Battleship IOWA Service Awards:

Ships are awarded ribbons and medals just like sailors. When a ship earns a ribbon, all the sailors serving aboard at the time are also awarded that ribbon. The ship’s ribbons are worn on the outside of her bridge wings. The USS IOWA earned 14 different ribbons over her nearly 50 years of service.

(click on a ribbon to see more about why it was awarded)

The letters painted on the ship’s bridge wings are known as Command Excellence Awards. These awards show that a ship has proven to be superior in a certain area of operations. Hash marks below the letters denote multiple awards.

The USS IOWA’s Command Excellence Awards are:

Battle “E” (Four Awards)

Awarded for best ship handling, weapons employment, tactics, and command and control. The Battle “E” is awarded only once per year, and only one award per squadron. Possibly the most important Command Excellence Award a ship can earn, competition for this decoration is fierce, and not many ships can match the IOWA’s four awards.

DC

Damage Control Excellence (Three Awards)

Excellence Award for the best Damage Control Crews

Navigational Excellence (Three Awards)

Excellence Award for Navigation

C

Communications Excellence (Three Awards)

Excellence Award for the best Communications Departments

Gunnery Excellence (One Award)

Excellence Award for the best Gunnery Departments

Electronic Warfare Excellence (Three Awards)

Excellence Award for the best Electronic Warfare Crews

E

Supply Excellence (Two Awards)

Excellence Award for the best Supply Departments

S

Strategic Excellence (One Award)

Excellence Award for Strategic Operations

E

Engineering Excellence (One Award)

Excellence Award for the best Propulsion and Engineering Crews (Located on the aft stack)

F

Fire Control Excellence (One Award)

Excellence Award for the best Fire Control Crews (Located on the foreward 5″ director)