30, 1950, and September 30, 1953, in waters adjacent to Korea. Design: The torii gate and taeguk are traditionally associated with Korea. The ship’s chain alludes to maritime service.


Vietnam Service Medal

Vietnam Service Medal

For maritime service between July 4, 1965, and August 15, 1973, in waters adjacent to Vietnam. Design: The dragon is traditionally associated with Vietnam, the shoreline denotes service in the coastal waters adjacent to Vietnam, and the anchor symbolizes maritime service.


Expeditionary Medal

Expeditionary Medal

Awarded to American merchant seamen who serve on U.S.-flag ships in support of operations involving American and allied military force. It was first authorized for service in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. This medal is also authorized to mariners who served in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and most recently in 2016 for Operations Restore Hope and United Shield and related operations in Somalia


Philippine Defense Ribbon

Philippine Defense Ribbon

Awarded to members of crews of ships who served in Philippine waters for not less than 30 days from December 8, 1941 to June 15, 1942.


Philippine Liberation Ribbon

Philippine Liberation Ribbon

Awarded to members of crews of ships who served in Philippine waters for not less than 30 days from October 17, 1944, to September 3, 1945