Distinguished Service Cross (Army) — Military Decorations


Distinguished Service Cross (Army) Medal and Ribbon Design Images

The Distinguished Service Cross (Army) 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 Distinguished Service Cross (Army)


The medal is comprised of a cross constructed from bronze. The cross is 2 inches in height and ?1 13/16 in width. There is an eagle on the center and a scroll below the eagle bearing the inscription "FOR VALOR". On the back of the medal the center of the cross is circled by a wreath with a space for the name of the recipient to be engraved.

What is the Distinguished Service Cross (Army) Decoration?

It was first awarded in World War I and was given in honor of the bravery of the men who fought both in WWI and prior to the War during action in combat during in the Philippines, on the Mexican Border and during the Boxer Rebellion.The service ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes:

  • 1/8 inch Old Glory Red
  • 1/16 inch White
  • 1 inch Imperial Blue
  • 1/16 inch White
  • 1/8 inch Old Glory Red.

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

How Do You Earn the Distinguished Service Cross (Army)?

The Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest award in the US Army. It is awarded for true gallantry and selfless action in combat against an armed enemy force. Actions must be higher than those of other ribbons, medals, and decorations but do not merit the Medal of Honor.
The Distinguished Service Cross is awarded to a serviceman or woman who, while serving in any capacity with the Army, distinguishes himself or herself by extraordinary heroism. The action must occur while engaged in combat against an enemy of the United States. The action(s) of heroism must be notable and have involved great risk of life, so extraordinary as to set the individual apart from his or her comrades.

Displaying the Distinguished Service Cross (Army)

The Order of Precedence of the Distinguished Service Cross (Army) is 2, 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 Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest award, and therefore unless the wearer has been awarded the Medal of Honor as well, the ribbon has the highest precedence. Recipients are awarded, a ribbon, full size medal, miniature medal, and lapel pin.

Order of precedence and wear of decorations is contained in Army Regulation (AR) 670-1. Policy for awards, approving authority, supply, and issue of decorations is contained in AR 600-8-22.

Outlined in 10 U.S.C. 3991 is a provision for a 10% increase in retired pay for enlisted personnel who, after serving 20 years or more, have received the Distinguished Service Cross prior to retirement.

Distinguished Service Cross (Army) Associated Branches

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Distinguished Service Cross (Army) Associated Branches

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Distinguished Service Cross (Army) 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 apart of the stolen valor


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