Friday, January 13, 2012

Sea Service Deployment Ribbon

So if you're reading this, you're probably in the Navy, and you probably go out to sea on a grey-hulled warship. At some point, you'll merit wearing the Sea Service Deployment ribbon. But, nobody seems to tell you exactly WHEN you can put it on. Since I like following the rules, I dug into the Navy Awards Manual, 1650.1H, to get the straight answer.

You're welcome to read the manual yourself here. But for Navy personnel, I've boiled it down for you:

- You must be assigned to a US homeported ship, deploying unit, or attached to a Marine Corp force that deploys.
- You have to go away from homeport for at least 90 days at least once during the year OR you go out twice for 80 days at a time (helps out those in the SSBN community!)

If you meet that, then once you've been attached to the command for 1 year, you get a Sea Service Ribbon.

If you're just shy of the 1 year, you can waive up to 14 days.

A deployed unit is "A ship (USN, USNS) , aircraft squadron, detachment, battalion, or other unit that operates away from its assigned homeport or homebase for a period of either 90 consecutive days or two periods of at least 80 days each within a given 12-month period." So if you are assigned to a staff that deploys, or a P-3 squadron, then you can get the award.

It's documented by your Commanding Officer using a Page 13. You can download them from NAVPERS forms, located here (it's NAVPERS 1070/613). I made a sample for an ENS New Sailor that you can use as a guide, located here.

Be sure to document your ribbons. These fall through the cracks all the time. While it may seem silly, your page 13s will add up. At some point your record will get reviewed for promotion, and one of the ways that you are judged is how much sea time you have. If you've spent all those years at sea, but never document it, you look like just another land lubber to the promotion board, when you really deserve better.

Be sure too you wait till the one year mark. If you get onboard and deploy right away, you still have to spend one year attached to the command before you can put in for the ribbon. It's not normally a big deal, but if someone goes through your record with a fine-toothed comb, you don't want that person to find errors.

And one note: if you are attached to a ship homeported overseas, you don't have to meet the 90 day deployment. You automatically get a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon AND an Overseas Service Ribbon each year you are there. I found this out when I saw a LCDR that had 5 sea service and 4 overseas service ribbons, and wasn't prior enlisted. He had served as a minesweeper CO out of Bahrain for 3 years before becoming a department head.


  1. I served at CFAO/NAFK Okinawa from August 1977 thru May 1981 on Kadena Air Base. My tour was classified as Type-3 sea duty because of the location. Does this duty qualify for either of these ribbons?

  2. Yes, i did 2.5 years of my 4 years in navy at sea!!! Nobody ever gave us these ribbons or said anything about them and nothing in my dd214, i know it was the 70s and i know how much people want to run for liberty once you get back so after you get out you cant ask somebody for one? Thanks for YOUR EXTRA service my email 3 med cruises 3 years, uss america, uss eisenhower 1975 thru 1979

  3. Also i think it is best for older ex sailors to be allowed to reenlist for what i hated in my youth i now yearn for , the loniliness and all of being out at sea was bad, but then we get home make kids and ex wives who drive us crazy and for me i would give both of my family.jewels to go back out at sea, away from all the b.s.....time for yourself, time to focus on navy not.focus on family and home so called. Older guys like me but still in good health have not all the problems and agnst of youth, we can devote more time and more rational calming approaches to challenges out at sea, may e, although th3y got email maybe not so bad but if you know of any commanding officer who wnts a good finally of family.obligations to go to sea for somebody else i would love it ,,,i am 57 now sadly but maybe if i write and call people.and maybe get trump or somebody to go along with plan they might let me back in? And please let me know.about sea service.ribbon

  4. William, you qualify for the ribbon

  5. Reported to AD17 home ported Naples Italy Nov 75, ship returned Norva Jul 76. No further 90 plus deployments up to retirement. Do I qualify for either or is the 1 yr