Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal

Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal

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Service: Coast Guard
Instituted: 1923
Criteria: Outstanding pro­ficiency, leadership and conduct during three years of enlisted service
Devices: Bronze, Silver Star
Notes: Originally suspended from a 1½” wide ribbon and a square lower suspender bar

The Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal was first authorized on December 12, 1923 to recognize superior performance of duty by enlisted Coast Guardsmen during a four year period of service. The time requirement was changed in 1934 to conform to the three year requirement then in effect for the Navy and Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals. Originally, the Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal was attached to a 1-1/2 inch wide ribbon suspended from a rectangular top bar having the inscription, “U.S. Coast Guard.” The metal pendant was 1-7/16 inches in diameter with the likeness of a cutter in the center surrounded by the Coast Guard’s motto, “SEMPER PARATUS” (Always Prepared). The pendant is suspended from a straight crossbar looped through the bottom of the suspension ribbon. Subsequent awards were indicated by the addition of bronze Good Conduct Bars. These bars were attached to the suspension ribbon with the recipient’s ship or duty station engraved on the front and the date of award on the reverse. Both the suspension top bar and the Good Conduct Bars were discontinued following the Korean War.

Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal

Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal

The current Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal is suspended from a 1-3/8 inch wide ribbon and the planchet has been reduced to 1-1/4 inches. The new planchet also replaces the small ship in the center with the seal of the U.S. Coast Guard. The reverses of both versions are quite similar with a blank center disk surrounded by an outer ring upon which are inscribed the words, “FIDELITY ZEAL OBEDIENCE.”

The current medal also does not use the “square” suspension and bottom crossbar but is attached directly to the ribbon by means of a suspension ring. The ribbon is maroon with a central stripe of white. Additional awards are denoted by bronze and silver stars.

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