Established on December 1, 1958, the Florida National Guard Commendation Ribbon honors Florida National Guard members who demonstrate outstanding service, such as the execution of a heroic act or another noteworthy accomplishment. Originally issued only as ribbon, the medal was authorized in 1973.
The Florida National Guard is composed of the Florida Army National Guard and the Florida Air National Guard. An estimated 12,000 soldiers serve the Army component, which traces its roots back to a Spanish militia that defended the territory against French settlers in 1565 and took on its official form when the 1903 Militia Act incorporated existing state militias into the National Guard. The Air component is based in St. Augustine’s St. Francis Barracks and became official in September of 1947, coinciding with the formation of the Air Force as a distinct branch of the United States military.
The medal is bronze and features the image of the Florida State Seal below an alligator and a shield with crossed rifles. Text around the seal reads “STATE OF FLORIDA” and “IN GOD WE TRUST.” The ribbon is green and features a vertical beige stripe in the center and a thin vertical beige stripe toward each edge.
Subsequent awards may be indicated by bronze oak leaf clusters.