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The United States Marine Corps, being part of the U.S. Naval Service, follows the same awards program as the United States Navy. The Department of the Navy governs the awards program but administered by the Corps. Most of the awards and decorations are the same for both the Navy and Marine Corps, and some are common to all services.

Marine Corps awards fall into three classifications: personal and unit decorations, campaign and service medals, and marksmanship badges and trophies.

Marksmanship badges and trophies are awarded to individuals who demonstrate proficiency or skill with a specific weapon during a specified practice exercise, competition, or match. Marksmanship badges are worn to indicate an individual’s ability with a particular weapon and are awarded in three levels: Expert, Sharpshooter, and Marksman. Trophies are awarded at various levels to include: the United States and international distinguished shooter competitions, Marine Corps rifle and pistol championships, national trophies for rifle and pistol, inter-service rifle and pistol matches, regional practices, combat exercises, division, and inter-division contests.

Badges are awarded to indicate proficiency in specific areas, such as marksmanship. The Marine Corps also participates with the other services in a system by which entire units are recognized for outstanding performance. Members of cited units are entitled to wear the appropriate award (e.g., Navy Presidential Unit Citation and Navy Unit Commendation, etc.).

Marines may wear awards described in the Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual (SECNAVINST 1650.1). The definition of terms according to Marine Corps Uniform Regulations are:

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