Marksmanship Awards

Distinguished Marksman and Distinguished Pistol Shot

Military personnel and civilians who participate in Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) Matches can obtain Gold, Silver, and Bronze Badges worth, generally, ten, eight, or six points, respectively towards the 30 points required to become a “Distinguished Marksman” (Rifle, Navy and Marine Corps), “Distinguished Rifleman” (Army and Air Force) or “Distinguished Pistol Shot.” Generally, a competitor may participate in a maximum of four EIC matches during a year, with the stipulation that if he competes in four, one must be the National Trophy Individual Match during the annual Civilian Marksmanship Program National Matches, conducted by the NRA, at Camp Perry, Ohio. History of the Distinguished Marksman Badge (by Culver). History of the Distinguished Marksman Badge (by Rocketto).

The Distinguished Marksmanship Ribbon is a military decoration of the United States Navy which was first created in 1942. Originally known as the Distinguished Marksman and Pistol Shot Ribbon, the decoration recognized those who had been presented a Distinguished Marksman Badge through exceptional scoring at a professional military shooting competition. The Distinguished Marksman and Pistol Shot Ribbon was issued for receipt of either a Pistol or Rifle Distinguished Marksman Badge.

In 1952, the Secretary of the Navy ordered that the Distinguished Marksman and Pistol Shot Ribbon be divided into two new decorations, one for rifle distinguished marksmanship and the other for distinguished marksmanship on a pistol weapon. The new awards were known respectively as the Distinguished Marksman Ribbon and the Distinguished Pistol Shot Ribbon.

The Distinguished Marksman Ribbon and the Distinguished Pistol Shot Ribbon were issued until 1959 when the Navy Department ordered the awards discontinued as of July 13th of that year.

To request award of a Distinguished Badge, address a letter with copies of the match letters awarding leg points results to  (see example below)

Department of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations, 2000 Navy Pentagon DNS -35
Attn: Mr. Patrick Marquez, Awards Section Code 09B, Washington, DC 20350-2000.

Email the entire package to  This email will reach both the CNO and USNMT contacts responsible for reviewing/confirming the distinguished award recommendation packages.  Send questions about the request packages to

See example letter here.  If retired, use this template.

Points are awarded as follows: In any EIC match, the top 10% of scorers, among non-Distinguished competitors, are awarded points, commonly called “legs” or “leg points.” A small number will be awarded Gold, a larger number Silver, and the largest number receive Bronze. EIC matches are held during the Atlantic Fleet Rifle and Pistol Matches, the Pacific Fleet Rifle and Pistol Matches, the All Navy Rifle and Pistol Championships; the Interservice Matches, the National Matches, and and at civilian shooting clubs throughout the country. Badges earned outside of the Fleet, All Navy, Interservice and National matches do not rate a Navy EIC badge, but count towards the 30 required points. See OPNAVINST 3590.26 (under “Navy Regs and References” tab). Leg Medal-

Navy personnel wear Distinguished Badges, and/or Gold, Silver, and Bronze EIC badges on their uniforms, under Navy Regulations. To request to be issued a National or Interservice Badge earned send an email to info located at  “Contacts” ).

Navy personnel who have earned their distinguished badge(s) are listed as follows:


President’s 100

Competitors make the “President’s 100” by scoring among the top 10% of competitors, not to exceed 100, in the President’s Match, held during the National Matches. Sailors making the President’s 100 must contact Director, Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) to receive a brassard. Enlisted personnel alone may wear the brassard on their uniforms, and do so as a rocker, at the top of the sleeve. By traditional practice, initiated by President Theodore Roosevelt, the President of the United States sends a letter of congratulation to the match winner. However, that tradition has not been kept up since President Clinton.

USNMT (active and reserve) members who have made the President’s 100 list (for rifle and/or pistol) since 2007 are listed here.

Navy Marksmanship Medals and Corresponding Ribbons

Sailors who fire qualifying scores in matches, or in qualification courses of fire, are entitled to wear marksmanship medals and their corresponding ribbons on their uniforms under Navy Regulations. A rifle ribbon/medal has precedence over a pistol ribbon/medal. Qualifications are categorized as Expert (with an “E” affixed to the ribbon), Sharpshooter (“S” on ribbon) or Marksman (plain ribbon) according to the Sailor’s score, based upon a percentage of the total points possible in the course of fire.

Recent News about Navy Marksmanship

Navy Admiral Willis A. Lee inducted into the USA Shooting Hall of Fame on 4 December 2015 in Colorado Springs.
USA Shooting Press Release

“In 1907, Admiral Lee became the only American to ever win both the open U.S. National Rifle and Pistol Championships in the same year. A 1920 Olympian, Lee was a member of the Rifle and Running Target team competing in 14 events and finished as the high medal winner for the Games, taking home seven team medals overall including five gold, one silver and one bronze. “Shooting everything from army rifle to miniature (smallbore) and running target, Lee was an ever-present fixture on the Antwerp medal stand,” said Col. Jim Crossman in his book, Olympic Shooting. Lee and his teammate Lloyd Spooner held the record for the most medals won at a single Olympics for 60 years.

Admiral Lee, who passed away in 1945 at the age of 57, also enjoyed a distinguished naval career. He commanded the U. S. Naval Battleship Division Six during the Battle of Guadalcanal that turned back a Japanese invasion force headed for the island. The victory ended Japanese attempts to reinforce their troops on Guadalcanal and marked a turning point in World War II. Lee was later awarded the Navy Cross for his courageous leadership during that particular battle.”