Established on January 20, 1972, the Ohio National Guard Distinguished Service Medal honors Ohio National Guard members who perform an act of valor or heroism, typically involving risk of life and on behalf of the state of Ohio. Civilians may also be eligible for the award.
The Ohio National Guard is composed of the Ohio Army National Guard and the Ohio Air National Guard; it totals an estimated 17,000 soldiers and airmen. The Army component is headquartered in Columbus and dates back to militia activity in 1788. The Air component, also based in Columbus, originated in 1915 with the 112th Observation Squadron.
The ribbon features an alternating pattern of five vertical red stripes and four vertical gray stripes.
Subsequent awards may be indicated by oak leaf clusters, and the bronze “V” device for valor may be issued as appropriate.