Distinguished Service Cross (United States)
|Distinguished Service Cross|
Current Distinguished Service Cross
|Awarded by United States Army|
|Eligibility||Distinguishes himself by extraordinary heroism not justifying the Medal of Honor; while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.|
|Awarded for||Extraordinary heroism not justifying the Medal of Honor; and the act or acts of heroism must have been so notable and have involved risk of life so extraordinary as to set the individual apart from his or her comrades.|
|First awarded||2 January 1918|
|Next (higher)||Medal of Honor|
|Equivalent||Navy-Marine Corps: Navy Cross
Air Force: Air Force Cross
Coast Guard: Coast Guard Cross
|Next (lower)||Distinguished Service Medals: Defense, Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard|
Distinguished Service Cross Ribbon (above)
Obverse of the original cross & Reverse of current cross (below)
The Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest military award that can be given to a member of the United States Army (and previously, the United States Army Air Forces), for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force. Actions that merit the Distinguished Service Cross must be of such a high degree that they are above those required for all other U.S. combat decorations but do not meet the criteria for the Medal of Honor. The Distinguished Service Cross is equivalent to the Navy Cross (Navy and Marine Corps), the Air Force Cross (Air Force), and the Coast Guard Cross (Coast Guard).
The Distinguished Service Cross was first awarded during World War I. In addition, a number of awards were made for actions before World War I. In many cases, these were to soldiers who had received a Certificate of Merit for gallantry which, at the time, was the only other honor for gallantry the Army could award, or recommend a Medal of Honor. Others were belated recognition of actions in the Philippines, on the Mexican Border and during the Boxer Rebellion.
The Distinguished Service Cross is distinct from the Distinguished Service Medal, which is awarded to persons in recognition of exceptionally meritorious service to the government of the United States in a duty of great responsibility.
- 1 Description
- 2 Service ribbon
- 3 Criteria
- 4 Components
- 5 Background
- 6 Notable awards
- 7 Notable recipients
- 8 Revocation
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 External links
A cross of bronze, 2 inches in height and 1 13/16 inches in width with an eagle on the center and a scroll below the eagle bearing the inscription "FOR VALOR". On the reverse side, the center of the cross is circled by a wreath with a space for engraving the name of the recipient.
The service ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes:
- 1/8 inch Old Glory Red 67156;
- 1/16 inch White 67101;
- 1 inch Imperial Blue 67175;
- 1/16 inch White;
- 1/8 inch Old Glory Red.
The Distinguished Service Cross is awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the Army, distinguishes himself or herself by extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of a Medal of Honor; while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing/foreign force; or 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. The act or acts of heroism must have been so notable and have involved risk of life so extraordinary as to set the individual apart from his or her comrades.
The following are authorized components of the Distinguished Service Cross:
- Decoration (regular size): MIL-D-3943/4. NSN 8455-00-269-5745 for decoration set. NSN 8455-00-246-3827 for individual replacement medal.
- Decoration (miniature size): MIL-D-3943/4. NSN 8455-00-996-50007.
- Ribbon: MIL-R-11589/50. NSN 8455-00-252-9919.
- Lapel Button (a colored enameled replica of service ribbon): MIL-L-11484/1. NSN 8455-00-253-0808.
Additional awards of the Army's Distinguished Service Cross are denoted with oak leaf clusters.
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 valorous 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 10 U.S.C. § 3742. The establishment of the Distinguished Service Cross was promulgated in War Department General Order No. 6, dated January 12, 1918.
The Distinguished Service Cross was originally designed by J. Andre Smith, an artist employed by the United States Army during World War I. The Distinguished Service Cross was first cast and manufactured by the United States Mint at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The die was cast from the approved design prepared by Captain Aymar E. Embury II, 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. These medals were furnished with the provision that these crosses be replaced when the supply of the second design was accomplished.
World War I
During World War I, 6,309 awards of the Distinguished Service Cross were made to 6,185 recipients. Several dozen Army soldiers, as well as eight Marines and two French Army officers, received two Distinguished Service Crosses.
