Established on January 16, 1969, the Meritorious Service Medal honors United States Armed Forces personnel who carry out exceptional service or achievements under circumstances other than combat. It is the non-combat equivalent of the Bronze Star.
The medal features a right-facing eagle with wings spread, grasping a wreath of laurels; it is superimposed over the top three points of a five-pointed star, and the upper rim of the medal is ridged. The ribbon is maroon and features one vertical white stripe toward each edge.
Oak leaf clusters may be issued to indicated additional awards.