The Medal of Operational Merit is given to Auxiliarists in recognition of outstanding skill in performing an assist, rescue, or other meritorious operational service. The Medal of Operational Merit may be awarded by any Coast Guard Commanding officer (06 and above) of an operational unit or serving as DVC or higher at a district office, MLC, HQ, or serving as a Director.
This award recognizes outstanding achievement or service of an operational nature (defined as direct, hands on, underway, surface or airborne aviation mission activity) worthy of special recognition. For this award, the key words are outstanding operational performance, skill, assist, rescue or other meritorious operational service. To receive the Medal of Operational Merit, only skill is required, not extreme skill, and therefore does not have to be a risk to the Auxiliarist’s life. Outstanding operational performance and other meritorious operational service have been included in this category. This was added to allow recognition of a cumulative series of operational services, none of which, standing alone, would merit this award, but taken as a group, do merit this level of recognition.