Milky Way Exploration Ribbon

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Milky Way Exploration Ribbon
The ribbon, with all four devices.
Starfleet Service Award
Awarded by
Starfleet Bureau of Personnel
Award Order of Precedence
Previous Concurrent Next
Exploration Service Ribbon Milky Way Exploration Ribbon
Starfleet Reserve Medal

The Milky Way Exploration Ribbon (abbrev.: MWER), also known simply as the Milky Way, is an exploration service award within the Galaxy Alliance, awarded for honorable and faithful service for at least two years within each quadrant. This medal is awarded by the Starfleet Bureau of Personnel, and is issued to members of the Alliance military only. This medal is classified as a Starfleet service award and is thirty-fifth in the order of precedence.



Delta Quadrant Exploration Ribbon (2372-2434)
Gamma Quadrant Exploration Ribbon (2400-2434)

Following the disappearance and return of USS Shutsugun in 2367 and 2371, respectively, the Alliance Ministry of Defense proposed that a new service ribbon be designed and awarded to the crew for service within the Delta Quadrant for more than four years. The Delta Quadrant Exploration Ribbon was proposed and approved in 2372 and subsequently awarded to all Shutsugun crewmembers, surviving or otherwise. The design of the ribbon was a bright green and black ribbon with a gold Delta styled in the Greek language on the field of black. The bright green was used to symbolize the crew's encouters with the Borg hive occupying the Delta Quadrant, along with all of the tactical information provided to Starfleet through their unorthodox missions and extraordinary success.

At the turn of the 25th century, the Ministry of Defense began a new program following the conclusion of the Third Tzenkethi War, to explore the Gamma Quadrant using the Bajoran wormhole located near Starbase Deep Space 9. The first of these missions was a five-year assignment give to USS Defiant (NCC-90002). Anticipating the success of that mission, MinDef determined that an additional service ribbon should be designed and adopted by Starfleet to reward those Defiant crewmembers that served the entirety of the mission. And so, the Gamma Quadrant Exploration Ribbon was designed and approved in 2399. Like its Delta equivalent, it is a purple and black ribbon with a gold Gamma on the field of black. The purple was used to symbolize the high number of nebulae included on the Defiant mission for charting and researching, as that color was also selected for use on the Nebula Star award.

In 2433, MinDef received several petitions to expand the service ribbons to include the exploration programs within the Alpha and Beta quadrants, as many vessels and their crews had previously served with distinction. At first, the design submitted was to adapt the current Gamma and Delta ribbons to include Alpha and Beta, using differing colors. One year later, the decision was made to consolidate the ribbons into a single Milky Way Exploration Ribbon provided to those Starfleet personnel who qualified for service in each quadrant.


Full Medal

Per the regulation from the Ministry of Defense, no full medal version of this service award is authorized or designed for use. This is the case with most service awards, with the exception of the Prisoner of War Medal.

Service Ribbon

The service ribbon for this award is a black field upon which four colored stripes reside. Each stripe corresponds with a specific quadrant:

  • Alpha Quadrant: Sky Blue, to represent Earth, Andor, Bajor, Beerax, Risa, and Pacifica.
  • Beta Quadrant: Bright Green, to represent ch'Rihan, ch'Havran, Qo'noS, Khitomer, and Galorndan Core.
  • Gamma Quadrant: Purple, to represent the original Nebula Research mission of USS Defiant.
  • Delta Quadrant: Red, to represent the sacrifice and honor of USS Shutsugun.

The blank colored stripes indicate that the recipient has not yet served the minimum time necessary to win the device. The devices are as follows:

Alpha-device.png Beta-device.png Gamma-device.png Delta-device.png
Alpha Quadrant device Beta Quadrant device Gamma Quadrant device Delta Quadrant device

When presented to a recipient, the ribbon holds the first device earned by the recipient (typically the Alpha or Beta quadrant devices). When the devices are earned and fitted to the ribbon, they will appear in this particular order:

Milky-way-exploration-ribbon-a.png Alpha device only.
Milky-way-exploration-ribbon-b.png Beta device only.
Milky-way-exploration-ribbon-g.png Gamma device only.
Milky-way-exploration-ribbon-d.png Delta device only.

As the recipient adds service within another quadrant, they can add the additional devices to the same ribbon. The following combinations are therefore possible:

Milky-way-exploration-ribbon-ab.png Alpha and Beta devices
(most common combination)
Milky-way-exploration-ribbon-ag.png Alpha and Gamma devices
Milky-way-exploration-ribbon-ad.png Alpha and Delta devices
Milky-way-exploration-ribbon-abg.png Alpha, Beta, and Gamma devices
Milky-way-exploration-ribbon-abgd.png Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta devices
(also known as a "round trip ticket")
Milky-way-exploration-ribbon-bg.png Beta and Gamma devices
File:Milky-way-exploration-ribbon-bd.png Beta and Delta devices
Milky-way-exploration-ribbon-bgd.png Beta, Gamma, and Delta devices
Milky-way-exploration-ribbon-gd.png Gamma and Delta devices




bold typeface indicates person is still on active duty.
  1. Lieutenant Chad Hartley Connor (stardate 110684.5) - Awarded Milky Way Exploration Ribbon, with GAMMA DEVICE.

See Also

Galaxy Alliance awards and decorations

FMCM - BrS - MoV - LoH - NS - GS - CCG - PH - SP
Unit Awards ChUC - UCR - UER
Service Awards POW - GCM - SRM - MWER - ESR
Campaign Awards CWR - Borg - Breen - FWR - 3TWR
Training Awards CAD - DMM
Inactive Awards Wolf 359

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