The Iowa National Guard Meritorious Service Medal honors Iowa National Guard members who carry out noteworthy service in advancing the state of Iowa but do not meet the qualifications for the federal version of the award or the Commendation Medal.
The Iowa National Guard is composed of the Iowa Army National Guard and the Iowa Air National Guard. The Army component is based in Johnston and traces its roots back to militia activity in 1838. Also headquartered in Johnston, the Air component was founded on September 18, 1847, when the United States Air Force was established as a distinct branch of the military.
The ribbon is bisected by a vertical white stripe flanked by blue on the right and red on the left.