Established on August 15, 1936, the Navy Expeditionary Medal honors U.S. Navy members who have participated in a foreign landing, engaged in combat against an enemy force, or carried out service in qualifying operations for which there is no other corresponding award. It may be awarded for service retroactive to February 12, 1874.
The medal is bronze and features on man in the water helping to land a boat full of servicemen; text reading “EXPEDITIONS” appears on the upper portion of the medal. The reverse features an eagle atop an anchor and grasping a spray of laurel, encircled by an inscription reading” UNITED STATES NAVY - FOR SERVICE.” The ribbon is blue with one thick vertical yellow stripe toward each edge.
Additional awards may be indicated by service stars, and a Wake Island bar and silver “W” may be issued to indicate service in the Wake Island World War II defense between December 7 and 22 of 1941.