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The Meritorious Unit Commendation worn to show award of the Meritorious Unit Commendation is 1 7/16 inches wide and 9/16 inch in height. The Scarlet ribbon is contained within a 1/16 inch wide Gold frame with laurel leaves. The previous issued emblem was a 1 5/8 inch gold, embroidered laurel wreath on a two inch square Olive Drab cloth.


Units are awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for a minimum of six months of extraordinarily meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding services during the time of military operations against an armed enemy taking place on or after 1 January 1944. It is not required that the service be in a combat zone, however it must be directly involved in the combat effort. CONUS and other units outside of the area of operation are excluded from this award.

The unit receiving the award must have shown devotion and superior performance of extremely complex tasks that set their unit above and beyond other units under similar circumstances with similar missions. The degree of accomplishment required is equivalent to that which would justify award of the Legion of Merit to an individual. Rarely will a unit larger than a battalion meet the qualifications for award of this decoration.
Awards are made to units for services conducted during World War II if performed between 1 January 1944 and 15 September 1946. The Meritorious Unit Commendation was authorized for units and/or detachments of the United States military for exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding services for at least six continuous months in support of military operations. This service must relate to combat support activities and not be activities performed by senior headquarters, combat, or combat support units.

The Meritorious Unit Commendation was originally established by War Department Circular 345 on 23 August 1944, as the Meritorious Service Unit Plaque. This circular provided that units which received the Plaque were entitled to wear on their right sleeves of their service coat and shirt the Meritorious Service Unit Insignia. A gold star placed on the plaque represented additional awards until War Department Circular No. 54, 1946, provided that additional awards would be shown by placing a golden numeral on the inside of the wreath.
DF, D/PA, Subject: Proposed AR 260-15, Unit Awards, dated 12 December 1946, stated "In order to enhance the prestige of an award to a meritorious service unit, the present Meritorious Service Unit Plaque has been eliminated, and in lieu thereof a Meritorious Service Unit Commendation has been established on a plane comparable to the Navy Unit Commendation and may be awarded to any type of unit for meritorious service during military operations which, if performed by an individual would warrant the award of a Legion of Merit."
A new design of the Meritorious Service Unit emblem was approved by the D/PA in April 1947. This replaced the sleeve insignia and was to be effective 1 January 1949. On 11 April 1949, TAG advised D/PA that the stock position was such that it would not be exhausted before 1959. By Comment 2, 1 March 1960, DCSPER stated that for planning purposes the new Meritorious Service Unit emblem would be approved to wear on or after 1 January 1961, with wear of the old one prohibited after 30 June 1962. However, the stock level was still such that it was not introduced into the supply system until 14 July 1966.

On 16 May 1947, AR 260-15 announced Meritorious Unit Commendation, granted the wear of the Meritorious Unit Commendation emblem, and permitted the display of the scarlet Meritorious Unit Commendation streamer, which displayed the name of the applicable theater of operations in white letters.
All members of the unit cited for the award are approved to wear the emblem of the Meritorious Unit Commendation. The emblem is thought of as an individual decoration for those in connection with the cited acts and is approved to be worn if they continue as members of the unit or not. Other personnel serving with the unit are approved to wear the emblem to show that the unit is a recipient of the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
Army awards and decorations are approved accordance to the guidance contained in Army Regulation 600-8-22. Rules for the proper wear of Army awards and decorations can be found in Army Regulation 670-1 . The policy for display of unit awards on guidons and flags and supply of streamers is found in AR 840-10.

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