Navy – Marine Commendation Medal is a mid-level award presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. Awarded by local commanders, allowing for a broad interpretation of the criteria for which the medal may be awarded. For actions where such performance was in direct contact with an enemy force, the Valor device (“V” device) is authorized as an attachment to the decoration. The Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, in contrast to the other services, is considered a somewhat-high decoration reserved for Department level officers, senior CPOs, and as a retirement award. U.S. Marines have always been issued the Navy Commendation Medal and there is not a separate Commendation Medal intended only for Marines. Additional awards are denoted by gold and silver stars.