The Coast Guard Arctic Service Medal was established in 1976 by Admiral Owen W. Siler, USCG and is awarded to any member of the United States Coast Guard who performs twenty one days of cumulative duty afloat or ashore north of the Arctic Circle.
The decoration is also authorized for personnel who serve on remote stations in certain areas of Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, and Norway. For flight personnel, the decoration is authorized for twenty one flight days above the Arctic Circle.
The Coast Guard Arctic Service Medal may also be awarded, on a case by case basis, to non-Coast Guard personnel who perform significant duties in support of Coast Guard missions within the Arctic region.
The decoration is retroactive to 1946. The medal is also provided as a one time issuance only, and there are no devices authorized for additional periods of Arctic service beyond the minimum twenty one days.