The Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal may be awarded to members of the Armed Forces in the grades of lieutenant commander (or major) and below. It is awarded for meritorious service or achievement in either combat or noncombat based on sustained performance or specific achievement of a superlative nature but which does not warrant a Navy Commendation Medal or higher. It may not be awarded for service involving participation in aerial flight after January 1, 1969.
When Awarded For Professional Achievement
The act or service must clearly exceed that which is normally required or expected, considering the individual's grade or rate, training, and experience; and it must be an important contribution of benefit to the United States and the naval service.
When Awarded For Leadership Achievement
The act or service must be noteworthy; it must be sufficiently sustained to demonstrate a high state of development (if for a specific achievement, it must be of such merit as to earn singular recognition); and, it must reflect most creditably on the efforts of the individual towards the accomplishment of the unit mission.