The California National Guard Military Cross Ribbon honors California National Guard members who execute a heroic act. The act is not required to have been in the service of California or the United States.
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 in the shape of a Maltese Cross mounted atop a California poppy. It is joined to the ribbon by the upper half of a sun. The ribbon features a vertical yellow stripe in the center flanked on either side by a dark blue stripe, a thin red stripe, and a green stripe proceeding outward.