BuShips:CO manual/Operations/Awards

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Awards and Recognition

Awards are another way to track the progress of members and provides a fun way to show off with ribbons and medals. It also provides an incentive for members to not only become active but keep showing up and helping out. Recognition of hard work is a great way to maintain interest, encourage participation and responsibility, and will help show others what they too can earn just by being a little more active. Later in this section, we’ll explain the importance of proper award submission, as well as provide some references and tools for you to assist you in awarding, and submitting award nominations, of your members.

PDF certificates of awards are available upon request from the Bureau of Communications. This allows you to print awards you may wish to present at a convention, chapter meeting, or other special occasion. Email certs@bucomm.trmn.org your request.

Awards Manual and References

The first tool available to you is the RMN-5-1 Awards Manual available via the main Main TRMN web site. It lists all the awards available to the RMN and RMMC, as well as some of the civilian awards. It provides the criteria, award authority, and order of precedence of all the awards contained within. The RMA has a separate manual, A Soldier's Guide, that you can reference if you have any RMA personnel embarked. The RMA awards are near the back of that manual. These manuals, however, don't yet cover Grayson, Andermani, Havenite, or all of the Civilian awards. It would be wise to keep an eye in the forums and on the Admiralty Order page in the wiki, which is linked below, or email the Awards Office at slo@firstlord.trmn.org for guidance.

Remember, manuals are updated periodically. To ensure that you have the most up-to-date information it is a good idea to check the latest Admiralty Orders on the forums or collected on the TRMN Wiki at http://wiki.trmn.org/wiki/index.php/Admiralty_Orders for your convenience.

For references on how members are to display awards, check out the appropriate uniform manuals for the member’s particular branch. Each navy has slightly different rules and measurements when it comes to wearing of awards. Those manuals can be found in the uniforms section of our main website. The RMA's A Soldiers Guide has the RMA standards for the display of awards. Again, it would be wise to follow up with new Admiralty Orders, Naval Directives, and Protector’s Orders, as well as specific branch orders, as things often change between revisions of the manuals.

Service/Event Awards

Some awards within TRMN are used to recognize specific kinds of service, and therefore require particular criteria to be awarded. For instance, the Space Service Deployment Ribbon is awarded to any member who takes their first rank course and is assigned to a chapter. Although the automatic awards are not under your authority to award, it is a best practice to update the information in your records, and log items for a member once they meet the criteria. Certain automatic awards still need to have documentation submitted such as Prisoner of War or Havenite Operational Service Medal to the appropriate authority. Perhaps your member has met the criteria for a POW medal, it would be a good idea to send that information along with your After Action Report to the squadron, task group, task force, or even fleet commander. It’s easy to set up a spreadsheet for tracking award requirement completion, or even utilize tools that some of the issuing authorities have created for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for a template if you can’t find one first or can’t set up a good tracking system.

When awarding any awards, automatic or for merit, submit them by BuPers first, so that they may track and validate the award. It’s important to make sure the member meets the criteria for the award being issued.

There are only two wearable awards you can issue as a chapter CO: Mentioned in Dispatches and Navy/Marine Achievement Medal (NMAM).

Mentioned in Dispatches (MiD)

The Mentioned in Dispatches (MID) is issued to any member who is mentioned by a commanding officer in their bi-monthly chapter report or a ship’s forum post. The event must be grand enough to warrant recognition, and must be preceded by “Mention is Given to:”.

Navy/Marine Achievement Award (NMAM)

The Navy/Marine Achievement Medal (NMAM) is issued to recognize a TRMN member of a unit down to the Ship/Company Level, for an achievement that helps to support the unit. This can be anything that the TRMN member has physically achieved which helps support of further the unit, although taking courses through the Bureau of Training academies is expressly prohibited as a basis for this award. As this award is designed to show that the recipient works hard and performs their duties to a level of excellence, Civilians serving onboard ship in any well-defined role are also eligible to receive this award.

NOTE: There are Grayson and Army equivalents to these awards, so if you are a GSN captain, or have GSN members onboard, make sure that they are given the proper awards.

Even though you’re able to issue the above awards, you still need to submit them to BuPers in accordance with BuPers Directive 1901-1, New Awards Submission Procedures. Which specifically states:

Pursuant to Admiralty House Directives and AO 1901-02, all submissions for awards must go through the Staff Liaison Officer’s (SLO) Office at the Bureau of Personnel. This includes all awards that any Commanding Officer may issue. This is because the Individual Award Request (IAR) receives a system-generated number that is used to reference the award request. All awards will be required to have this number in order to be considered valid. It will also give the SLO the chance to review the award and recommend an upgrade if applicable. “Batch” awards such as the Havenite War Campaign Medal (HWC) and the Havenite Occupation Service Medal (HOSM) will have to be submitted via this same process. For these awards, the nominator may include the names of all those who are to receive the award on one IAR. Once processed by the SLO, the IAR will be forwarded to the issuing authority, or in some cases, returned to the nominator for issue.

