The highest peacetime unit award that may be awarded to military commands of the United States Coast Guard. The decoration was first created in 1963 and is presented to members of any Coast Guard unit that distinguishes itself by valorous or extremely meritorious service, not involving combat, but in support of Coast Guard operations. It may also be awarded to units and personnel of the other U.S. armed forces, typically when in support of operations where the Coast Guard is the lead service. One example was the award of the commendation with Operational Distinguishing Device to rescue squadrons of the U.S. Air Force and maritime patrol squadrons and helicopter squadrons of the U.S. Navy, when said units assisted the Coast Guard during search and recovery operations following the January 1986 loss of the NASA Space Shuttle Challenger.
Coast Guard Unit Commendation Ribbon