The New York National Guard Medal of Merit Ribbon honors members of the New York National Guard who demonstrated sustained honorable comportment throughout the duration of their service and who were presented with a commendation or award lesser than the Conspicuous Service Cross, or who directly supported combat on behalf of one of the branches of the United States Armed Forces.
Comprised of the New York Army National Guard and New York Air National Guard, the New York National Guard dates back to 1786 with the establishment of a militia following the British occupation of New York City. The New York Army National Guard was officially formed in 1906, and the Air Guard followed in 1917. The Army component numbers over 10,000 guardsmen, and the New York Air National Guard is the largest state Air Guard in the country at nearly 6,000.
The medal is bronze and features an image adapted from the New York State Seal. Text on the upper portion of the medal reads “MEDAL FOR MERIT” and the lower portion “NEW YORK STATE.” The ribbon is bisected by a thin vertical white stripe flanked on either side by a thicker blue stripe bordered by a thinner white stripe and a thick red stripe bisected by a thinner white stripe proceeding outward.
Additional awards may be indicated by the New York State Shield device in gold or silver.