1. LIFE-SAVING MEDALS (Gold and Silver)
a. General. Life-Saving Medals of gold and silver, designated as the Gold Life-Saving Medal and the Silver Life-Saving Medal, respectively, may be awarded by the Secretary of the Treasury under the statute cited and the regulations in this subpart to persons rescuing or endeavoring to rescue any other person from drowning, shipwreck or other peril of the water.
b. Gold and Silver Life-Saving Medals. Life-Saving Medals may be awarded to any person who rescues or endeavors to rescue any other person from drowning, shipwreck or other peril of the water. In order for a person to be eligible for a Life-Saving Medal the rescue or attempted rescue must take place in waters within the United States or subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or if the rescue or attempted rescue takes place outside such waters, one or the other of the parties must be a citizen of the United States or from a vessel or aircraft owned or operated by citizens of the United States. If such rescue or attempted rescue is made at the risk of one's own life and evidences extreme and heroic daring, the medal shall be of gold. If such rescue or attempted rescue is not sufficiently distinguished to deserve the medal of gold but evidences the exercise of such signal exertion as to merit recognition, the medal shall be of silver. Life-Saving Medals may be awarded posthumously.
c. Gold and silver bars. No person shall receive more than one Gold Life-Saving Medal and one Silver Life-Saving Medal; but any person who has received or may hereafter receive a Gold or Silver Life-saving Medal and who again performs an act which would entitle him to receive another medal of the same class, may be awarded, in lieu of a second medal of the same class, a gold or silver bar, as the case may be, to be worn with the medal already bestowed, and for every such additional act, an additional bar may be awarded. Gold and silver bars may be awarded posthumously.
d. Applications and recommendations. Applications and recommendations for the award of a Life-Saving Medal may be filed by or in behalf of the person making or attempting a rescue under circumstances contemplated by the regulations in this subpart. The administrative details pertaining to the award of Life-Saving Medals are under the jurisdiction of the Commandant, U. S. Coast Guard. Applications or recommendations for awarding of medals or requests for information pertaining thereto should be addressed to the Commandant, U. S. Coast Guard, Washington 25, D. C. Such application must include:
1. Satisfactory evidence of the services performed, in the form of affidavits, made by eyewitnesses of good repute and standing, testifying of their own knowledge. The opinion of witnesses that the person for whom an award is sought imperiled his or her own life or made signal exertions is not sufficient but the affidavits must set forth in detail all facts and occurrences tending to show clearly in what manner and to what extent life was risked or signal exertions made so that the Secretary of the Treasury may judge for himself as to the degree of merit Involved.
2. The precise locality of the rescue or attempted rescue, whether from waters within the United States or subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or if the rescue or attempted rescue is outside such waters, whether one or the other of the parties is a citizen of the United States or from a vessel or aircraft owned or operated by citizens of the United States, shall be stated. The date, time of day, nature of the weather, condition of the water, the names of all persons present when practicable, the names of all persons rendering assistance, and all pertinent circumstances and data, showing the precise nature and degree of the risk involved should be stated.
3. The affidavits shall be made before an officer duly authorized to administer oaths, and if taken before an officer without an official seal, his official character must be certified by the proper officer of a court of record under the seal thereof.
4. The aforementioned affidavits shall be accompanied by a certificate showing the affiants to be credible persons, certified by some United States officer, such as a judge or clerk of a United States Court, district attorney, collector of customs or a postmaster. If the affiant is a citizen or resident of a foreign country, and if the affidavit is executed in such foreign country, the credibility certificate may be executed by an officer of such foreign country, who occupies an official position similar to the aforementioned United States officers.
5. A credibility certificate shall not be required if the affiant is an officer or employee of the Federal Government, or a member of the military forces, of the United States: Provided, That the affiant shall show, below his or her signature on the affidavit, the title or status of the affiant as such officer or employee, or as such member of the military forces, of the United States.
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f. Definitions. As used in the statutes cited and in the regulations in this subpart:
1. "Peril of the water" Includes all perils on water caused by, or which are such by reason of, the sea or bodies of water such as lakes, bays, sounds and rivers; whenever, wherever and in whatever way human life is directly imperiled by the sea or a body of water is a peril of the water.
2. The "shipwrecked" include persons whose lives are endangered by perils of the water as well as those who are, strictly speaking, no longer in danger from the sea or a body of water, that peril already having passed, but who are in imminent danger and in great need of succor or rescue, as e. g., being adrift in an open boat or stranded on some barren coast without food or water, where, without succor or rescue, they would die of starvation, thirst, or exposure.
g. "Waters within the United States or subject to the jurisdiction thereof" embrace all waters within the United States, and any other waters over which the United States exercises jurisdiction.
NOTE: Members of the Armed Forces should not be recommended for Treasury Department Life Saving Medals unless a military decoration is considered wholly inappropriate.
Normally members of the Naval service are awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for outstanding heroic acts in saving or attempting to rescue any person from drowning. For a lesser degree of heroism a Secretary of the Navy Letter of Commendation with Ribbon and Metal Pendant is considered the appropriate award.
2. MEDAL FOR MERIT
The Medal for Merit was created by an act of Congress, approved 20 July 1942, for the purpose of rewarding civilians of the nations prosecuting the war under the joint declaration of the United Nations and of other friendly foreign nations who have, subsequent to the proclamation of an emergency by the President, distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services. (Terminating date for the award of this medal for World War II service is 31 December 1946.)
3. MEDAL OF FREEDOM
The Medal of Freedom created by Executive Order No. 9586 of 6 July 1945 may be awarded to any person, other than a member of the Armed Forces who, on or after 7 December, 1941 shall have performed a meritorious act or service which (a) aided the United States in the prosecution of a war against an enemy or enemies (b) aided any nation engaged with the United States in the prosecution of a war against a common enemy or enemies or (c) has furthered the interest of the security of the United States or of any nation during a period of national emergency and for which act or service the award of any other federal decoration is considered inappropriate.
4. NATIONAL SECURITY MEDAL
The National Security Medal created by Executive Order No. 10431 of 19 January 1953 may be awarded to any person without regard to nationality, including a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, on or after July 26, 1947 has made an outstanding contribution to the National intelligence effort. This contribution may consist of either exceptionally meritorious service performed in a position of high responsibility or of an act of valor requiring personal courage of a high degree and complete disregard of personal safety.
Recommendations for the award of the National Security Medal to individuals under the jurisdiction of the respective service Secretaries will be forwarded to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower and Personnel) together with appropriate recommendations by the Secretaries concerned.