Title: Good Conduct Medal, Type I, Navy, US
Accession #: NHHC 1971-586-B
Circa: Late 1800's
Size: 3.75 x .75
Medium: Metal, Fabric
Location: Headquarters Artifact Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command
One Type I US Navy Good Conduct Medal. Medal is a maltese cross with circle at the center of the cross. Center of circle obverse reads "Fidelity/Zeal/Obedience/U.S.N." Suspension ring attaches to ribbon bar. Ribbon is red white and blue. Reverse of medal is engraved "W.P. Sturtevant".
The Good Conduct Medal is the second oldest Navy medal, in continuous use since 26 April 1869. It is noted as the first award for good conduct amongst any of the branches of service. The original badge shown above was awarded for obedience, sobriety, and cleanliness to sailors who had demonstrated proficiency in seamanship. Any sailor meeting this criteria could present their Continuous Service Certificate and receive this badge. Approximately 3,000-4,500 of these badges were awarded between 1870 and 1884.