Coast Guard Commendation Medal
A mid-level award presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. Awarded by local commanders, allowing for a broad interpretation of the criteria for which the medal may be awarded. For actions where such performance was in direct contact with an enemy force, the Valor device ("V" device) is authorized as an attachment to the decoration. The U.S. Air Force began issuing its own Commendation Medal in 1958 with additional awards denoted by gold and silver award stars. The Operational Distinguishing Device is authorized for the Coast Guard Commendation Medal upon approval of the awarding authority.