Awards and decorations of the United States government are civilian awards of the U.S. federal government which are typically issued for sustained meritorious service, in a civilian capacity, while serving in the U.S. federal government. Certain U.S. government awards may also be issued to military personnel of the United States Armed Forces and be worn in conjunction with awards and decorations of the United States military. In order of precedence, those U.S. non-military awards and decorations authorized for wear are worn after U.S. military personal decorations and unit awards and before U.S. military campaign and service awards.
The following is a selection of civilian awards which are presently issued by the U.S. government.
Formerly known as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) awards the following medals to honor its DoD civilian employees for outstanding service:
Other Public Health Service Association Ribbons
Most of these awards are to be terminated 30 June 2018.
For authorized military awards, visit "Awards and decorations of the United States Coast Guard"
Heroic Act Honor Awards
Other Honor Awards
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s most prestigious honor awards are approved by the NASA administrator and presented to carefully selected individuals or groups of individuals, either government and non-government, who have distinguished themselves by making outstanding contributions to the agency's mission.
Early NASA references to award criteria grouped many awards into equal positions in the order of precedence. Beginning in 1965, references to the order of precedence were dropped from regulations regarding specific awards. The current order of precedence for NASA medals is:
The Bronze Retirement Medallion is awarded by the Central Intelligence Agency for a career of at least 15, but less than 25, years with the Agency.Career Commendation Medal
The Career Commendation Medal is awarded by the Central Intelligence Agency for exemplary service significantly above normal duties that had an important contribution to the Agency’s mission.Career Intelligence Medal
The Career Intelligence Medal is awarded by the Central Intelligence Agency for a cumulative record of service which reflects exceptional achievements that substantially contributed to the mission of the Agency.Civil awards and decorations of the United States
Civil awards and decorations of the United States are awards and decorations of the United States of America which are bestowed by various agencies of the United States government for acts of accomplishment benefiting the nation as a whole. U.S. civil awards and decorations are typically issued for sustained meritorious service or for eminence in a field of endeavour, though there are also awards and decorations for a specific heroic act.
United States civil awards and decorations are issued by federal, state, and local authorities with the most recognizable decorations issued on the federal level. Certain other civil decorations may be authorized for wear on U.S. military uniforms, upon approval of the military service departments. Each of the military branches also maintains their own series of civil decorations separate from military awards.
The following is a listing of articles pertaining to United States civil awards and decorations.Congressional Gold Medal
A Congressional Gold Medal is an award bestowed by the United States Congress. The Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom are the highest civilian awards in the United States. It is awarded to people "who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient's field long after the achievement." However, "There are no permanent statutory provisions specifically relating to the creation of Congressional Gold Medals. When a Congressional Gold Medal has been deemed appropriate, Congress has, by legislative action, provided for the creation of a medal on an ad hoc basis." U.S. citizenship is not a requirement.Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award
The Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award is the highest civilian award given by the United States Department of Defense. This award and accompanying Distinguished Civilian Service Medal is the department's highest award given to career DoD civilian employees whose careers reflect exceptional devotion to duty and whose contributions to the efficiency, economy, or other improvements in DoD operations are of a significantly broad scopeDistinguished Career Award
A Distinguished Career Award is an award recognizing individuals for notable contributions to their fields, companies, or organizations. Distinguished Career Awards are typically bestowed on recipients later in their careers, as opposed to Early Career Awards, which recognize contributions towards the beginning of an individual's career.Exceptional Service Medallion
The Exceptional Service Medallion (formally known as the Exceptional Service Emblem) is a civilian decoration of the United States government. It is awarded by the Central Intelligence Agency in recognition of "an employee's injury or death resulting from service in a hazardous area."Gold Retirement Medallion
The Gold Retirement Medallion is awarded by the Central Intelligence Agency for a career of 35 years or more with the Agency.Intelligence Commendation Medal
The Intelligence Commendation Medal is awarded by the Central Intelligence Agency for the performance of especially commendable service or for an act or achievement significantly above normal duties which results in an important contribution to the mission of the Agency.Medal of Freedom (1945)
The Medal of Freedom was a decoration established by President Harry S. Truman to honor civilians whose actions aided in the war efforts of the United States and its allies. It was intended to be awarded by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, or the Secretary of the Navy, but Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy also authorized awards.Merchant Marine Combat Bar
The Merchant Marine Combat Bar is a decoration of the United States Merchant Marine. The decoration was established by an Act of Congress on 10 May 1943.Meritorious Honor Award
The Meritorious Honor Award is an award of the United States Department of State. Similar versions of the same award exist for the former U.S. Information Agency, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and USAID. It is presented to groups or individuals in recognition of a special act or service or sustained outstanding performance.
The award consists of a certificate signed by an assistant secretary, an official of equivalent rank or the Chief of Mission. While the FAM still stipulates award of a medal set, per a 2007 ALDAC (a cable intended for distribution to all diplomatic and consular posts), medals are no longer issued.NASA Exceptional Service Medal
The NASA Exceptional Service Medal is an award granted to U.S. government employees for significant sustained performance characterized by unusual initiative or creative ability that clearly demonstrates substantial improvement in engineering, aeronautics, space flight, administration, support, or space-related endeavors which contribute to NASA programs.
The medal was inherited by NASA from its predecessor organization, the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) and featured the NACA emblem. The original NASA version featured the NASA seal.NASA Outstanding Service Medal
The NASA Outstanding Service Medal, now obsolete, was to be awarded to US government employees only for notably outstanding service which affected technical or administrative programs of NASA.President's "E" Award
The President's "E" Award - for Exporter - is an award presented by the United States Department of Commerce "to persons, firms, and organizations engaged in the marketing of products who make significant contributions to the expansion of the export trade of the United States." It was established by Executive Order 10978 on December 5, 1961.
All "E" Award winners receive a certificate signed in the name and by the authority of the President by Secretary of Commerce, a lapel pin, and a white pennant with a large blue "E" on it to fly over their plant or office.Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service
The Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service is the second highest award presented by the Secretary of Defense to non-career Federal employees, private citizens, and foreign nationals for contributions, assistance, or support to Department of Defense functions that are extensive enough to warrant recognition, but are lesser in scope and impact than is required for the DoD Medal for Distinguished Public Service. The Secretary of Defense is the approval authority. This award consists of a silver medal, a miniature medal, a rosette, and a citation signed by the Secretary of Defense. An individual may receive this award more than once. Subsequent awards consist of the foregoing recognition devices and a bronze, silver, or gold palm, as appropriate.Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award
The Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award is the second highest career award presented by the Department of Defense. It is presented for exceptionally noteworthy service of major significance to the Department of Defense as a whole.Silver Retirement Medallion
The Silver Retirement Medallion is awarded by the Central Intelligence Agency for a career of 25, but less than 35, years or more with the Agency.