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Awards and decorations of the United States government are civilian awards of the U.S. federal government which are typically issued for sustained meritorious service, in a civilian capacity, while serving in the U.S. federal government. Certain U.S. government awards may also be issued to military personnel of the United States armed forces and be worn in conjunction with awards and decorations of the United States military. In order of precedence, those U.S. non-military awards and decorations authorized for wear after U.S. military personal decorations and unit awards and before U.S. military campaign and service awards.

The following is a selection of civilian awards which are presently issued by the U.S. government.

Office of the President of the United States

Senior Executive Service

United States Congress

United States Department of Defensemarker

DOD-level awards for civilian service

  • Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award

  • Secretary of Defense Medal of Valor

  • Vietnam Civilian Service Medal

  • Southwest Asia Civilian Service Medal

  • Civilian Award for Humanitarian Service

  • Civilian Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal

DOD-level awards for private citizens

  • Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award

  • Secretary of Defense Award for Exceptional Public Service

  • Eugene E. Fubini Award

Joint Chiefs of Staff


  • CJCS Award for Distinguished Public Service (DPS)

  • CJCS Award for Outstanding Public Service (OPS)

  • CJCS Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award (JDSCA)

  • CJCS Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award (JMCSA)

DOD Office of the Inspector General (OIG)

  • DOD Inspector General Distinguished Service Award

  • DOD Inspector General Superior Civilian Service Award

  • DOD Inspector General Meritorious Civilian Service Award

Department of the Army

Department of the Army awards for civilian service

Department of the Army awards for public service

Department of the Air Force

Department of the Navy

  • Navy Global War on Terrorism Civilian Service Medal

  • Naval Criminal Investigative Service Expeditionary Medal

Defense Commissary Agency

  • DeCA Meritorious Civilian Service Award

  • DeCA Superior Civilian Service Award

  • DeCA Civilian Career Service Award

Defense Contract Audit Agency

  • Distinguished Civilian Service Medal

  • Meritorious Civilian Service Medal

Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA)

Defense Information Systems Agency

  • DISA Exceptional Civilian Service Medal

  • DISA Meritorious Civilian Service Medal

Defense Intelligence Agency

  • DIA Exceptional Civilian Service Medal

  • DIA Meritorious Civilian Service Medal

  • DIA Director's Award

  • DIA Leadership Award

  • DIA Civilian Combat Support Medal

  • DIA Civilian Expeditionary Medal

Defense Logistics Agency

  • Distinguished Career Service Award

  • Meritorious Civilian Service Award

  • Superior Civilian Service Award

Defense Supply Agency

  • DSA Exceptional Civilian Service Award

Defense Threat Reduction Agencymarker (DTRA)

  • DTRA Distinguished Service Award

  • DTRA Meritorious Service Award

  • DTRA Exceptional Service Award

Formerly the Defense Special Weapons Agency (DSWA) Awards

  • DSWA Director's Lifetime Achievement Award

  • DSWA Exceptional Civilian Service Award

  • DSWA Meritorious Civilian Service Award

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

  • NGA Distinguished Service Medal

  • NGA Exceptional Service Medal

  • NGA Meritorious Service Medal


NASA’s most prestigious honor awards are approved by the Administrator and presented to a number of carefully selected individuals and groups of individuals, both Government and non-Government, who have distinguished themselves by making outstanding contributions to the Agency’s mission.

United States Intelligence Community

The National Intelligence Awards (NIA) Program is administered by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for the United States Intelligence Community (IC).

National Intelligence Community Awards

Former award prior to establishment of the NIA Program:

National Intelligence Public Service Awards

Central Intelligence Agency

National Security Agency

  • NSA Exceptional Civilian Service Medal

Department of Commercemarker

  • Department of Commerce Gold Medal

  • Department of Commerce Silver Medal

  • Department of Commerce Bronze Medal

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

  • NOAA Administrator’s Award

  • NOAA Corps Commendation Medal

  • NOAA Corps Achievement Medal

  • NOAA Corps Director's Ribbon

  • NOAA Units Citation Award

Non-government decorations

  • NOAA Association of Commissioned Officers (ACO) Award Medal

: Junior Officer of the Year = NOAA ACO Award Medal (without attachments)

: Award = NOAA ACO Award Medal (with bronze "S" device)

: Engineering Award = NOAA ACO Award Medal (with bronze "E" device)

  • Society of American Military Engineers Colbert Medal

  • Society of American Military Engineers Karo Award

Campaign and service awards

  • NOAA Corps Atlantic Sea Service Ribbon

  • NOAA Corps Pacific Sea Service Ribbon

  • NOAA Corps Mobile Duty Service Ribbon

  • NOAA Corps International Service Ribbon

Incentive awards (without medal or ribbon)

  • NOAA Technology Transfer Award

  • NOAA Distinguished Career Award

Department of Energy

In June 2007, Secretary Samuel Bodman introduced a new awards program for non-monetary recognition of its employees and contractors. All awards

Secretary's Honor Awards
Honor awards that are presented annually and replaces the previous Secretary's Gold, Silver and Bronze awards.
  1. The James R. Schlesinger Award – recipient receives a polished brass and mahogany clock along with a shadow box framed calligraphy certificate signed by the Secretary of Energy and a commemorative medal honoring former Secretary of Energy James R. Schlesinger.
  2. Secretary of Energy's Excellence Award – recipient receives a crystal medallion award and leather-encased certificate
  3. Secretary of Energy's Achievement Award – recipient receives a crystal statue award and leather-encased certificate

Secretary's Appreciation Award
Appreciation awards that are presented at any time

