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   Defense Superior Service Medal
Service: ALL
Instituted: 1976
Authorized: DOD 1348-33-M
Issuing Country: ( US ) - UNITED STATES
Defense Superior Service Medal
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Devices
Description:
  1. Authorized by Executive Order 11904
  2. Awarded by the Secretary of Defense to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who has rendered superior meritorious service in a position of significant responsibility while assigned to a joint activity and whose performance cannot be recognized properly by any other Defense medal. This award was established by Executive Order 11904 on February 6, 1976, when President Gerald R. Ford signed the order formally establishing this award. This medal is awarded by the Secretary of Defense to military officers who perform exceptionally with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, special or outstanding command in a defense agency or any other joint activity designated by the Secretary. The service rendered will be similar to that required for award of the Legion of Merit. At the time of its creation it was decided that this medal would be obtained at the lowest possible cost and "with as little involvement as possible." For these reasons and because it would rank just below the Distinguished Service Medal for similar service, it was decided to use the same design as the Distinguished Service Medal, except that it would be finished in silver rather than gold and the inscription on the reverse would be properly modified.


Background:
  1. This award was established by Executive Order 11904 on February 6, 1976, when President Gerald R. Ford signed the order formally establishing this award. This medal (pictured below) is awarded by the Secretary of Defense to military officers who perform exceptionally with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, special or outstanding command in a defense agency or any other joint activity designated by the Secretary. The service rendered will be similar to that required for award of the Legion of Merit. At the time of its creation it was decided that this medal would be obtained at the lowest possible cost and "with as little involvement as possible."
  2. For these reasons and because it would rank just below the Distinguished Service Medal for similar service, it was decided to use the same design as the Distinguished Service Medal, except that it would be finished in silver rather than gold and the inscription on the reverse would be properly modified.