A handful, mostly aviators, were decorated three or more times. Eddie Rickenbacker, the top U.S. ace of the war, was awarded a record ten Distinguished Service Crosses, one of which was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor, while flying with the 94th Aero Squadron. Fellow aviators Douglas Campbell, also of the 94th, and Frank O'Driscoll "Monk" Hunter of the 103rd Aero Squadron each received five. Another 94th aviator, Reed McKinley Chambers, was awarded four Distinguished Service Crosses. Three aviators received three Distinguished Service Crosses—Murray K. Guthrie of the 13th Aero Squadron, Ralph A. O'Neill of the 147th Aero Squadron, and Glen A. Preston, an aerial observation pilot with the 99th Aero Squadron. Among other prominent aviators were Billy Mitchell, the Chief of Air Service of the American Expeditionary Force; Frank Luke of the 27th Aero Squadron, who was honored with the Medal of Honor and two Distinguished Service Crosses; and Sumner Sewall of the 95th Aero Squadron, recipient of two Distinguished Service Crosses, who served as Governor of Maine from 1941 to 1945. Edward Peck Curtis, also of the 95th Aero Squadron received the Distinguished Service Cross as a First Lieutenant.
Colonel John H. Parker, the commander of the 102nd Infantry Regiment, 26th Division, was the only ground soldier in World War I to receive four Distinguished Service Crosses. First Lieutenant Oscar B. Nelson of the 168th Infantry Regiment, 42nd Division, was honored three times, the third award being posthumous.
Several men who had previously received the Medal of Honor received the Distinguished Service Cross in World War I. Most notable of these was Marine legend Daniel Daly, who was twice decorated with the Medal of Honor, and who received the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism as First Sergeant of the 73rd Company, Sixth Marine Regiment, during the Battle of Belleau Wood in June 1918. Col. Charles Evans Kilbourne, Jr., who received the Medal of Honor in the Philippine Insurrection, was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross as chief of staff of the 89th Division. James B. McConnell, also decorated with the Medal of Honor for actions in the Philippines as a private with the 33rd Infantry, received the Distinguished Service Cross posthumously as a first lieutenant with the 4th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Division.
Marine Colonel Hiram I. Bearss, recipient of the Medal of Honor in the Philippines, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross while attached to the 102nd Infantry Regiment, 26th Division. Marine Gunner Henry L. Hulbert, also a recipient of the Navy Medal of Honor in the Philippines, received the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery while serving with the Fifth Marine Regiment during the Battle of Belleau Wood. Spanish-American War Medal of Honor recipient John H. Quick also received the Distinguished Service Cross at Belleau Wood as Sergeant Major of the Sixth Marine Regiment.
Besides Eddie Rickenbacker, several men received both the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross during World War I. Navy recipients were John Henry Balch, a U.S. Navy Pharmacist's Mate, and Joel T. Boone, a U.S. Navy Lieutenant (Medical Corps), both attached to the Sixth Marine Regiment. Army recipients were Private Daniel R. Edwards of the 3rd Machine-Gun Battalion, 1st Division, Colonel William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan of the 165th Infantry Regiment, 42nd Division, and Second Lieutenant Samuel I. Parker of the 28th Infantry Regiment, 1st Division.
Two recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross during World War I went on to earn the Medal of Honor in World War II – Major (later Brigadier General) Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. of the 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Division, son of the former President, and Brigadier General (later General of the Army) Douglas MacArthur of the 42nd Division. Other recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross in World War I who went on to acclaim in World War II include George S. Patton, Jr. and Carl Spaatz.
Among other prominent recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross during World War I were Brigadier General John L. Hines, decorated as commanding general of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, and Major General Charles P. Summerall, decorated as commanding general of the 1st Division, who both went on to serve as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. Private Sam Ervin of the 28th Infantry Regiment, 1st Division, went on to serve as a United States Senator from the state of North Carolina. Major Dwight F. Davis, decorated as Assistant Chief of Staff of the 69th Infantry Brigade, 35th Division, founded the Davis Cup international tennis competition and served as United States Secretary of War in the Coolidge Administration. Father John B. DeValles, chaplain (first lieutenant), known as the Angel of the Trenches for administering to the needs of both Allied and German soldiers. He founded the first Portuguese parochial school at the Espirito Santo Church in Fall River, Massachusetts. B. Caroll Reece, decorated as a First Lieutenant with the 102nd Infantry Regiment, 26th Division, went on to represent the state of Tennessee in the United States House of Representatives for a total of 17 terms. Twenty one African American soldiers from the 370th Infantry Regiment received the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for action in both the Meuse-Argonne and Oise-Aisne campaigns.
