The New Jersey National Guard Distinguished Service Medal honors New Jersey National Guard members, active or retired, and next-of-kin for excellence in service and/or service in the event of war, emergency, or other crisis.
The New Jersey National Guard consists of the New Jersey Army National Guard and the New Jersey Air National Guard. Numbering over 9,000 soldiers, the Army component was officially established in 1920. The Air component was established in 1930, though its roots trace back to 1917, and is based in Egg Harbor Township; it consists of the 108th Wing and the 177th Fighter Wing.
The medal is silver and features a lion’s head in profile encircled by an inscription that reads “DISTINGUISHED SERVICE.” The ribbon is bisected by a thin vertical red stripe flanked on either side by a thinner white stripe, a thick dark blue stripe, and a thinner stripe each of white and red proceeding outward.