Established on February 5, 1962, the Indiana National Guard Distinguished Service Cross honors Indiana National Guard members who execute an act of valor or heroism typically in confrontation with an enemy and involving risk of life or injury. Acts performed on or after January 1, 1954 are eligible for the award.
Numbering over 16,000, the Indiana National Guard is composed of the Indiana Army National Guard and the Indiana Air National Guard. The Army component, headquartered in Indianapolis, dates back as far as 1801, when a volunteer militia formed in the territory. The Air component is made up of the 122d Fighter Wing, based in Fort Wayne, and the 181st Intelligence Wing, based in Terre Haute.
The medal is gold and in the shape of a Celtic cross with a torch and stars in the center; an inscription on the lower leg of the cross reads “DISTINGUISHED SERVICE”. The ribbon is dark blue with thin yellow edging and a thin vertical yellow stripe toward each edge.