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   Distinguished Service Cross
Service: Army
Instituted: 1918
Authorized: DOD 1348-33-M
Issuing Country: ( US ) - UNITED STATES
Distinguished Service Cross
Back of Medal
  1. Authorized by Section 3742, title 10, U.S.C..
  2. Awarded pursuant to Section 3742, title 10, U.S.C., to Service members who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Army, distinguish themselves by extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of the MOH under any of the following circumstances:
  • While engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.
  • While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force. While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. 

  1. The Distinguished Service Cross was established by President Woodrow Wilson on January 2, 1918. General Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the Expeditionary Forces in France, had recommended that recognition other than the Medal of Honor, be authorized for the Armed Forces of the United States for service rendered, in like manner, to that awarded by the European Armies. The request for establishment of the medal was forwarded from the Secretary of War to the President in a letter dated December 28, 1917. The Act of Congress establishing this award (193-65th Congress) dated July 9, 1918 is contained in Title 10 United States Code (USC) 3742. The establishment of the Distinguished Service Cross was promulgated in War Department General Order No. 6, dated January 12, 1918.
  2. The first design of the Distinguished Service Cross was cast and manufactured by the United States Mint at Philadelphia. The die was cast from the approved design prepared by Lieutenant Aymar E. Embry, Engineers Officer Reserve Corps. Upon examination of the first medals struck at the Mint, it was considered advisable to make certain minor changes to add to the beauty and the attractiveness of the medal. Due to the importance of the time element involved in furnishing the decorations to General Pershing, one hundred of the medals were struck from the original design and numbered 1 to 100. These medals were furnished with the provision that these crosses be replaced when the supply of the second design was accomplished which would also be numbered 1 to 100.
  3. Title 10, USC 3991, provides for a 10% increase in retired pay for enlisted personnel who have retired with more than 20 years of service if they have been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.