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Merit Marks



Merit Marks are a unique way that USPS rewards members for active participation


Merit Marks are USPS’ “Thank You” for members’ efforts (both Active and Family Members) on behalf of the organization.

A “Merit Mark” (MM) is awarded by the chief commander to a member for substantial personal effort in furthering the interest, programs and objectives of USPS, its districts and squadrons. It is a coveted award; it is by and large the only official recognition members receive for their efforts.

Recommendations for a merit mark should be made by activity or committee chairs, or by individual members, to the squadron's Merit Mark Committee. (The Charleston Sail and Power Squadron's current MMC's chair is Dick Howells, rhowells125@gmail.com, or call 843-437-6241). They are then reviewed, and forwarded to the commander.

The "year" for a merit mark is the calendar year. Only one merit mark may be awarded in a year to a member, no matter how extensive the contribution. A certificate is issued, and a special insignia may be worn on USPS uniforms. And if enough merit marks are accumulated, the member may be designated a Life Member (Life members are not assessed National dues; however, they may be assessed District or Squadron dues based on district or squadron policy or bylaws).

Examples of activities that may lead to awarding a merit mark include:

  • Squadron or district officer
  • Committee chair
  • Committee member
  • Activity chair
  • Community service, such as Beach Sweeps, Cooperative Charting, Holiday Parade of Boats
  • Working at Boat Shows
  • District meetings - credit for members only if attending as a delegate or participating in a workshop or seminar or exhibiting a teaching aid.
  • USPS Governing Board or Annual Meeting - credit for members only if attending as a surrogate for the commander or participating in an activity such as exhibiting a teaching aid.
  • Serving as Chaplain OR Law Officer OR Port Captain
Ranks, grades and titles (past or present) do not automatically qualify a candidate for a merit mark.

Detailed information about merit marks is available at the USPS website, at Merit Mark Resources.


This webpage is based upon information extracted from various USPS sources, including the USPS Operations Manual



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