Coast Guard Achievement Medal
Awarded for outstanding achievement or meritorious service not of a nature that would otherwise warrant awarding the Commendation Medal. Since the Coast Guard Achievement Medal is designated as an award solely for junior personnel, it is generally only awarded to officers in the pay grade of O-4 and below and enlisted personnel below the grade of E-7. Award authority rests with local commanders, granting a broad discretion of when and for what action the Achievement Medal may be awarded. The Coast Guard Achievement Medal may be awarded in a combat area, but for non-combat meritorious service. The Achievement Medal is the lower of the United States military's meritorious service medals. The Achievement Medal was first proposed as a means to recognize the contributions of junior officers and enlisted personnel who were not eligible to receive the higher Commendation Medal or the Meritorious Service Medal. Additional awards are denoted by award stars. The Valor device may also be awarded and effective September 11, 2001, the Operational Distinguishing Device may also be authorized for wear on the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, upon approval of the awarding authority.