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Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (MCGCM)



Authorization. The MCGCM was established by Special Order No. 49 of 20 July 1896, to recognize good behavior and faithful service in the Marine Corps. The CMC has review authority over the MCGCM and designates specific Marine Corps criteria for the award.

Eligibility Requirements


  1. Any 3 years of continuous active service, regardless of expiration or extension of enlistments and any previous or subsequent disciplinary action except as indicated in below for enlisted personnel, Regular or Reserve, including service in temporary warrant or temporary commissioned status, provided such temporary officer reverts to enlisted status. Also, if reenlisted within a period of 90 days from date of discharge, it will not be construed as an interruption of continuous service but the period between discharge and reenlistment will not be counted.
  2. Provided the individual is otherwise qualified, a MCGCM shall be authorized for any 3 years enlisted service consisting of a combination of periods of active service in a war, national emergency or armed hostilities in which the United States is engaged. When the first period of such service terminated prior to 10 December 1945, a total of 4 years enlisted service is required.
  3. For first award only, the MCGCM may be awarded, provided conduct requirements are met, to the next of kin in those cases where service member is killed in combat action against an opposing armed force, or dies as a direct result of wounds received in combat action against an opposing armed force, or dies in the line of duty where such death was directly related to actions against the enemy. In addition, for the first award only, the MCGCM is authorized for individuals who are separated from the naval service for physical disability as a result of wounds incurred in combat action against an opposing armed force, or in the line of duty where such wounds resulted directly from action against the enemy, provided conduct requirements are met. For first award only, next of kin of Prisoners of War also would be eligible to receive the MCGCM if the service member’s demise occurs while in a POW status, provided it has been determined that conduct while in POW status was acceptable.

NOTE. In establishing eligibility for MCGCMs, service performed during World War II, Korea and Vietnam will not be creditable unless entry or reentry to active service occurred during the periods from 8 September 1939 to 31 December 1946 inclusive; 27 June 1950 to 27 July 1954 inclusive; and 3 July 1965 to 30 September 1975 inclusive.


  1. The MCGCM shall be earned for otherwise qualifying service involving no convictions by courts-martial, or nonjudicial punishment (NJP) under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 15, and no lost time by reason of sickness-misconduct or injury-misconduct. Prior to 27 April 1990, not more than 1 NJP was allowed.
  2. When an NJP or a courts-martial voids creditability of service, a new good conduct period shall commence effective on the date of approval of the NJP or on the date of the convening authority’s action on the courts-martial, except when the offense occurred within the 3-year period and the date of approval of the NJP or of the convening authority’s action is after the expiration of the 3-year period; under these circumstances, the date of the offense shall be the commencement date for the new period. Offenses committed in a previous period will not be considered when determining eligibility during the current 3-year period.
  3. When sentenced to confinement as a result of conviction by any courts-martial, a new period shall begin with the date of restoration to duty even though in a probationary status. The date of approval by the convening authority on all courts-martial not involving confinement shall be the new commencement date (see also Individual Records Administration Manual (IRAM), Para. 4014, MCO P1070.12H (NOTAL)).
  4. In case of time lost due to sickness-miscon­ duct or injury-misconduct, the date of return to duty shall be the new commencement date for MCGCM.
  5. Where the foregoing requirements have been met, but it is evident that the individual is not deserving of this award due to a repeated record of valid letters of indebtedness, conviction by civil court for major offense(s) or other acts not in keeping with the high moral standards of the Marines, the commanding officer will make recommendations to CMC (MHM) stating the reasons.

Certificates and Attachments

A Good Conduct Award Certificate (NAVMC-71) will be completed by the commanding officer at the time entitlement is confirmed for presentation to the member concerned.

A 3/16-inch bronze star will be worn on the suspension ribbon and ribbon bar to denote subsequent awards.









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