New Ribbon Unveiled For Navy Boot Camp's Best
By Mark D. Faram, Staff writer Navy Times 2:16 p.m. EDT August 20, 2015
Boot camp's top graduates are about to get a new ribbon.
Every sailor graduating from Navy Recruit Training receives the National Defense Service Ribbon. As many as three percent of each weekly graduating class will now earn an additional uniform ribbon: the new Navy Basic Military Training Honor Graduate ribbon.
"RTC recognizes multiple top performing recruits at graduation, but now the recognition is outwardly visible on an honoree's uniform," said Rear Adm. Stephen C. Evans in a statement. Evans commands Navy Service Training Command, which oversees all Navy officer and enlisted accession training except for the Naval Academy. "Wearing of the Honor Grad Ribbon will be a visible sign to peers and superiors at the recipient's future duty stations that the member demonstrated extraordinary excellence and leadership potential during Basic Military Training and is capable of accelerated and increased leadership positions within the Fleet."
The award is effective immediately. The first 15 honor grads will be awarded their ribbons Aug. 20 and can wear them when they graduate on Aug 21.
If you were a past honor graduate, don’t go out and buy one — there are no retroactive awards.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus approved the award Aug. 18, details of which were released in ALNAV message 063/15.
According to a press release, the award was created “to reward recruits for their superb performance during basic military training,” the release said. “The Honor Graduate Ribbon will provide a physical recognition of the sailor’s outstanding achievements in academics, physical fitness, recruit leadership and commitment to the Navy core values of honor, courage and commitment.”
According to the rules, no more than three percent of the graduates from each weekly training group will get the honor grad nod.
The ribbon will rank 83rd in the Navy's award order of precedence, just below the Navy Ceremonial Guard Ribbon and above the Coast Guard Special Operations Ribbon. For comparison, the National Defense Service Medal ranks 62nd on that list.
The first Honor Recruits are:
SR JAMIE L. MURRAY
SR MATTHEW P. JONES
SR BRITTANY M. WALKER
SR RENATA Y. CHOI
SR CARLIN E. HATCHER
SR RICHARD M. CASSUBE III
SR STEPHEN E. MCGAHEY
SR ALLISON A. RIVERA-MEDINA
SR GARRETT M. FIRESTONE
SR JOSEPH V. AGBINGPADUA
SR JEREMY J. CRYER
SR HUNTER D. MORROW
SR BETHANY M. VIKOWSKI
SR TIMOTHY A. SEYBOLD
SR JAMES D. BELL III
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the National Defense Service Medal.