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This ribbon is awarded to officers and enlisted personnel of the Navy, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps, and Marine Corps Reserve for 12 months consecutive or accumulated duty at overseas shore-based duty stations. Each Service has distinct criteria that delineates eligibility; Navy personnel assigned to Marine Corps units follow Marine Corps policy, and vice-versa.
Active duty personnel must have twelve months of consecutive or accumulated duty at an overseas shore base duty station. For active duty personnel, duty on board CONUS-based, deploying ships, squadrons, units or with the FMF does not quality.
Inactive reservists must have thirty consecutive days or 45 cumulative days of active duty for training, annual training (AT), or TAD at overseas duty stations, including deployed units and units homeported overseas (travel time and weekend training does not count). Note, however, that for overseas domiciled Inactive Reservists, thirty consecutive days of AT or IDT must be completed, or a combination of 45 cumulative days of AT or IDT in a billet with an established Overseas Naval Reserve Unit or as a member of the Overseas Peascetime (Contributory) Support Program. For accounting purposes, two IDT periods equals one day of AT.
Overseas is defined as duty outside the United States at shore base commands. Mainland Alaska and Hawaii are not eligible duty stations, but service in Adak, Alaska does qualify.
An individual cannot receive the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the Overseas Service Ribbon for the same period if stationed at a Marine Corps unit; however, overseas Navy commands may receive both awards after October 1, 1999.
Personnel serving with the Fleet Marine Force (regular or reserve) do not qualify for this award.
The same period of time cannot be used to earn eligibility for both the Naval Reserve Sea Serivce Ribbon and the Overseas Service Ribbon.
For active duty personnel, not more than fourteen days may be waived. For Inactive Reservists, no time may be waived. For posthumous awards, the time requirements may be waived by the Chief of Naval Operations or the Commandant of the Marine Corps on a case-by-case basis.
The Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon was established on September 17, 1968, by Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman, Jr. and announced in OPNAVNOTE 1650 of June 3, 1987. The Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon is retroactive to August 15, 1974. Qualifying service performed between August 15, 1974 and January 1, 1979 may only be credited toward the initial award of the ribbon; however, After January 1, 1979 another award will be granted for each qualifying period.