Obverse: A gold medal 2¼ inches high by 1¾ inches wide consisting of a Cross Aiguise with anchors radiating outwards between the arms of the cross. Extending from the uppermost arm, two oars per saltire, paddles to chief, with a rope wrapped around the oar handles and incorporating a ribbon ring behind the paddles. Centered on the cross and encircled by a laurel wreath of 26 enameled green leaves is a shield similar to that found in the Great Seal of the United States. The stripes of the shield are alternating red and white colored enamel, while the chief is enameled blue with 13 white five-pointed stars.
Reverse: The reverse is identical to the obverse, except the center does not have a shield. In the center is the inscription “FOR” arched above and “VALOR” arched below. Space is available for engraving the recipient’s name and date of award.
Ribbon: The cross is suspended from a 1-3/8 inch ribbon of navy blue. In the center is a 5/32-inch stripe of scarlet, flanked by 1/16-inch stripes of ultramarine blue, bordered in white.