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Resource | Dec. 18, 2020



Awards available to both members and civilians


DHS Secretary's Awards 
The DHS Secretary's Awards honor individuals who have displayed a special dedication to the mission of homeland security, setting a sterling example for all DHS employees who share their commitment to the Department and the American People

Inspirational Leadership Awards
The Office of Leadership sponsors four annual awards and two that are managed by the Coast Guard but are sponsored by the Navy League. This page provides award descriptions, ALCOASTs and an archive of previous award recipients.

Innovation Awards
Managed by the Acquisition Directorate, the Innovation Program honors innovators that have helped further Coast Guard goals to be ready, relevant and responsive. The annual awards are named for innovator CAPT Niels P. Thomsen. Nominations are submitted through CG_Ideas@Work.

Civil Rights Awards Program
The Office of Civil Rights supports several programs that honor those who promote diversity and equal employment in the federal workforce. Active duty members, reservists and civilians are all eligible to be recognized with these awards.

  • Federal Asian Pacific American Council Military Meritorious Service Award
  • Federal Asian Pacific American Council Civilian Awards
  • Society of American Indian Government Employees Meritorious Service Award
  • League of United Latin American Citizens Excellence in Service Award
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award
  • LATINA Style Meritorious Service Award
  • Blacks in Government Meritorious Service Award
  • National Image, Incorporated (IMAGE) Meritorious Service Award


Civilian honorary awards are non-monetary and recognizes and an individual or group achievement worthy of recognition. Honorary award recipients are often presented with a certificate, plaque, crystal device or lapel pin. Honorary awards may be granted along with a performance awards or Quality Step Increase. Honorary awards must be approved through the nominee's supervisory chain of command and depending on the type of award, may require approval by the Commandant. Nominations for most Coast

Guard honorary awards may be submitted at anytime.

Eligibility criteria and nomination procedures are available in COMDTINST M12451.1C, the Coast Guard Civilian Awards Manual.

Award templates are available from the Office of Civilian Human Resources' Honorary Awards Program.

Here are the Coast Guard honorary awards available for civilians:

  • Commandant's Superior Achievement Award
  • Commandant's Distinguished Career Service Award (presented upon retirement)
  • Civilian Employee of the Year (solicitation occurs once a year
  • Civilian Service Commendation Medal
  • Certificate of Appreciation    
  • Official Letter of Commendation



Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year Award Program
Mrs. Allen-Yearout was a driving force in establishing the Coast Guard Ombudsman Program and symbolizes voluntary commitment to the Coast Guard mission by supporting our members and their families. This award honors Wanda Allen-Yearout for her thirty-five years of service to the Coast Guard. The Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year Award Program annually recognizes a unit ombudsman that has demonstrated the greatest commitment serving as a Coast Guard Ombudsman.



National Awards for Reservists
Here are three national awards with two categories each that recognize Reservists with exemplary service in honor of the leaders for which they were named.

Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Awards Criteria and Submission Template
An annual recognition of units from each of the Armed Forces Reserve components that have demonstrated excellence in family readiness and have contributed to mission success

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Awards
These Department of Defense awards recognize employers for their exceptional support of National Guard and Reserve members. Some of the awards are also available for spouses of Reservists.

Active Duty


Coast Guard Military Medals and Awards Manual, COMDTINST M.1650.25E

Recognition Manual, COMDTINST M1650.26

Standard Form (SF) 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records

Replacement of U.S. Coast Guard Military Medals and Ribbons