Departure Awards
Departure awards may be presented upon retirement or departure from the agency
  1. Secretary of Energy's Exceptional Service Award
  2. Secretary of Energy's Distinguished Service Award
  3. Secretary of Energy's Meritorious Service Award

  • DOE Award for Valor

  • DOE Secretary's Award

  • DOE Exceptional Service Medal

  • DOE Meritorious Service Award

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS Secretary's Recognition Award
  • HHS Secretary's Special Citation
  • HHS Secretary’s Certificate of Appreciation
  • HHS Secretary's Letter of Appreciation
  • HHS Distinguished Public Service Award
  • HHS Medallion Seal Award
  • HHS Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service

National Institutes of Healthmarker

  • NIH Director's Award - Scientific/Medical
  • NIH Director's Award - Technical/Clerical/Support
  • NIH Director's Award - Administrative
  • NIH Director's Award - Mentoring

United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps

  • Public Health Service Distinguished Service Medal

  • Public Health Service Meritorious Service Medal

  • Public Health Service Outstanding Service Medal

  • Public Health Service Commendation Medal

  • Public Health Service Citation (ribbon only)

  • Public Health Service Outstanding Unit Citation (ribbon only)

  • Public Health Service Unit Commendation (ribbon only)

  • Public Health Service Isolated Hardship Service Award (ribbon only)

  • Public Health Service Hazardous Duty Service Award (ribbon only)

  • Public Health Service Foreign Duty Service Award (ribbon only)

  • Public Health Service Special Assignment Service Award (ribbon only)

  • Public Health Service Crisis Response Service Award (ribbon only)

  • Respose Ribbon

  • Global Response Ribbon

  • Public Health Service National Emergency Preparedness Award (ribbon only)

  • Public Health Service Bicentennial Unit Commendation Award (ribbon only)

  • Health Service Smallpox Campaign Award (ribbon only)

  • Public Health Service Regular Corps Ribbon (ribbon only)

Other Public Health Service Awards

  • Commissioned Corps Training Ribbon

  • Association of American Military Surgeons

  • Commissioned Officers Association

  • Reserve Officers Association

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) / Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

  • CDC/ATSDR William Watson Medal of Excellence (no ribbon)

Department of Homeland Securitymarker

  • Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal
  • Secretary's Gold Medal
  • Secretary's Silver Medal
  • Secretary's Award for Valor
  • Secretary's Award for Exemplary Service
  • Secretary's Award for Excellence
  • Secretary's Award for TEAM DHS Excellence
  • Secretary's Award for Diversity Management
  • Secretary's Award for Volunteer Service

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

  • Border Patrol Newton Azrak Award

  • Commissioners Distinguished Career Service Award

  • Commissioners Exceptional Service Medal

  • Commissioners Meritorious Service Award

  • Commissioners Special Commendation Award

  • Border Patrol Chief's Commendation

  • Border Patrol Excellence in Group Achievement

  • Border Patrol Purple Cross

  • Border Patrol Academy Honor Graduate Medal

  • Border Patrol Long Service Medal

  • Border Patrol 75th Anniversary Medal

Federal Emergency Management Agency

  • FEMA Distinguished Service Medal
  • Secretary's Award For Distinguished Public Safety Service. (may be awarded by the Attorney General or FEMA Director)

U.S. Coast Guard

  • Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award

  • Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award

  • Coast Guard Public Service Commendation

  • Coast Guard Certificate of Merit

  • Coast Guard Certificate of Appreciation

  • Coast Guard Commander's Award for Civilian Service

Department of the Interiormarker

Department of Justicemarker

  • Edward H. Levi Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

  • ATF Distinguished Service Medal

  • ATF Gold Star Medal

  • ATF Medal of Valor

Drug Enforcement Administration

Federal Bureau of Investigationmarker

Federal Bureau of Prisons

Department of Statemarker

  • Award for Valor

  • The Secretary's Award

  • Award for Heroism (Authorized for wear on U.S. Army Uniform per AR 670-1)

  • Thomas Jefferson Star for Foreign Service Medal

  • Secretary's Career Achievement Award

  • Secretary's Distinguished Service Award (*Authorized for wear on U.S. Army Uniform per AR 670-1)

  • Distinguished Honor Award (*Authorized for wear on U.S. Army Uniform per AR 670-1)

  • Superior Honor Award (*Authorized for wear on U.S. Army Uniform per AR 670-1)

  • Meritorious Honor Award (* Authorized for wear on U.S. Army Uniform per AR 670-1)

  • Franklin Award (Certificate)

  • Foreign Affairs Award for Public Service (Certificate)

Department of Transportation

Maritime Administration

United States Merchant Marine

Environmental Protection Agency

  • EPA Gold Medal for Exceptional Service (individual and group)

  • EPA Silver Medal for Superior Service (individual and group)

  • EPA Bronze Medal for Commendable Service (individual and group)

  • EPA Distinguished Career Service Award

  • Paul G. Keough Award for Administrative Excellence

  • Glenda A. Farmer Award for Exemplary Technical Support

  • Trudy A. Speciner Non-Supervisory Award for Advancing Environmental Protection

  • President's Environmental Youth Award

Office of Personnel Management

  • OPM Meritorious Service Medal

President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion

  • Y2K Service Medal

Department of Defensemarker

National Reconnaissance Officemarker

  • NRO Distinguished Service Medal (Gold Medal)

  • NRO Superior Service Medal (Silver Medal)

  • NRO Meritorious Service Medal (Bronze Medal)

  • NRO Director's Circle Award


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