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Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
CGDSM.jpg
Awarded by United States Coast Guard
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
Coast Guard Distinguished Service ribbon.svg
Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal ribbon

The Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal is a decoration of the United States Coast Guard which was created in August 1949 by order of the United States Congress. Prior to this date, members of the Coast Guard were eligible to receive the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

The Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to any member of the U.S. Coast Guard who distinguishes themselves by exceptionally meritorious service to the United States Government in a duty of great responsibility. The decoration is typically awarded to senior flag officers, such as the Commandant of the Coast Guard. The first award of the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal was to Admiral Alfred C. Richmond, USCG, who was awarded the medal in 1961. In 1998, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Rick Trent became the first enlisted member to receive the medal.

Until 2003, the bestowing authority of the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal was the United States Secretary of Transportation. The award is now authorized through the Department of Homeland Security.

The Department of Transportation Distinguished Service Medal is a Coast Guard decoration senior to the Coast Distinguished Service Medal. This decoration was discontinued as a Coast Guard award in 2003, upon the Coast Guard's transfer to the Department of Homeland Security. Coast Guard personnel are now eligible for the Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal, which was authorized by Executive Order No. 13286, February 28, 2003.

See also: Awards and decorations of the United States military

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