The North Carolina National Guard Outstanding Unit Citation honors North Carolina National Guard units that carry out exceptional service so as to set themselves apart from other units, typically of a lesser nature than would warrant the North Carolina National Guard Meritorious Unit Citation.
The North Carolina National Guard is composed of the North Carolina Army National Guard and the North Carolina Air National Guard, numbering approximately 12,000 soldiers and airmen.The Army component is among the oldest in the country, dating back to a state militia formed through the Carolina Charter in 1663; it is headquartered in Raleigh. The Air component was formed in 1948 with the 156th Fighter Squadron and is currently based in Raleigh as well.
The ribbon is gray with a thin vertical blue stripe and a thicker red stripe toward each edge proceeding outward. It features a silver frame with a leaf pattern.