Established on July 16, 2008, the Coast Guard version of the Combat Action Ribbon honors Coast Guard members who carry out satisfactory active service onshore or in seaborne engagement with hostile forces. Prior to 2008, Coast Guard awardees received the Navy/Marine Corps version.
Eligible operations include the following:
-Operation Allied Force in Kosovo
-Operation Desert Storm
-Operation Enduring Freedom
-Operation Iraqi Freedom
Members of the Coast Guard who are experience the detonation of an enemy improvised explosive device (IED) as well as those who carry out designated clandestine operations at risk of enemy fire may be eligible for the award. Other designated operations may also merit the award at the discretion of the Commandant of the Coast Guard.
The ribbon features a central section with three thin vertical white stripes alternating with a thin red stripe on the right and blue on the left, flanked by a thick yellow stripe on either side, a dark blue stripe on the right edge, and a red stripe on the left.
Subsequent awards may be indicated by bronze or silver stars.