Between the World Wars
In the immediate aftermath of World War I, 62 awards were made for actions in North Russia and Siberia during the Russian Civil War. Also, approximately 132 retroactive awards were made for actions in previous conflicts, including the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Boxer Rebellion, and the Mexican border conflicts. Fifteen soldiers previously awarded Certificates of Merit for non-combat gallantry between 1899 and 1917 were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
Prominent among post-World War I Distinguished Service Cross recipients for acts before that war was J. Franklin Bell, Chief of Staff of the Army from 1906 to 1910. In 1924, the crew members of from the Worlds First Flight were decorated, Lts. Leigh Wade, Lowell H. Smith, and Erick H. Nelson. A recipient of the Medal of Honor during the Philippine Insurrection, in 1925 he was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross for bravery in the Spanish-American War in 1898. In 1920, Peyton C. March, then serving as Chief of Staff of the Army, was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross for bravery in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War when he was a 1st lieutenant. March's successor, John J. Pershing, received a Distinguished Service Cross in 1941 for bravery during the Philippine Insurrection. 2nd Lieutenant Gordon Johnston and Corporal Arthur M. Ferguson, both Medal of Honor recipients for the Philippine Insurrection, were also awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for other acts of bravery in the Philippines. Future Governor of American Samoa Otto Dowling received the cross for displaying bravery while responding to a fire at Lake Denmark Powder Depot, which he commanded at the time.
Among the recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross for Siberia and North Russia were Robert L. Eichelberger, who would earn a second medal in World War II, and Sidney C. Graves, who had previously received a Distinguished Service Cross in World War I.
World War II
During World War II, just over 5,000 awards were made. Lieutenant Colonel John C. Meyer, U.S. Army Air Forces, Major General James A. Van Fleet, and Master Sergeant Llewellyn Chilson were three-time recipients.
A number of recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross in earlier conflicts were again honored in World War II. Chester Hirschfelder, who as a captain with the 5th Machine Gun Battalion, 2nd Division, had received his first Distinguished Service Cross in 1918, received two more in 1944 as a colonel commanding the 9th Infantry Regiment of that same division. Three recipients of two Distinguished Service Crosses in World War I—Douglas MacArthur, Hanford MacNider and Harry H. Semmes—received their third in World War II. A handful of men who had received the Distinguished Service Cross in World War I received a second in World War II. Among these were George S. Patton, Jr., whose second Distinguished Service Cross came as commanding general of the Seventh Army in Sicily, and Fred L. Walker, commander of the U.S. 36th Infantry Division in the breakout from Anzio and advance on Rome. Lieutenant General Robert L. Eichelberger, whose first Distinguished Service Cross was awarded for valor in Siberia in 1919, received a second for valor in New Guinea in the Buna campaign of 1942–43.
A little over fifty soldiers (and one sailor) received two Distinguished Service Crosses in World War II. The sailor was John D. Bulkeley, who also received the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross and was one of the most highly decorated Americans of World War II. Among Army recipients of two Distinguished Service Crosses were Creighton W. Abrams, Jr., later the Chief of Staff of the Army, William O. Darby, one of the fathers of the U.S. Army Rangers, Robert T. Frederick, commander of the U.S-Canadian 1st Special Service Force, and Ralph Wise Zwicker, commander of the 38th Infantry Regiment. Six men of the 82nd Airborne Division received two Distinguished Service Crosses: James M. Gavin, Arthur F. Gorham, Matthew B. Ridgway, Reuben Henry Tucker III and Benjamin H. Vandervoort. Several fighter aces also received two Distinguished Service Crosses, including Donald Blakeslee, Paul Douglas, Dominic "Don" Gentile, Gerald R. Johnson, Charles "Mac" MacDonald, Jay T. "Cock" Robbins, David C. Schilling and Ray S. Wetmore. The commander of Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, U.S. 101st Airborne Division, Richard Winters, received a Distinguished Service Cross for his role in the assault on Brecourt Manor on D-Day; a member of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, U.S. 101st Airborne Division, Harrison C. Summers received a Distinguished Service Cross for his role on the assault to capture a building complex nearby designated "WXYZ" on the field order map. William H. Campbell received his first DSC as the co-pilot who helped evacuate Philippine president Manuel L. Quezon. By 1 April 1943, 1Lt Campbell had received a second DSC (oak leaf cluster) from Lt. Gen. George C. Kenny, commander of United Nations air forces in the Southwest Pacific for other efforts. [a]
During World War II, twelve soldiers, three army aviators and two sailors received both the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross: from the Army, Bernard P. Bell, Maurice L. "Footsie" Britt, Herbert H. Burr, Leonard A. Funk, Gerry H. Kisters, James M. Logan, George L. Mabry, Jr., Douglas MacArthur, Audie L. Murphy, Junior J. Spurrier, Jack L. Treadwell and Jonathan M. Wainwright; from the Army Air Forces, Richard I. Bong, Horace S. Carswell, Jr. and Thomas B. McGuire, Jr.; and from the Navy, John D. Bulkeley and Samuel D. Dealey (who also received four Navy Crosses). One World War II Distinguished Service Cross recipient, Raymond Harvey, would earn the Medal of Honor in the Korean War.