The SLO will send a copy of the processed award within 2 weeks of a submitted IAR. If you have not received a copy, then email the SLO’s office no later than two weeks after submission. It may still be in the queue, however, if the SLO is not in receipt of the award, it can be re-submitted and processed before any awards deadline that may be in effect.

Manticoran Combat Action Medal (MCAM)

The Manticoran Combat Action Medal (MCAM) is also an automatic award. It’s awarded upon successful completion of all SWP requirements, enlisted or officer, plus the completion of 40 additional exams. These exams can be from any BuTrain course offerings. MEDUSA will notify BuTrain when MCAM requirements have been met and are announced monthly around the 4th of the month for the previous month’s award.

For every additional 35 exams completed after the first 40, a star is awarded. Notification is automatically sent to BuTrain who announces new and additional awards monthly.

Since bugs, malfunctions, and failures are possible in any system, track the number of courses passed to be certain that you and your crew are awarded what you’ve earned.

Marksmanship Ribbons

TRMN promotes social engagement and cooperation through its Marksman Program by encouraging members to play various types of games together. Whether it be online in the World of Tanks clan or in-person sitting around a table to play D&D, there is a multitude of ways members can earn these ribbons. For a complete list of Games and what qualifications, check out the Marksmanship Manual.

NOTE: Under Admiralty Order 1406-03 TRMN as a whole does not provide any sort of award for live-fire or actual firearm usage. Additionally, TRMN specifically prohibits chapter activities involving real firearms.


TRMN also has qualifications that can be earned by your crew. This is a neat way to show that they have taken steps to learn more about certain specialties for the organization, as well as have gotten together to play games like board games, online strategy games (like World of Tanks) or laser tag. These can come with more "bling" for the uniform that your crew will have the option to wear, as a token of their hard work and dedication. Some, like the Aerospace Wings and Space Warfare Pin, are separate from the ribbon rack, and others, like the Pistol and Rifle Marksman Ribbons, go on the ribbon rack.

While these qualifications are not under your authority to award, it's highly recommended that you encourage your members to work towards them. More information on these qualifications can be found below.

Space Warfare Pin (SWP)

The Space Warfare Pin (SWP) is awarded upon completion of the tasks required to earn the pin. It is awarded monthly by the Sixth Space Lord. The appropriate SWP will be available for the MEDUSA ribbon rack around the 4th of the month following the month in which a member qualifies. It is still recommended that progress for this award is tracked outside of MEDUSA by the CO or the member earning the award.

This award comes in two flavors, Enlisted and Officer, and is available to all RMN and RMMC members.

Requirements to earn the SWP can be found on the Space Warfare Pin page.

Civilians have their own version of the pin, Civilian Pin, also in two varieties: Accredited Staff Member (ASM) and Chartered Staff Member (CSM). While any member may earn this award, only members of the non-uniformed Civilian branches are authorized to wear the award: the Diplomatic Corps and Crown Intelligence Service. The qualifications for the Civilian Pin can be found on the Civilian Pin page.

Aerospace Wings

TRMN's Astro Control Service subcomponent has a program geared towards those interested in aerospace. While some of these wings require flying, many do not. Some simply require online coursework at http://AOPA.org, others require logged simulator time on flight sims such as Microsoft FSX, or Xplane. See the Aerospace Wings page for more information.

Unit Awards

There are three different unit awards that the chapter as a whole can be awarded. This is where your record keeping, chapter reports, and AARs come into play. Whether your fleet CO asks for a write up, or you are submitting your chapter for the coveted List of Honor, it will help to have that information handy to write a strong submission with plenty of details.

Royal Meritorious Unit Citation

The Royal Meritorious Unit Citation (RMUC) is issued to a single chapter or unit in each group for performance above and beyond as compared to the other units in their group as follows:

  • FLEET - A Fleet Commander can award this to one of the Ships, Task Forces or Task Groups under their Command
  • RMN – The First Space Lord can award this to either a Squadron, Task Group, or a Fleet under their Command
  • SPACE LORDS – Space Lords (except the First Space Lord) must submit their request to the First Space Lord for issuances to their Commands. The First Space Lord must submit a request to the First Lord of the Admiralty to have this award issued to their Command.

Royal Unit Citation for Gallantry

The Royal Unit Citation for Gallantry (RUCG) is issued for chapters (defined as Ships) and command teams (designated as staff of the command) that rise above and beyond the call of duty by displaying gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in their activities. All crew serving when this distinction was achieved are eligible to wear this citation. It is worn on the right-hand side of the uniform.

Issued by (Signed by): Lord David Weber, Grand Duke of Montana on behalf of the Monarch, as advised by the First Space Lord

List of Honor Citation

The List of Honor Citation (LHC) is possibly the most prestigious unit award, issued to a chapter that has gone above and beyond as a whole unit to achieve a special goal. Raising a large sum of money for charity, collecting a large number of toys for Toys-For-Tots, fielding a team of walkers for a cancer walk are good examples. An alternate criterion for the LHC is if the chapter gets mentioned in an Honorverse novel and it is clear that it is one of our chapters. When a warship’s distinctions get its name added to the List of Honor, all crew members who served aboard during the time of the action that achieved this distinction are allowed to wear this citation.

