Established on June 27, 1908, the Navy and Marine Corps versions of the Spanish Campaign Medal honor personnel in those branches of the military who carried out active duty in the Spanish-American War between the dates of May 1 and August 16, 1898. Initially presented only to those who served in the Philippines, its reach was expanded to include service in the Caribbean as well with the discontinuation of the West Indies Campaign Medal in 1913.
The medal features the Morro Castle fortress in Havana, Cuba, over laurel branches and the year “1898.” An inscription on the upper portion of the medal reads “WAR WITH SPAIN.” The reverse of the medal features an eagle atop an anchor whose chain reads “FOR SERVICE” as well as a wreath of oak and laurel. The upper portion of the medal reads “UNITED STATES NAVY” or “UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS” as appropriate, and 13 stars adorn the lower portion. The ribbon features three yellow and two navy blue vertical stripes, although awards prior to 1913 were issued with yellow and red stripes in reference to Spain’s national colors.