Campaign and Service Medals
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Coast Guard Arctic Service Medal


Obverse: In the center of a bronze medallion 1-1/4 inches in diameter, a polar bear is shown in profile with its head to the left, walking on a sheet of ice represented by a straight line. Below the line are two undulating lines, depicting water. Above the bear and following the contour of the upper quarter of the medal, the words “ARCTIC SERVICE.” An eight-pointed star is above the bear’s back and beneath the inscription.

Reverse: On the reverse of the medal, the Seal of the United States Coast Guard under whose authority the medal is awarded is displayed.

The multi-colored ribbon consists of stripes in the colors: white, forget-me-not, blue turquoise, grotto blue, bluebird and black. The ribbon is the reverse of the Antarctic Service Medal, indicating service at its opposite (North) pole.

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

The Arctic Service Medal was established by Admiral Owen W. Siler, Commandant of the Coast Guard, on May 20, 1976. It was designed by Arnold Simmons of the Army’s Institute of Heraldry and has been retroactively awarded for qualifying service in the Arctic since January 1, 1946. The Arctic Service Medal may be awarded to any member of the Coast Guard who has served 21 consecutive days under certain specified criteria.

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