Merchant Marine Expeditionary Medal
Awarded to American merchant seamen having served on U.S.-flag ships in support of operations involving American and allied military force. It was first authorized for service in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Design: The anchor, symbolizing naval prowess, is flanked and supported by two seahorses, suggesting maritime service in support of the United States Armed Forces. The United States Merchant Marine comprises the merchant ships that are used to transport both imports and exports during peace time and serves as an auxiliary to the United States Navy during times of war, delivering both troops and supplies to the military, as well as goods for the welfare of the country, under hazardous conditions, usually by convoy. The Merchant Marine is civilian except in times of war, when they are effectively considered military personnel governed under the provisions of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936. A merchant mariner is a seafarer or mariner in the United States Merchant Marine.