​VALOR AWARDS AND TIMELY RECOGNITION OF ACTS OF VALOR

UNCLASSIFIED
ROUTINE
R 121452Z JUN 17
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC
TO NAVADMIN
INFO SECNAV WASHINGTON DC
BT
UNCLAS

NAVADMIN 134/17

MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/DNS/JUN//

SUBJ/VALOR AWARDS AND TIMELY RECOGNITION OF ACTS OF VALOR//



REF/A/DOC/SECDEF/21DEC2016//
REF/B/DOC/SECNAV/20APR2017/NOTAL//
REF/C/DOC/SECNAV/22AUG2006//
NARR/REF A IS DODI 1348.33-V3, MANUAL OF MILITARY DECORATIONS AND AWARDS: 
DOD-WIDE PERSONAL PERFORMANCE AND VALOR DECORATIONS.
REF B IS SECNAV MEMO DIRECTING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DON PLAN TO EXPEDITE 
PROCESSING OF VALOR AWARD SUBMISSIONS.  
REF C IS SECNAVINST 1650.1H NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AWARDS MANUAL.//

RMKS/1.  This message announces new administrative requirements for 
originating, documenting, and processing unclassified valor award submissions 
of the Navy Cross and below to facilitate timely recognition of deserving 
U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps personnel assigned to Navy units.

2.  Commands submitting classified award nominations should contact the Navy 
Department Board of Decorations and Medals at SECNAV_awards(AT)navy.mil or 
202-685-6378 for detailed procedures.

3.  Effective immediately, per references (a) and (b), valor award 
recommendations must be initiated as soon as practicable and originated and 
entered into official channels within 45 days of the valorous act that 
justifies the award.  Endorsement review processing must be completed within 
ten (10) days of receipt by each echelon. It is incumbent upon the Originator 
to adhere to the guidance for valor award nominations in references (a) 
through (c).

4.  Valor Awards and the "V" Device.
    a.  Effective January 7, 2017 the "V" Device is only authorized for 
decorations awarded in recognition of singular acts of valor.  The "V" Device 
is no longer authorized for awards recognizing periods of meritorious 
performance under combat conditions or meritorious performance while directly 
participating in combat operations.
    b.  The "V" Device is only authorized on the following Department of the 
Navy multi-purpose decorations when used to recognize valor:
        (1) Distinguished Flying Cross (DV)
        (2) Bronze Star Medal (BV)
        (3) Air Medal (Individual Action) (AH)
        (4) Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (CV)
    c.  The "V" Device is no longer authorized on the Legion of Merit or the 
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, as these two medals are not awarded 
for valor.
    d.  The "V" Device is not authorized on the Medal of Honor (MH), Navy 
Cross (NX), or Silver Star Medal (SS).  These medals are only awarded in 
recognition of singular acts of valor; therefore use of the "V" Device would 
be redundant.
    e.  The "V" Device is no longer authorized as a Combat Distinguishing 
Device to recognize a member?s tour of duty or deployment.  The term Combat 
Distinguishing Device will no longer be used in association with the "V" 
Device.
    f.  See paragraph 10.b. for Awarding Authorities.

5.  Valor Awards during Periods of Meritorious Service.  Originating a 
separate award for a singular act of valor within a longer period of 
meritorious service is appropriate and should never be considered 
duplication, provided the Summary of Action and citation for the meritorious 
service award do not cite any of the actions recognized by the valor award.  
The valor award submission shall follow the timeline discussed in this 
NAVADMIN regardless of the expected duration of the meritorious service 
period.

6.  Premature Disclosure and Secure Handling.  Premature public disclosure of 
information concerning award recommendations during their processing, 
including intermediate approval and/or disapproval recommendations, is a 
potential source of embarrassment and disappointment to both those 
recommended and the Department of the Navy.  Additionally, elements of the 
OPNAV Form 1650 contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII).  
Therefore, personnel involved in the submission and processing of awards 
shall not comment on any case under consideration, and all unclassified award 
recommendations shall be handled on a "FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY (FOUO)" basis 
including the use of encrypted email transfer until the awards are officially 
announced or actually presented.  Originated high-level valor awards, such as 
a proposed Navy Cross package, may receive Medal of Honor endorsements during 
the endorsement process.  In view of the additional sensitivity regarding 
Medal of Honor cases, exceptional care shall be exercised to avoid disclosure 
of any information, including but not limited to, the fact that an individual 
has been recommended for the award.

7.  Valor Award Endorsements and Approvals.  Valor awards will be endorsed 
and approved following the U.S. Navy operational chain of command.  U.S. Navy 
echelon II operational commanders will submit valor award packages to Chief 
of Naval Operations (CNO Awards Branch (DNS-35)) for further adjudication as 
required.
    a.  Valor Award Packages, regardless of the number of included awards, 
must be treated as a single package and processed at the highest award level, 
originated or endorsed, regardless of downgrade endorsements, within the 
package.  The entire package must be finally adjudicated by the Award 
Approval Authority for the highest proposed award in the package. Lower 
echelon commanders, including the originating commander, are not authorized 
to approve lesser awards, even if non-valor, within a valor award package.
    b.  It is the responsibility of each originating and endorsing echelon to 
positively confirm that each other echelon and the originator has received 
and is aware of the submitted valor package and endorsements as the package 
moves through the endorsement and approval process.

