The Gold Lifesaving Medal (GLM) is an award of the United States Coast Guard that is approved for Armed Forces personnel and civilians. First created by an act of Congress in 1874, it is one of the oldest medals of the United States. Originally presented by the Department of Treasury, it is currently presented by the United States Coast Guard through the Department of Homeland Security.
The Lifesaving Medals are presented to those who rescue, or attempt to rescue, another person from drowning, shipwreck or other peril in the water. The medal is issued in two grades, a Gold medal for the extreme risk of ones own life in the rescue and a Silver medal for all other circumstances. The medals are unique to all other United States military medals in that the medallion is actually struck from the medal of the grade of the medal, Gold or Silver. Other military awards are usually composed of an alloyed medal.