Established on February 6, 1942, the Navy Presidential Unit Citation recognizes acts of heroism or unusually excellent conduct by operating units of the United States Navy or Marine Corps of a nature that would warrant the Navy Cross if performed individually and that sets them apart from other units. It may also be awarded to friendly foreign units.
The ribbon features three horizontal stripes of blue, yellow, and red from top to bottom. It is the lone Navy ribbon to feature horizontal stripes.
Special clasps may be issued to indicate service on the USS Nautilus in 1958 or the USS Triton in 1960.