Proficiency with pistol and rifle have been award-worthy skills in the Navy since 1920. The name and design of the award have changed, but any member of the Navy—no matter what rank, rate, or rating—is eligible for today's Marksmanship medal.
The qualification course requires participants shoot at targets at varying distance and from differing stances. Points are given for the shots' placement on the human-shaped targets, but participants must hit three-of-three at 50 and 100 meters, six-of-six at 150 meters, and five-of-six at 200, 250, and 300 meters. A Marksman scores 140-159 points; a Sharpshooter, 160-169 points; and an Expert, 170-200 points.
Qualifiers earn both a medal and a ribbon, the latter of which is worn on the duty uniform. A bronze "S" device on the ribbon denotes "Sharpshooter," a bronze "Expert" denotes a first and second "Expert," and a silver "E" signifies a third, final "Expert" rating.
Designed by the U.S. Mint, the Navy Expert Rifle Marksmanship medal is a bronze disc with a smaller disc superimposed over the top. The top disc features an eagle with an anchor in its talons, the design taken from the Navy Seal. The bottom disc includes a boxed bull's-eye target with "Expert Rifleman" across the top and "United States Navy" curved below. The recipient's name is engraved on the blank back. The medal hangs from a navy blue ribbon with three narrow light green stripes, one in the center and the other two near either edge.