Defense Distinguished Service Medal

  • Medal instituted on 9 July 1970.
  • Medal awarded for exceptionally distinguished performance of duty contributing to National security or defense of the United States. It is the United States's highest non-combat related military award and it is the highest joint service decoration.
  • The medal is gold in color and on the obverse it features a medium blue enameled pentagon. Superimposed on this is an American bald eagle with wings outspread facing left grasping three crossed arrows in its talons and on its breast is a shield of the United States. The pentagon and eagle are enclosed within a gold pieced circle consisting, in the upper half of 13 five-pointed stars and in the lower half, a wreath of laurel on the left and olive on the right. At the top is a suspender of five graduated gold rays. The reverse of the medal has the inscription "For Distinguished Service" at the top in raised letters, and within the pentagon the inscription "From The Secretary of Defense To," all in raised letters.



United States