The South Dakota National Guard Distinguished Service Medal honors South Dakota National Guard members who carry out extraordinary service or feats of valor so as to set themselves apart from their peers.
The South Dakota National Guard is made up of the South Dakota Army National Guard and the South Dakota Air National Guard. Based in Rapid City, the Army component traces its origins back to militia activity in 1862 and currently maintains 24 armories. The Air component, based in Sioux Falls, was founded in September of 1946 with the 175th Fighter Squadron; at present, its major unit is the 114th Fighter Wing.
The ribbon is yellow with one thin vertical blue stripe toward each edge and one slightly thicker vertical blue stripe on each edge.