Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Specially Meritorious Service Medal
The Specially Meritorious Service Medal was a military decoration of the United States Navy which was created in 1898 by order of the United States Congress. The medal was intended to recognize acts of non-combat meritorious service accomplished during the Spanish-American War.
Awarded to any member of the U.S. Navy, or United States Marines, the Specially Meritorious Service Medal was presented for acts of gallantry or heroism, not involving armed combat with an enemy, while operating in the territorial waters of Cuba in the year 1898. The medal was primarily awarded to those who had rescued sailors (both U.S. and Spanish) from burning ships following the Battle of Santiago at Santiago, Cuba.
By 1935, the Specially Meritorious Service Medal had adopted the status of a commemorative medal and had disappeared from official military award precedence charts. Although an actual order from the Navy, declaring the decoration obsolete, was never published.
The modern day Navy Good Conduct Medal is very similar in appearance to the Specially Meritorious Service Medal.
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