Defense Distinguished Service Medal — Military Decorations


Defense Distinguished Service Medal Medal and Ribbon Design Images

The Defense Distinguished Service Medal comes with a unique service ribbon, which is worn on the recipient's uniform in situations where the full medal is not worn. If you have earned this decoration, you can wear the service ribbon on your ribbon rack.
Design of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal

The Defense distinguished service medal is gold with a blue enamelled pentagon with the point facing upwards. Superimposed imposed upon the obverse of the pentagon is an American bald eagle with its wings outspread facing left and grasping three crossed arrows in its talons; on the breast of the eagle is a United States flag crest. Surrounding the pentagon is a gold circle constructed using 13 five-pointed stars and in the lower half, a wreath of laurel on the left and olive on the right. A suspender of five gold rays attaches the medal to the ribbon. The reverse of the medal bears the inscription: "For Distinguished Service. Within the pentagon on the reverse, the inscription "From The Secretary of Defense To _____, is engraved.

What is the Defense Distinguished Service Medal Decoration?

The ribbon consists of a five stripes, two outer robin's egg blue stripes surrounding two yellow stripes and a thin crimson central stripe. Additional awards of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal are denoted by oak leaf clusters.

The United States military sorts decorations into categories called Classes and Types. The Defense Distinguished Service Medal medal is classified as a Personal Decoration of the type Distinguished Service Medal.

How Do You Earn the Defense Distinguished Service Medal?

The award is the United States's highest non-combat related military award. It is also the highest joint service decoration. The Defense Distinguished Service Medal is only awarded to individuals when assigned to a joint activity. Normally, such responsibilities deserving of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal are held by the most senior officers such as the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chiefs and Vice Chiefs of the Services, and Commanders and Deputy Commanders of the Combatant Commands, the Director of the Joint Staff etc., whose responsibilities include frequent interaction and collaboration with the Secretary of Defense, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and other senior government officials. The medal may also be awarded to other service members whose direct and individual contributions to national security or national defense are recognized as equivalent to contributions attributed to positions that bear broader responsibilities.

Displaying the Defense Distinguished Service Medal

The Order of Precedence of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal is 6, and this precedence is used when placing the associated service ribbon on your uniform ribbon rack. You can see a full list of decorations in the order of precedence on the Decorations homepage.

The Defense Distinguished Service Medal takes precedence over any Distinguished Service Medal of a separate services. It is cannot be awarded to any individual for a period of service for which an Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal is awarded.

Defense Distinguished Service Medal Associated Branches

Army

army

Navy

Marine Corps

Air Force

Coast Guard

Defense Distinguished Service Medal Associated Branches

Army

army

Navy

Marine Corps

Air Force

Coast Guard

Defense Distinguished Service Medal and the Stolen Valor Act

The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 is a federal law that makes it illegal for any person to falsely claim to be the recipient of certain military awards, "with the intention of obtaining money, property, or other tangible benefit by convincing another that he or she received the award".This decoration is covered by the Stolen Valor act. Fraudulently claiming to have received a Defense Distinguished Service Medal can result in punishment including a fine, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both


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