Thursday, February 23, 2012

The ever useful Navy Achievement Medal

The Navy Achievement Medal is one of the greatest inventions in the Navy. Seriously. Look at all the positive things you can do with it:

- It can be given to anyone O-4 and below
- The awarding authority is the commanding officer, so in most places it is relatively easy to route
- Any command given NAMs don't require a full writeup, so they are quick to crank out
- For enlisted personnel, it gives you points towards advancement

Given all of these benefits, the NAM is a powerful spot award. Sadly, too many commands use it only as an end of tour, and don't reap the benefits of being able to hold up model sailors at an award ceremony.

One other great thing about the NAM is that you can submit it with a combat V device. The catch is: "Eligibility for the Combat Distinguishing Device shall be based solely on acts or services by individuals who are exposed to personal hazard due to direct hostile actions." Why this is great is that the future of combat is going to consist of a lot of small, fierce engagements, where you will have people that do great things while under fire, but not coming to the level of a Bronze or Silver Star because the engagement will be small in nature. The V device allows you to give them credit without having to try and justify a higher award. It also lets those who do dangerous work where you get shot at but don't necessarily return fire (such as ISR, scouting, or anti-piracy efforts) get credit for what they do.

So how do you write someone up? The great folks at have a whole host of articles on the NAM. Go here:

The actual 1650 awards form is located here:

The two parts that get scrutiny is block 19 and the citation. You need to go to:

Then click on Personal Awards at the top, then Personal Award Query in the upper right. Enter in the persons information and click Search in the upper right. The proper Block 19 format will appear at the bottom.

As for the citations, you can get lots of samples here:

Remember, it's a Navy ACHIEVEMENT medal. The criteria is that the person did something above their paygrade or noteworthy that benefited the Navy. Use this tool to recognize your top achievers and get others to strive to be like them.