Establishing Authority

The Naval Reserve Medal was established by Secretary of the Navy James K. Paulding on September 12, 1938.

Effective Dates

The Naval Reserve Medal was worn for qualifying service between September 12, 1938 and September 12, 1958.


The Naval Reserve Medal was awarded to commissioned officers and enlisted members of the Naval Reserve upon completion of ten years service in the Naval Reserve Force, National Naval Volunteers, or in any Federally recognized naval militia force in either active or in-active status. The award of the Naval Reserve Medal was discon-tinued on September 12, 1958, and has been replaced by the Armed Forces Reserve Medal.

Order of Precedence

The Naval Reserve Medal was worn after the Armed Forces Reserve Medal and before any foreign unit awards.


Subsequent awards of the Naval Reserve Medal were denoted by bronze stars.


The Naval Reserve Medal was designed by John R. Sinnock.

Description and Symbolism


In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, an eagle with spread wings is shown perched on an anchor resting on a rocky ledge. Behind the eagle are ascending rays of light, and to its left, clouds. The eagle is the American bald eagle and its defiant attitude suggests preparedness and a readiness to serve. The anchor is symbolic of the Navy. The rocky ledge represents land and symbolizes reserve service. The rays in the background refer to dawn and refer to the fact that Naval Reserves are prepared to serve at the first light of any emergency.


Forming a circle around the edge of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, the words UNITED STATES NAVAL RESERVE, separated at the bottom of the medal by a five-pointed star. In the center, in two lines, the words FAITHFUL SERVICE.


The ribbon to the Reserve Ribbon consist of a field of dark red with blue edge stripes, the two colors separated by narrow pinstripes of gold. The blue and gold pinstripes at the edge of the ribbon are the Navy's colors and represent the Navy. The red center stripe was adapted from the Navy Good Conduct Medal.