Established in 1918, the Army Distinguished Service Medal is the Army’s version of the Distinguished Service Medal, which was created to recognize United States Armed Forces personnel who perform service of an exceptional nature on behalf of the government in the execution of a significant operation beyond normal duties. It is typically reserved for senior Army officers.
In instances of exceptional wartime services, the award may be granted to individuals who are not members of the U.S. Armed Forces at the discretion of the President.
The medal features the eagle of the United States Seal, which is encircled by a dark blue ring that reads “FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MCMXVIII.” The reverse of the medal includes a scroll on which to inscribe the name of the awardee and the image of flags and weaponry. The ribbon features a large central section of white flanked by a thin vertical blue stripe on either side and a thick red stripe to the exterior on each side.
Oak leaf clusters may be issued to indicate subsequent awards.