Commandant Chester R. Bender established the Coast Guard’s Meritorious Unit Citation (MUC) on November 13, 1973 as a way to recognize Coast Guard units that have distinguished themselves either through valorous or meritorious achievement or service while supporting Coast Guard operations not involving combat. The decoration may also be awarded to units from the other four branches of the Armed Forces of the United States, but their service must also meet the standards set for Coast Guard Units and it must be in support of Coast Guard operations. The level of service deserving of the MUC must be comparable to that for which an individual would receive the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.

While the Coast Guard appreciates the burdens carried by those units asked to take part in a disproportionately large number of operational missions, such a situation does not justify the awarding of the MUC. A recommendation for the MUC does not require a Summary of Action except in the case of Navy units; in those cases, the SOA is sent to the Chief of Naval Operations for concurrence. MUC recommendations for Coast Guard units require a complete listing of all the units, teams, and individuals that would be decorated for their participation. Just as with the recommendations for the Coast Guard’s Unit Commendation, the submission must also list any previous awards the unit has received during the same time period (or the absence of any awards).

Meritorious Unit Commendation winners are listed in the Coast Guard Military Medals and Awards Manual, or COMDTINST M1650.25, as an Enclosure. A review of the most up-to-date edition of the manual (M1650.25E), published in August, 2016, reveals just six units that garnered the award in 2014: three Coast Guard stations, two Coast Guard Cutters, and one Air National Guard Wing.

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