Lloyd L. "Scooter" Burke, a lieutenant with the 1st Cavalry Division, Benjamin F. Wilson, a master sergeant with the 7th Infantry Division, and Air Force fighter ace George A. Davis, Jr., each earned both the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross in Korea.
Colonel Arthur Champeny, previously decorated for bravery at St. Mihiel in September 1918 and a second time at Santa Maria Infante, Italy in May 1944, received a third Distinguished Service Cross in September 1950. Fighter pilot William T. Whisner, recipient of two Distinguished Service Crosses in World War II, was awarded a third in Korea.
Ten World War II recipients received a second Distinguished Service Cross in Korea. Among these were John T. Corley, whose first Distinguished Service Cross was earned in North Africa in March 1943 with the 1st Infantry Division and whose second was earned in August 1950 with the 25th Infantry Division, Hobart R. Gay, whose first Distinguished Service Cross was earned in 1944 as Chief of Staff of George S. Patton's Third Army and whose second was earned in 1950 as commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, and Walton Walker, whose first Distinguished Service Cross was earned in 1944 as commanding general of XX Corps and whose second was earned in 1950 as commanding general of Eighth Army. Nine men received two Distinguished Service Crosses in Korea. Among these was Edward Almond, the commanding general of X Corps.
Korean War Distinguished Service Cross recipient 1st Lieutenant Richard E. Cavazos would earn a second Distinguished Service Cross in Vietnam and rise to full general, becoming the first Hispanic-American four-star general. Korean War Distinguished Service Cross recipient Ralph Puckett, Jr. would also receive a second Distinguished Service Cross in Vietnam in command of a battalion of the 101st Airborne Division. Thomas Tackaberry would earn a Distinguished Service Cross in 1952 as a company commander and two more in Vietnam. U.S. Air Force ace Ralph Parr earned a Distinguished Service Cross in 1953 in Korea and an Air Force Cross in Vietnam.
Three Marines earned both the Navy Cross and the Army Distinguished Service Cross in Korea: Homer Litzenberg, Raymond Murray, and Marine Corps legend Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller. "Chesty" Puller had previously earned four Navy Crosses in Nicaragua and World War II, while Murray was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in the 1st Marine Division's historic breakout from the Chosin Reservoir area to the sea at Hamhung, and two days later took part in the action which earned him his second Navy Cross. Murray had earned his first Navy Cross on Saipan during World War II.
Other notable Korean War recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross include Harold K. Johnson, later Chief of Staff of the Army, and Herbert B. Powell, later Ambassador to New Zealand (1963–67). Besides Gen. Johnson, at least four other Korean War Distinguished Service Cross recipients later rose to four-star rank: Paul L. Freeman, Jr., Clark L. Ruffner (decorated in 1951 as commander of the 2nd Infantry Division), John L. Throckmorton and John H. "Iron Mike" Michaelis (who had commanded the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment in Normandy). Welborn G. Dolvin, decorated as a lieutenant colonel with the 25th Infantry Division, rose to lieutenant general. Ned Moore, who earned a Distinguished Service Cross as a colonel in August 1950, had previously served as Chief of Staff of the 101st Airborne Division in the Battle of the Bulge and later rose to major general. Olinto M. Barsanti went on to command the 101st Airborne in Vietnam. Guy S. Meloy went on to command the 82nd Airborne. 1st Lt. Joseph G. Clemons, Jr. for his actions during the Pork Chop Hill, he would later command the 198th Infantry Brigade in Vietnam War.