8.  Requirements for the Originator initiating a valor award recommendation:
    a.  Upon notification of a valorous act, valor award recommendations must 
be initiated as soon as practicable and originated by the first O5 or higher 
commander in the chain of command and entered into official channels within 
45 days of notification of the valorous act.  During this 45 day period the 
originating command shall:
        (1) Identify all individuals that are being nominated for any award 
(valor or non-valor) for the same incident or action.  All nominations for 
the same incident or action must be forwarded together as a single valor 
award package for adjudication by the awarding authority as determined by the 
highest award in the package.  Refer to paragraph 7.a.
        (2) Ensure that the required details outlined in the 22 point 
Standard Valor Award Key Information (reference (b)) are identified in the 
Summary of Action of each submitted valor award.  Each award, valor or non-
valor, within a valor award package must also contain the applicable 22 point 
Standard Valor Award Key Information.
    b.  When the package(s) have been created and the OPNAV Form 1650 is 
signed and ready for submission, the originator shall:
        (1) Upload the pending OPNAV Form 1650 to the Navy Department Awards 
Web Service (NDAWS) database as a Microsoft Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc) 
before submitting nomination through official channels.
        (2) Immediately and simultaneously submit the recommendation(s) via 
FOUO / encrypted email to the official with authority to approve the highest 
originated award (Approval Authority) and to the commanders in each echelon 
of the U.S. Navy operational chain of command who must endorse each 
recommendation.  This will enable all echelon commanders within the approval 
process the awareness of, and the ability to monitor the progress of the 
valor award package(s).
            (a) The submitted recommended award(s) must include the signed 
and dated OPNAV Form 1650(s), the Summary of Action(s) prepared using the 
Standard Valor Award Key Information, proposed citation(s) and all supporting 
documentation as a single document in PDF format and the proposed citation(s) 
in word format.
            (b) Recommendations being submitted to SECNAV or CNO for 
endorsement/approval will be submitted to the CNO Awards Branch (DNS-35) via 
FOUO/encrypted email account cno_awards.fct(AT)navy.mil. CNO Awards Branch 
will ensure SECNAV Awards receives copies of unclassified valor award 
submissions.
    c.  After package(s) have been submitted, originating commands shall:
        (1) Monitor progress of the packages throughout the 
endorsement/approval process.
        (2) Respond to any questions from endorsing commands or the Awarding 
Authority relating to the submitted package(s).

9.  The endorsement process remains sequential.  Endorsing Echelon Commanders 
shall:
    a.  In order by echelon, provide an endorsement on the originally signed 
OPNAV Form 1650(s) within ten (10) days of receipt from the subordinate 
echelon.
        (1) The advance notification process directed in paragraph

8.b.(2) should give most echelons additional time to prepare for their 
endorsement.
        (2) Once signed and dated, each commander will forward only the front 
of the OPNAV Form 1650(s) from the Valor Package to next endorsing echelon 
via FOUO / encrypted email signifying the nomination is ready for their 
action.  All other valor award package elements should have arrived via the 
notification process directed in paragraph 8.b.(2).
        (3) If the endorser recommends a higher award (upgrade) than the 
award previously recommended in the package, verify that the documented 
Approval Authority is authorized to approve the recommended upgrade.  If not, 
immediately notify the new and former Approval Authorities, provide the new 
(higher) Approval Authority the original valor award package received in 
paragraph 8.b.(2), and provide the current endorsement.  Positively confirm 
that the new Approval Authority has received and is aware of the submitted 
valor package. The new Approval Authority now has authority over the valor 
award package.
        (4) If the Endorser recommends a lower award (downgrade) than the 
award previously recommended in the package, do not change / lower the 
Approval Authority.
        (5) A courtesy copy of the signed OPNAV Form 1650 will be forwarded 
to all other endorsing echelons and the originating command.
        (6) Each endorsing echelon will update the endorsement field in NDAWS 
with the required information.
     b.  The primary goal of this procedure is to provide the nomination to 
the next endorsing echelon for timely action while keeping all levels of the 
chain of command informed of the progress.
     c.  Any echelon that has a question regarding the original submission 
will communicate directly with the Originator.

10.  Awarding Authorities.
     a.  IAW reference (c), Awarding Authorities may take one of the 
following actions:
         (1) Approve the award.
         (2) Approve a lower award (downgrade).
         (3) Disapprove the award.
         (4) Approve a higher award (upgrade), if so empowered, or recommend 
a higher award to the appropriate awarding authority.
         (5) Return the recommendation for further clarification or 
justification.
     b.  The "V" Device awarding authority must be specifically delegated by 
SECNAV or CNO.  Commanding Officers with Air Medal (Individual Action) and/or 
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal authority may not award these medals 
with the "V" Device unless this authority has been specifically delegated to 
them.

11.  Commands that do not have access to NDAWS should submit a Standard 
Authorization Access Request (SAAR) Form to CNO (DNS-35) at 
cno_awards.fct(AT)navy.mil.

12.  Except as modified by reference (b) and above guidance, all other 
provisions of reference (c) remain in effect.

13.  Reference (c) will be updated with the next release.  Visit the Navy 
Awards Website https://awards.navy.mil for copies of reference (b).

14.  Released by Vice Admiral J. G. Foggo, Director, Navy Staff.//

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