LHC is worn on the right-hand side of the uniform. Members who join a chapter after it has been named to the List of Honor, may wear this award on their uniform after they have been a member of the chapter for 60 days, but must cease wearing the award if they leave the chapter, UNLESS the chapter earns a further award while the member was part of the chapter.

When a chapter is named to the List of Honor, their Crest earns a gold border, rather than the regular silver.

Submitting an Award

You as a CO are able to award the Navy/Marine Achievement Medal, and Mentioned in Dispatches. Remember to submit the award first via the award nomination form to BuPers and wait for verification before you award either.

For things like the Space Deployment Ribbon, SWP, and Manticoran Combat Action Ribbon, you should not need to submit them as they are automatic. It is a good idea to track these however, as sometimes things can be missed.

Aerospace wings require submission of certificates and documentation to acs-submission@trmn.org.

For all other awards awarded by different authorities, you can, and are encouraged to, nominate your crew members. Luckily, there is a one-stop form for that. The award submission form, found here, is laid out for ease of use. Anybody in the org can nominate anyone else for an award, so if you notice someone from another chapter doing something award worthy, nominate them. You can list awards that your crew has been awarded in the Chapter Report, including awards like NAM and Mentioned in Dispatches. However, do not nominate anybody via the chapter reports, information will not be derived from there for awards. All awards, regardless of authority, MUST be submitted through the award submission form for validation and tracking. If they are not submitted via this process, they are not considered valid.

If you have submitted someone for a higher award, DO NOT tell that individual, or anyone who may tell that individual, that you have done so. This could cause a problem if the individual is awarded a lesser award, or not awarded one at all. Even if they do end up receiving the award, it could take the surprise factor away from them. The best surprise is the one that they don’t know about!

It is important to be patient with the higher level award (Mentioned in Dispatches and above) announcements since these are done quarterly or only at special events/conventions (per Admiralty Order 1802-01). While it may take some time for an award to be announced, be patient. If you have received a confirmation email, then your award will be announced.

Below are some things to keep in mind when determining whether or not to award someone, or nominate them, for something.

The Award Write-Up

When you want to put a person forward for a major award, or you’re trying to get your chapter recognized for their hard work you’ll put together an award submission. The first thing to remember is the better the write-up, the more likely that award (or, if you’re lucky one higher) will be presented to said crewmember or your chapter. This may seem like a daunting task, but with lots of detail, and a bit of flourish, you would be surprised at what you can get your crew.

Keep copies of volunteer logs and after action reports, especially if you didn’t write them. This will help track who was where, what and how much they did. You can also contact other members that were there for more information in case you feel you didn’t receive enough detailed information. It never hurts to keep a thorough, detailed record, and that is possibly something that you can delegate to your XO or Bosun, as they at some point may want to become a chapter commander themselves.

Banking: When to Save an Award

There are times where immediate awarding of a MID or an NMAM is appropriate. Other times, you may wish to “bank” awards in order to stitch together a larger submission write-up for one of the higher-level awards. This can be difficult to gauge as member activity can be sporadic. Something to remember is that you can only award an NMAM to an individual once a year, so you can take some time to gauge how active they are for a short period. If nothing happens for a couple of months, it would be appropriate to award that NMAM. If they maintain their activity, then save up for a larger write-up. You can still acknowledge a member’s contribution by using a Certificate of Appreciation without jeopardizing their chances of receiving the award.


Double-dipping, in general, is highly frowned upon. An example of double-dipping would be where a member is awarded a lesser caliber award for outstanding volunteerism at an event, and then that same act is used as part of a write-up for a higher caliber award. Unfortunately, deserving crew have missed out on higher-level awards due to double dipping because the CO or other award authority didn’t wait for an opportunity to use that in a higher profile write-up. If you have a crewmember who is consistent in their level and quality of participation, you want to be able to recognize their consistency with a higher-level award. If you are unsure of whether or not to “bank” that award, ask another CO, mentor, or a higher echelon leader and they can provide guidance.

Over-Usage and Value of Awards

When it comes to awarding a member of your crew, it is wise to develop consistency as far as what you would use to present a MID or NMAM. While the awards manual does give a baseline, the parameters can be vague and you may notice inconsistency between chapters for the qualifications. Don’t be afraid to ask a mentor or higher-level echelon COs where they recommend to set the bar on awards. You can also scan the forums or Facebook to see what other MIDs or NMAMs have been awarded for.

Consistency helps maintain some semblance of value on awards. Overuse or inconsistent criteria will devalue awards for the membership, both on and off of your chapter. Overuse is where you always would give an MID for anyone who signs up and pulls a shift at a convention table, regardless of the amount of time spent at the table. This is not only over-awarding participation, but it devalues the amount of time spent at the table for the rock star crew member who sat at the table for six hours straight, yet got the same award as those who worked an hour or two all weekend. There is a saying, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” There will be some examples of strong, appropriate write-ups, as well as some weak, and potentially inappropriate write-ups for MIDs, NMAMs, and higher-level award nominations in the appendix of this guide. If all else fails, ask a fellow CO, or look at the forums to see some of the accomplishments that have garnered an award.