Obverse: An American bald eagle with displayed wings in the center of a 1-1/4 inch gilt bronze medallion. The eagle holds an olive branch in its right talon and arrows in its left talon. The eagle is surrounded by a blue enameled ring inscribed “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” at top and “NAVY” at the bottom. Surrounding the blue enamel ring is a gold border of scroll waves moving in a clockwise direction. The medal is surmounted by a white five-pointed star, point up, tipped with gold balls. In the center of the star is a gold anchor with gold rays radiating between the arms of the star.
Reverse: The reverse of the medal depicts a trident surrounded by a laurel wreath. The wreath is surrounded by a blue enamel ring inscribed “FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE.”