National Security Medal
The National Security Medal may be awarded to any person without regard to nationality, including a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, who, on or after 26 July 1947, has made an outstanding contribution to the National intelligence effort. This contribution may consist of either exceptionally meritorious service performed in a position of high responsibility or of an act of valor requiring personal courage of a high degree and complete disregard of personal safety.
The National Security Medal with accompanying ribbon and appurtenances, shall be of appropriate design to be approved by the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council.
The National Security Medal shall be awarded only by the President or his designee for that purpose.
Recommendations may be submitted to the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council by any individual having personal knowledge of the facts of the exceptionally meritorious conduct or act of valor of the candidate in the performance of outstanding services, either as an eyewitness or from the testimony of others who have personal knowledge or were eyewitnesses. Any recommendations shall be accompanied by complete documentation, including where necessary, certificates, affidavits or sworn transcripts of testimony. Each recommendation for an award shall show the exact status, at the time of the rendition of the service on which the recommendation is based, with respect to citizenship, employment, and all other material factors, of the person who is being recommended for the National Security Medal.
Each recommendation shall contain a draft of an appropriate citation to accompany the award of the National Security Medal.
Gold and Silver Lifesaving Medals
The Gold and Silver Lifesaving Medals were originally created by Congress in 1874 and are now authorized by 14 USC 500, dated August 4, 1949. These U.S. decorations are not classified as military decorations but are authorized for wear by Coast Guard personnel.
Eligibility. The Commandant awards the Gold and Silver Lifesaving Medals under the general criteria listed below:
a. The Gold Lifesaving Medal or the Silver Lifesaving Medal may be awarded to any person who rescues or endeavors to rescue any other person from drowning, shipwreck, or other perils of the water. The rescue or attempted rescue must either take place in waters within the U.S. or subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or one or the other of the parties must be a citizen of the U.S. or from a vessel or aircraft owned or operated by citizens of the U.S.
(1) The Gold Lifesaving Medal may be awarded to an individual who performed a rescue or attempted rescue at the risk of his or her own life, and demonstrates extreme and heroic daring.
(2) The Silver Lifesaving Medal may be awarded to an individual who performed a rescue or attempted rescue where the circumstances do not sufficiently distinguish the individual to deserve the medal of gold, but demonstrate such extraordinary effort as to merit recognition.
(3) Military personnel serving on active duty would normally not be recommended for Gold and Silver Lifesaving Medals; however, military personnel may be recommended for a Lifesaving Medal if the act of heroism was performed while the individual was in a leave or liberty status. In all other circumstances, a military award should be considered. For military personnel, a determination of extraordinary heroism will be made in accordance with Chapter 1.B.5.
Recommendations. Recommendations for the awarding of Lifesaving Medals, or requests for information pertaining to these awards, should be addressed to the Commander of the Coast Guard District where the incident took place. Table 4.1 identifies the districts’ geographical boundaries. If the district is unknown, or if the incident took place outside any such district, recommendations should be addressed to Commandant (CG-1221), U.S. Coast Guard, 1900 Half Street, SW, Washington, DC 20593-0001, who will forward the case to the appropriate district for verification. There is no time limitation on recommending or awarding of Lifesaving Medals. Recommendations for the award of a Lifesaving Medal may be submitted by or on behalf of the person making or attempting a rescue. The submission package must include the following:
a. Satisfactory evidence of the lifesaving services performed, in the form of affidavits made by eyewitnesses of good repute and standing, testifying of their own knowledge. The opinion of witnesses that the person for whom an award is sought imperiled his or her own life or made extraordinary efforts is not sufficient. The affidavits must set forth, in detail, all facts and occurrences, clearly showing in what manner and to what extent life was risked or extraordinary efforts were made so the Commandant may judge the degree of merit involved. The affidavits shall be made before an officer duly authorized to administer oaths. A commissioned officer of the Coast Guard may certify an individual’s credibility. Credibility certification is not required if the affiant is an officer or employee of the Federal Government or a member of the Armed Forces of the United States.
A statement identifying:
(1) The precise location of the rescue or attempted rescue, whether from waters within the U.S. or subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or if the rescue or attempted rescue was outside such waters, whether one or the other of the parties involved was a citizen of the U.S., or was from a vessel or aircraft owned or operated by citizens of the U.S.
(2) The date and time of day,
(3) The nature of the weather and condition of the water, including air and water temperatures,
(4) The names of all persons present, when feasible,
(5) The names of all persons rendering assistance, and
(6) All pertinent circumstances and data showing the precise nature and degree of risk involved.
Upon receipt, the Commandant or respective district commander shall refer the recommendation to a designated Investigating Officer (IO) for verification. The IO will conduct an inquiry and develop additional information and/or evidence necessary for the district commander to either:
(1) Terminate the verification process if there is insufficient justification to continue further. If terminated, provide feedback to originator, with copy to Commandant (CG-1221); or
(2) Complete the proposed recommendation and forward to the Commandant for final determination using Lifesaving Award Form, CG-5685. Include all relevant supporting material, a completed Coast Guard Award Recommendation, form CG-1650, and include a proposed citation.
Citations. Proposed citations should be prepared on letter-size paper, in “portrait” format with one-inch top and side margins and a two-inch bottom margin. Citations will be in Times New Roman, 11- to 12-pitch, bold font. Format the citations as shown in the examples in enclosure (24).
a. Gold Lifesaving Medal citations.
(1) Standard opening phrase for citations. “For extreme and heroic daring on the (morning, afternoon, etc.) of (date), when . . .”
(2) Standard closing phrase for citations. “(His or her) unselfish actions and valiant service, despite imminent personal danger, reflect great credit upon (himself or herself) and are (were, if posthumous) in keeping with the highest traditions of humanitarian service.”
b. Silver Lifesaving Medal citations.
(1) Standard opening phrase for citations. “For heroic action on the (morning, afternoon, etc.) of (date), when . . .”
(2) Standard closing phrase for citations. “(His or her) unselfish actions and valiant service reflect great credit upon (himself or herself) and are (were, if posthumous) in keeping with the highest traditions of humanitarian service.”