Established in 1919, the Navy Cross is awarded for extraordinary heroism in action involving actual combat with an opposing armed force. Early examples of the Navy Cross had the center medallions soldered to the cross - later pieces were struck as a single piece. Ribbons on the early issued Navy Crosses were also 1/8" wider than the standard 1 3/8th inches used on other US ribbons.
a. Authorization, 10 U.S.C. 6242.
b. Eligibility Requirement
1. Awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the Navy or
Marine Corps, distinguishes himself by extraordinary heroism not justifying the
award of the Medal of Honor.
a. while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
b. while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign
c. while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against
an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
2. To warrant this distinctive decoration, the act or the execution of duty must be
performed in the presence of great danger or at great personal risk and must be
performed in such a manner as to set the individual apart from his shipmates or
fellow Marines. An accumulation of minor acts of heroism does not justify the
award. The high standards demanded must be borne in mind when recommending
Information and images provided by:
The Marine Corps Wives Web Site