Among the 14 foreign recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross in the Korean War was Kenneth Muir, a major with the 1st Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, British Army, who also posthumously received the Victoria Cross. Other foreign recipients came from the Belgian, British, French, Greek, Philippine, South Korean and Turkish armies. Soldiers serving with the Greek Expeditionary Force received 6 Distinguished Service Crosses in total during the Korean War.
There were just over 1,000 awards in the Vietnam War, almost 400 of which were posthumous.
Patrick Brady, a helicopter pilot with the 44th Medical Brigade, and Robert L. Howard, a Special Forces NCO, received both the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross in Vietnam. Major General Keith L. Ware, who had earned the Medal of Honor in World War II and who was killed in action in September 1968, received a posthumous Distinguished Service Cross.
James F. Hollingsworth, who received a Distinguished Service Cross in April 1945 as commander of 2nd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, received a second award in November 1966 as assistant division commander of the 1st Infantry Division, and a third in March 1967 as acting division commander of the 1st Infantry Division. He was the subject of the narrative "The General Goes Zapping Charlie Cong". Thomas H. Tackaberry, who received his first Distinguished Service Cross in Korea, received a second in September 1966 as a battalion commander with the 1st Cavalry Division and a third in September 1969 as commander of the 196th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. Both later rose to lieutenant general.
One World War II recipient, William E. DePuy, and two Korean War recipients, Richard E. Cavazos and Ralph Puckett, Jr., received a second Distinguished Service Cross in Vietnam. Both DePuy and Cavazos would later rise to full general.
Besides Hollingsworth and Tackaberry, eleven other soldiers earned two Distinguished Service Crosses in Vietnam. Two, John R. Deane, Jr. and Barry R. McCaffrey, later rose to full general, and a third, Henry E. Emerson, retired as a lieutenant general. McCaffrey also served as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy during the Clinton Administration. Colonel David H. Hackworth, who also received ten Silver Stars in Korea and Vietnam, later rose to prominence as a military affairs journalist. George S. Patton IV, son of a two-time Distinguished Service Cross recipient, received two Distinguished Service Crosses in 1968 as commander of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Sergeant Adelbert Waldron III, twice awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 1969 as a sniper with the 9th Infantry Division, is credited with 109 confirmed kills, the most among U.S. snipers. Dennis Tomcik, a first lieutenant with the 47th Infantry Regiment, was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for two separate actions in 1968 in the Kien Hoa Province.
Among other notable Vietnam War Distinguished Service Cross recipients were several who later rose to full general. Among these, besides DePuy and Cavazos, were Paul F. Gorman, who later commanded the U.S. Southern Command; Robert C. Kingston, the first commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command; James J. Lindsay, who later commanded the U.S. Special Operations Command; Timothy J. Grogan, who later served as the deputy chief of staff for doctrine at the Army's Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe; and Louis C. Menetrey, who wore three hats as Commander, United Nations Command, R.O.K./U.S. Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea. John W. Vessey, Jr., decorated for valor during Operation Junction City in March 1967, rose to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retiring in 1985. Frederick C. Weyand was decorated in 1967 as commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division. He would serve as Chief of Staff of the Army from 1974 to 1976. Bernard W. Rogers, decorated in March 1967 as assistant division commander of the 1st Infantry Division, succeeded General Weyand as Chief of Staff of the Army and subsequently became NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR). Alexander M. Haig, Jr., also decorated in March 1967 as a battalion commander in the 1st Infantry Division, preceded General Rogers as SACEUR, and became Secretary of State in the Reagan Administration. Former West Point football All-American, then Captain Bill Carpenter, "The Lonesome End", received the award in 1966, and would go on to retire as a major general.
