The California National Guard Achievement Medal honors California National Guard members who carry out outstanding or honorable service of a lesser nature than that warranting the California Commendation Medal.
At nearly 23,000 members, the California National Guard is the largest in the country; it is made up of the California Army National Guard and California Air National Guard. The Army component dates back to the 1849 founding of a state militia, then called the First California Guard; the Air component, based in Sacramento, traces its roots back to August of 1917 when the 115th Aero Squadron was formed to support the United States’ efforts in World War I.
The medal is bronze and octagonal in shape. It features a grizzly bear’s head and a single star in the upper right as well as a laurel wreath on the lower portion. The reverse of the medal reads “CALIFORNIA ACHIEVEMENT.” The ribbon is white with a blue vertical stripe on each edge.