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.