The Navy MUC was authorized by SECNAV Notice 1650 on 17 July 1967[7] and is awarded by the Secretary of the NavyChief of Naval Operations, or Commandant of the Marine Corps to any unit of the Navy or Marine Corps that has distinguished itself, under combat or non-combat conditions, by either valorous or meritorious achievement, which renders the unit outstanding compared to other units performing similar service, but not sufficient to justify award of the Navy Unit Commendation. This award may also be conferred upon units of the other branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the armed forces of friendly foreign nations serving with U.S. Armed Forces, provided such units meet the standards established for Navy and Marine Corps units. To justify this award, the unit must have performed service of a character comparable to that which would merit the award of a Bronze Star Medal, or achievement of like caliber in a non-combat situation, to an individual. Normal performance of duty or participation in many combat missions does not, in itself, justify the award. An award will not be made to a unit for actions of one or more of its component parts, unless the unit performed uniformly as a team in a manner fully justifying collective recognition.[7]

The Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation is worn after the Navy Unit Commendation and before the Navy “E” Ribbon.[1] Additional awards of the Navy MUC are denoted by 316 inch bronze stars.