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Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
AFDSM.gif
Awarded by United States Air Force
Type Medal
Precedence
Next (higher) Army - Distinguished Service Cross
Navy - Navy Cross
Air Force - Air Force Cross
Equivalent Distinguished Service Medal: Defense, Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard
Next (lower) Silver Star
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.png
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal ribbon

The Air Force Distinguished Service Medal was created by an act of the United States Congress on July 6, 1960. The medal was intended as a new decoration of the United States Air Force to replace the policy of awarding the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Air Force personnel.[1]

Until 1955, the official title of the new decoration was Distinguished Service Medal (Air Force). After the Korean War, the medal was referred to by its current name.

The Air Force Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to any member of the United States Air Force who has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service to the United States Government in a duty of great responsibility. The interpretation of the phrase "great responsibility" means that this medal is generally awarded only to officers who hold at least the rank of Major General. However, as is customary for most military decorations, the requirements for the Distinguished Service Medal are interpreted more liberally when awarded upon retirement. As a result, it is the typical decoration for a retiring Brigadier General, and in recent years it has also been awarded to the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force upon retirement.

Cases of the award of this decoration to an individual who was not a general officer, or the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, are so rare as to be virtually non-existent.

The first recipient of the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal was Major General Osmond J. Ritland, USAF, who received his medal on November 30, 1965.

References

See also

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