Although resembling an Award Ribbon, The Joint Meritorious Unit Citation is not a Ribbon nor Medal, but the physical representation of a paper citation of award for a Military Unit which has performed some form of ''extraordinary or meritorious'' Mission or Operation. The Joint Meritorious Unit Citation was created by The US Secretary of Defense in 1981. It is given to Units of different US Military Branches who work effectively together during a particularly hazardous or difficult Mission.
Larger than a traditional Ribbon Award, like all other Unit Citations, The Joint Meritorious Unit Citation is bordered in a Gold colored framing. The Ribbon is a Light Blue Field which features (2) Gold Stripes, (2) White Stripes and (1) Red Stripe. It is worn on only the Left side Pocket flap of a Dress Uniform.
In most cases, The Unit ''earns'' The Citation as a whole. Only those Service Members who participated in the awarding action may continue to wear The Citation after leaving that Unit. All other assigned in the future may wear The Citation only as long as they are assigned.