Establishing Authority

The Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal was established when Secretary of the Navy Fred A. Korth approved National Naval Policy Board (1960) Report, promulgated by BUPERS Notice 1650 of June 25, 1962. Originally authorized as a ribbon only, the medal was authorized by Secretary of the Navy Paul H. Nitze on June 22, 1964.

Effective Dates

The initial date for computation of service that can be credited to this award is July 1, 1958. Between July 1, 1958 and January 1, 1996, the period of eligibility was four years; subsequent to January 1, 1996, the period of eligibility has been three years.


The Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal is awarded on a selective basis to Navy Reservists who, during any three consecutive years subsequent to January 1, 1958, fulfill with distinction the obligations of inactive reserve. These requirements include the following:

1. Performs three period of active duty of not less than twelve consecutive months each, unless any portion of a period is waived by the Commander, Naval Reserve Force, or his delegated authority. Any combination of Annual Training (AT) or Active Duty for Special Work (ADSW) satisfies the annual requirement. AT completed prior to August 31, 1994, must have been for periods of not less than twelve consecutive days unless waived by competent authority for reasons not initiated by the individual reservist.

2. Attends a minimum of 90 percent of all scheduled drills each year prior to October 1, 1997, and a minimum of 85 percent thereafter, with an organized unit of the Naval Reserve, for three consecutive years (authorized equivalent instruction or duty may be credited in lieu of drills). Assignment to records review of six months or less may be counted towards eligibility for this award, provided the member maintains eligibility for a satisfactory year toward retirement completing correspondence courses.

3. A period of eligibility interrupted for six months or more will result in a new three-year period beginning with a date of return to drilling status.

4. When a member of the Naval Reserve is ordered to active duty, temporary active duty, or initial active duty for training, such periods will be credited toward fulfillment of the requirements under the following conditions:

   a. The active duty consists of at least thirty days;

   b. The member must have earned some credit toward an award while in an inactive duty drilling status, except for personnel enlisted in reserve programs with no drilling obligation prior to reporting to active duty for Two Year General Detail (GENDET), Three Year Enlistment Apprenticeship, Sea/Air Mariner (SAM), or TAR Enlistment Progrmams (TEP). Personnel enlisted in these programs may receive credit towards the NRMSM for period of active duty or Active Duty for Training, provided such a period is for less than three years.

   c. Upon completion of the three year eligibility requirement for the award while on continuous active duty, the membeer may not qualify for subsequent awards without returning to an inactive duty drill status. Continuous active duty may be applied toward award of the Navy Good Conduct Medal.

5. Active duty time credited toward the award of the Navy Good Conduct Medal may not be credited toward eligibility for the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal. Active duty not credited toward the Navy Good Conduct Medal may be credited toward the NRMSM provided the member affiliates with the Selected Reserves within 90 days of discharge or release from active duty and has met all other requirements for the Navy Good Conduct Medal.

6. A member must have a clear record for the period of eligibility (no convictions by courts-martial or non-judicial punishment). If the service record contains a record of courts-martial or non-judicial punishment, the three year period shall begin with the date of the completion of courts-martial sentence or non-judicial punishment.

7. No Enlisted Performance Evaluation mark below 2.0 in any trait subsequent to December 31, 1995, or below 3.0 in military knowledge/performance, rating knowledge/performance, reliability, military bearing, personal behavior, and directing between August 31 1983 and December 31, 1995 (or equivalent when other numerical values are assigned).

Order of Precedence

The Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal is worn after the Navy Reserve Special Commendation Ribbon and before the Fleet Marine Force ribbon.