Personal Decorations
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Coast Guard Cross


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.

See COMDTINST M1650.25D (Medals and Awards Manual)


Medal: The Cross stands for personal sacrifice. The central portion symbolizes the National Coat of Arms which signifies representation and allegiance encircled by the laurel wreath which symbolizes honor. The anchors, crossed oars and entwined rope are familiar Coast Guard and maritime symbols and describe the marine environment where these acts of valor were performed.

Ribbon: Dark blue signifies loyalty and devotion, white represents purity and blue symbolizes thoughtfulness and truth. Scarlet signifies courage, patriotism and valor.

Established by Act of Congress on 15 October 2010, the Coast Guard Cross is intended to recognize members of the United States Coast Guard for extraordinary heroism in action while not operating under the Department of the Navy. Coast Guard members serving under the U.S. Navy would be eligible for the Navy Cross.

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