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   Distinguished Service Medal - DHS
Service: DHS
Instituted: February 28, 2003
Authorized: CIM 1650.25D
Issuing Country: ( US ) - UNITED STATES
Distinguished Service Medal - DHS
Back of Medal
  1. May be awarded to a person who has provided extraordinarily meritorious service, in a duty of great responsibility, while assigned to DHS, either nationally or internationally. To justify this decoration, exceptional performance of duty, clearly above what is normally expected and that has contributed materially to the success of a major command or project of national significance is required. Generally, the Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal is awarded only to senior flag officers. However, this should not be interpreted to preclude the award to any individual whose service meets the requirement. If there is any doubt as to the degree of service national significance involved, then the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal (DSM), should be considered.
  2. Order Of Precedence The Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal is worn only by Coast Guard officers. It is worn after the Navy Cross and before the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal.
  3. Devices 
  • Additional awards of the DHS Distinguished Service Medal are denoted by Gold Stars.

  1. The design of the Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal is based on the design of the Department of Transportation Distinguished Service Medal by Nadine Russell of the Army's Institute of Heraldry. However, the central disk with the DoT logo has been replaced by the DHS Shield
  2. First Recipient The first Department of Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal was awarded to Admiral Thad W. Allen, USCG. 
  • Description And Symbolism 
  1. Obverse
  • In the center of a silver medallion one half inch in diameter, there is a shield bearing the logo of the Department of Homeland Security over crossed anchors on a circular field scored with raised rays. This field is in turn surrounded by a raised laurel wreath in green enamel, finished in gold. The laurel leaves form a continuous circle and the leaves point counter-clockwise. 
  • The suspender which connects the medal to its ribbon is integral to the medal and consists of a miniature Coast Guard officer's cap device in gold. The blue triskelion is adapted from the Department of Transportation Seal. It surmounts two anchors crossed to imply cooperation and strength, and denotes the U.S. Coast Guard's affiliating with the Department of Homeland Security. The encircling wreath of laurel symbolizes honor and achievement. The pendant device, which simulates the Coast Guard's officer cap device, highlights the purpose of the medal. 
  1. Reverse 
  • In the upper-central portion of the reverse there is a raised plaque for engraving the recipient's name. Above the plaque in two lines are the raised words, AWARDED TO; and below the plaque in four lines, the words FOR EXTRAORDINARY MERITORIOUS SERVICE. The plaque and inscription are contained within an incomplete circle (open at the bottom) consisting of the raised words, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.