The California National Guard Commendation Medal honors California National Guard members who distinguish themselves through outstanding service or accomplishments of a nature that do not warrant the California Medal of Merit.
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 octagonal and features mountains and pine trees. An inscription encircling the image reads “BRING ME MEN TO MATCH MY MOUNTAINS.” The ribbon is beige with a thin vertical yellow stripe in the center flanked on either side by a blue stripe of equal size.