The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States or members of the armed forces of a friendly foreign nation who distinguished themselves by outstanding meritorious achievement or service to the United States. To justify this decoration, the acts or services rendered by an individual, regardless of grade or rate, must have been comparable to that required for the Legion of Merit but in a duty of lesser responsibility. The Meritorious Service Medal is the counterpart of the Bronze Star Medal for the recognition of meritorious non-combat service. When the degree of meritorious achievement or service rendered is not sufficient to warrant the award of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, when appropriate, should be considered.
The Meritorious Service Medal should not be confused with the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal which is the Reserve component equivalent of the Good Conduct medal.
Meritorious Service Medal 8455-00-450-3728
OPNAV 1650/130 (12-99), Meritorious Service Medal Certificate, S/N 0107-LF-986-7400
Ref: SECNAVINST 1650.1G, Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual