10 USC 6248 - Limitations of time

(a) Except as provided in section 6246 of this title or subsection (b), no medal of honor, Navy cross, distinguished-service medal, silver star medal, Navy and Marine Corps Medal, or bar, emblem, or insignia in place thereof may be awarded to a person unless
(1) the award is made within five years after the date of the act or service justifying the award; and
(2) a statement setting forth the act or distinguished service and recommending official recognition of it was made by his superior through official channels within three years from the date of that act or service.
(b) If the Secretary of the Navy determines that

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(1) a statement setting forth the act or distinguished service and recommending official recognition of it was made by the persons superior through official channels within three years from the date of that act or service and was supported by sufficient evidence within that time; and
(2) no award was made, because the statement was lost or through inadvertence the recommendation was not acted on;

a medal of honor, Navy cross, distinguished-service medal, silver star medal, Navy and Marine Corps Medal, or bar, emblem, or insignia in place thereof, as the case may be, may be awarded to the person within two years after the date of that determination.