Establishing Authority

The Navy Good Conduct Medal was established on April 26, 1869, by Secretary of the Navy A.E. Borie. The transitional design of the Navy Good Conduct Medal followed from the original establishment of the Good Conduct Medal by the Secretary of the Navy in 1884.

Effective Dates

The Navy's transitional designs of the Good Conduct Medal extended from 1884 to 1961.


The Good Conduct Medal was initially awarded to enlisted men of the Navy who completed a second (or subsequent) enlistment of three years under Continuous Service; obtained a general average of 4.5 on their Conduct Records, and who were recommended by their commanding officer. In time it came to be awarded for the honorable completion of a fixed term of service.

Order of Precedence

Although the exact place in the order of precedence has changed over the years, the Navy Good Conduct Medal has generally taken precedence after all decorations and before all campaign and service medals.