Established on August 4, 1949, the Coast Guard Medal for Heroism, often referred to simply as the Coast Guard Medal, may be presented to members of the United States Armed forces or foreign allies who perform a heroic act or risk their lives while carrying out service on behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard, typically in a non-combat capacity.
The Coast Guard Medal is comparable in prestige and criteria to the Airman’s Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Medal, and Soldier’s Medal.
The medal is octagonal and features an image of the Coast Guard Seal. The ribbon is bisected by a vertical light blue stripe flanked on either side by four thin vertical white stripes and three red in an alternating pattern as well as an additional light blue stripe on each edge.
Subsequent awards may be indicated by gold stars.