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TITLE
Distinguished Service Medal
 
DESCRIPTION
Distinguished Service Medal

The Distinguished Service Medal consists of: "The Coat of Arms of the United States in Gold surrounded by a circle of Dark Blue enamel, 1 inches in diameter, bearing the inscription 'FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MCMXVIII'. On the reverse is a scroll for the name of the recipient (which is to be engraved) upon a trophy of flags and weapons. The medal is suspended by a bar attached to the ribbon.
The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: Scarlet, Ultramarine Blue, White, Ultramarine Blue, and Scarlet."
United States Army regulations

3 1/4" L x 2" W
 
CONTEXT
"The Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the United States Army, has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility. The performance must be such as to merit recognition for service which is clearly exceptional. Exceptional performance of normal duty will not alone justify an award of this decoration.
a. For service not related to actual war, the term 'duty of a great responsibility' applies to a narrower range of positions, than in time of war, and requires evidence of conspicuously significant achievement. However, justification of the award may accrue by virtue of exceptionally meritorious service in a succession of high positions of great importance.
b. Awards may be made to persons other than members of the Armed Forces of the United States for wartime services only, and then only under exceptional circumstances, with the express approval of the President in each case."
United States Army regulations
 
CREDIT
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution