14 U.S. Code § 491a - Coast Guard cross
Coast Guard crossThe President may award a Coast Guard cross of appropriate design, with ribbons and appurtenances, to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the Coast Guard, when the Coast Guard is not operating under the Department of the Navy, distinguishes himself or herself by extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of a medal of honor—
while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force or international terrorist organization; or
while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
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