|Navy "E" Ribbon|
Navy E Ribbon, from top to bottom first through fourth and final awards.
|Awarded by the Department of the Navy|
|Awarded for||Battle efficiency competition, to members of ships, squadrons or units.|
|Next (higher)||Meritorious Unit Commendations|
Coast Guard - Meritorious Team Commendation
|Equivalent||Army - Superior Unit Award|
Air Force - Outstanding Unit Award
Coast Guard - Coast Guard "E" Ribbon
|Next (lower)||Prisoner of War Medal|
The Battle Efficiency Ribbon, Navy "E" Ribbon, or (informally) the Battle "E" ribbon was established in July 1976 by Secretary of the Navy J. William Middendorf. The Navy "E" Ribbon denotes permanent duty on U.S. Navy ships, aviation squadrons, or units (including construction battalions) that have won a battle efficiency competition (Battle "E") after July 1, 1974. This ribbon replaces the "E" patch previously sewn on the right sleeve of the enlisted naval uniform for pay grades E-1 through E-6. United States Marine Corps personnel assigned as ship's company are eligible; embarked personnel are not.
The Navy "E" Ribbon does not have a corresponding medal, meaning that when in full dress uniform (when medals are worn), the ribbon is placed above the right breast pocket of the uniform instead of the left. However, when in standard uniform (no medals are worn), the ribbon is placed above the left breast pocket, along with all other citations and awards.
The Navy "E" Ribbon was designed by AZ3 Cynthia L. Crider in 1973. It took 3 years to have her design and recommendation be approved by the Secretary of the Navy and the ribbon created by the Department of the Army, which has the final approval for the design and colors of all ribbons and medals in the U.S. military. AZ3 Crider was stationed at Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 88 (VAW-88), a Naval Air Reserve E-2 Hawkeye squadron at NAS North Island, CA. Petty Officer Third Class Crider designed the ribbon after her squadron won the award for the second time in a row, but with the new uniform change would not be able to wear anything on their uniforms to show they had been awarded the Navy 'E' two consecutive times, back in 1973.
The "E" is also one of the few ribbons that is not an individual award. Instead, it is a unit award, issued to any U.S. servicemember who is stationed as ship's company when the award is earned. Embarked personnel (i.e. staff elements) are not authorized to receive the award.
For each award of the Navy "E" Ribbon, one 3/16 inch silver Battle "E" device is authorized for wear on the Navy "E" ribbon, up to the third award. When a service member receives a fourth Navy "E" award, a Wreathed Battle "E" device is bestowed. This replaces the first three devices and effectively "closes out" the award ribbon -- no further devices are authorized for display of additional awards. While service members may receive more than four Navy "E"s, only four may be displayed. Multiple "E" attachments are placed in a symmetrical, horizontal line in the center of the ribbon.