The Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (NAM)


The Achievement Medal is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces. The Achievement Medal was first proposed as a means to recognize outstanding achievement or meritorious service of military personnel who were not eligible to receive the higher Commendation Medal or the Meritorious Service Medal.

Each military service issues its own version of the Achievement Medal, with a fifth version authorized by the U.S. Department of Defense for joint military activity.

Award authority rests with local commanders, granting a broad discretion of when and for what action the Achievement Medal may be awarded.

The Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (NAM), is the United States Navy and U.S. Marine Corps‘ version of the Achievement Medal.

The U.S. Navy was the first branch of the U.S. Armed Forces to award such a medal, doing so in 1961, when it was dubbed the “Secretary of the Navy Commendation for Achievement Medal.” This title was shortened in 1967 to simply, the “Navy Achievement Medal.”

On August 19, 1994, to recognize those of the United States Marine Corps who had received the Navy Achievement Medal, the name of the decoration was officially changed to the “Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal”.

The award is still often referred to in shorthand speech as the “Navy Achievement Medal” or “NAM” for short.

From its inception in the early 1960s to 2002, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal could not be approved by the commanding officers of ships, submarines, aviation squadrons, or shore activities who held the rank of Commander (O-5).

Awards for crewmembers had to be submitted to the Commodore or Air Wing Commander or the first appropriate O-6 in the chain of command for approval, who then signed the award and returned it.

And, speaking of such, it is with great pride and pleasure that I share with my extended family here with The News Beyond Detroit that on Friday, September 9, 2022, my youngest son was presented, before his platoon, standing at attention, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his dedication to the Marine Corps and his fellow service personnel.

He has three years and three months of service of a four-year commitment.

Unfortunately, I am not smart enough to paste a copy of the award within this article so I will have to publish a picture of it in the comment section. I have redacted his name for obvious reasons.

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