Navy E Ribbon

Navy "E" Ribbon

Navy E Ribbon, from top to bottom first through fourth and final awards.
Eligibility Military Unit
Awarded for Battle efficiency competition, to members of ships, squadrons or units.
Status Currently awarded
First awarded 1976
Last awarded Ongoing
Next (higher) Meritorious Unit Commendations
Coast Guard - Meritorious Team Commendation
Equivalent Army - Superior Unit Award
Air Force - Outstanding Unit Award
Coast Guard - Coast Guard "E" Ribbon
Next (lower) Prisoner of War Medal

The Battle Efficiency Ribbon, Navy "E" Ribbon, or (informally) the Battle "E" ribbon was established in July 1976 by Secretary of the Navy J. William Middendorf. The Navy "E" Ribbon denotes permanent duty on U.S. Navy ships, aviation squadrons, or units (including construction battalions) that have won a battle efficiency competition (Battle "E") after July 1, 1974. This ribbon replaces the "E" patch previously sewn on the right sleeve of the enlisted naval uniform for pay grades E-1 through E-6. United States Marine Corps personnel assigned as ship's company are eligible; embarked personnel are not.[1]

The Navy "E" is one of the Naval service awards that does not have a corresponding medal, meaning that when in full dress (when medals are worn), the Navy "E" is placed above the right breast pocket of the uniform instead of the left. However, when in standard uniform (no medals are worn), the ribbon is placed above the left breast pocket, along with all other citations and awards.[2]

The Navy "E" Ribbon was designed by AZ3 Cynthia L. Crider in 1973. It took 3 years to have her design and recommendation be approved by the Secretary of the Navy and the ribbon created by the Department of the Army, which has the final approval for the design and colors of all ribbons and medals in the U.S. armed forces. AZ3 Crider was stationed at Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 88 (VAW-88), a Naval Air Reserve E-2 Hawkeye squadron at NAS North Island, CA. Petty Officer Third Class Crider designed the ribbon after her squadron won the award for the second time in a row, but with the new uniform change would not be able to wear anything on their uniforms to show they had been awarded the Navy 'E' two consecutive times, back in 1973.

The "E" is also one of the few ribbons that is not an individual award. Instead, it is a unit award, issued to any U.S. serviceman or woman who is stationed as ship's company, aviation squadron complement, construction battalion complement, or other similarly-sized deployable/sea-going naval combat unit who is assigned to the unit when the award is earned.

The United States Coast Guard equivalent of the Navy "E" Ribbon is the Coast Guard "E" Ribbon.

Battle "E" device

Silver letter E
Silver letter E with wreath
E device, left, and E device with wreath, right

For each award of the Navy "E" Ribbon, one 3/16 inch silver Battle "E" device is authorized for wear on the Navy "E" ribbon, up to the third award. When a service member receives a fourth Navy "E" award, a Wreathed Battle "E" device is bestowed. This replaces the first three devices and effectively "closes out" the award ribbon — no further devices are authorized for display of additional awards. While service members may receive more than four Navy "E"s, only four may be displayed. Multiple "E" attachments are placed in a symmetrical, horizontal line in the center of the ribbon. [3]

See also


  1. SECNAVINST 1650.1H 2006 3-9 page 104
  2. See Uniform Regulations, Ch. 5, Section 3, Article 5312-1: Manner of Wearing; also Article 5313-1: Manner of Wearing.
  3. See Uniform Regulations, Ch. 5, Section 3, Article 5319-13: Navy "E".


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