First Lieutenant Norman A. Mordue received the Distinguished Service Cross for valor in May 1967 while serving with the 1st Cavalry Division. He was appointed to the U.S. federal bench in 1998 and in 2006 became the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. Captain Robert L. Helvey, decorated for valor in January 1968 also with the 1st Cavalry Division, rose to the rank of colonel, presided as the Dean of the U.S. Army Defense Intelligence School and after retiring from the army he later became President of the Albert Einstein Institution. Eldon Bargewell, decorated in 1971 as a staff sergeant with MACV-SOG, was later commissioned and as of early 2006 was a major general on the staff of Multi-National Force Iraq and the only Vietnam-era DSC recipient still on active duty. David Christian, described as the "Youngest Most Decorated Officer of the Vietnam War", received the Distinguished Service Cross recipient while leading a long range reconnaissance patrol of the 1st Infantry Division, and later became a prominent advocate for veterans.
Among Distinguished Service Cross recipients for valor in the early battles in Vietnam were four members of the 1st Cavalry Division decorated for valor in the Battle of Ia Drang Valley in November 1965 – Lt. Col. Hal Moore, Major Bruce Crandall, Sergeant Clyde Earnie Savage and Specialist Five Charlie "Doc" Lose. The actions of all four were later portrayed in the film "We Were Soldiers", based on Hal Moore's book on the battle. Bruce Crandall's Distinguished Service Cross was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor, which was presented to him in February 2007.
Six Distinguished Service Crosses were awarded to Son Tay raiders, participants in the November 1970 attempt to rescue U.S. POWs in North Vietnam. Among the recipients were Special Forces soldiers Richard J. "Dick" Meadows, Arthur D. "Bull" Simons, and Elliot P. "Bud" Sydnor, Jr.
1975 to present
Operation Enduring Freedom
|Name||Rank||Unit||Date of action||Notes|
|Mark E. Mitchell||Major||5th Special Forces Group||November 28, 2001||Gallantry at Qala-i-Jang Fortress, Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan between 25 to 28 November 2001.|
|Brendan W. O'Connor||Master Sergeant||2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group||June 24, 2006||Removed his body armor to reach two wounded comrades and administered first aid.|
|Charles E. Wyckoff||Sergeant||C Company, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division||June 6, 2007||Posthumously awarded for leaving his covered position to protect his platoon from an insurgent attack, killing two enemy fighters in Afghanistan.|
|Erich R. Phillips||Staff Sergeant||C Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team||August 22, 2007||For his actions at Ranch House in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan August 22, 2007 while serving as mortar platoon sergeant.|
|James M. Takes||Staff Sergeant||C Company, 2nd Battalion, 503d Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team||November 7, 2007||For gallantry in action leading his rifle team while disregarding his own wounds during an ambush involving a large number of hostile forces in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan.|
|Joseph L. Lollino||Sergeant||C Company, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team||June 20, 2008||For actions treating five wounded comrades during an ambush in Paktika Province, Afghanistan.|
|Jack Edward White||Sergeant First Class||A Company, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team||June 29, 2008||While maneuvering through heavy enemy fire directed at an outpost in Khost Province, Afghanistan, he engaged and quickly adjusted his men to repel the attacking force.|
|Corey M. Calkins||Staff Sergeant||B Company, 1st Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne)||February 18, 2010||Led an assault of a sixty-nine man Afghan National Army Company against a platoon sized group of insurgents in fortified positions at an intersection in the bazaar near Majeh, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.|
|Jason W. Myers||Chief Warrant Officer 2||B Company, 3d Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne)||March 27, 2010||Acts of gallantry and intrepidity during an ambush of a joint patrol with members of the Afghan National Police in Khost Province, Afghanistan|
|Eric B. Shaw||Staff Sergeant||Company C, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division||June 27, 2010||Posthumously awarded for rushing to assist exposed Afghan soldiers, consolidating the American and Afghan force leading to the seizure of a village in the Kunar Province.|
|Craig D. Warfle||Sergeant||1st Battaltion, 75th Ranger Regiment||August 18, 2010||For actions in suppressing the enemy while under heavy fire and wounded, covering the evacuation of a fellow soldier in Logar Province, Afghanistan|
|Felipe Pereira||Sergeant||A Company, 1st Battalion, 502d Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division||November 1, 2010||For actions leading his squad during an ambush and evacuating wounded soldiers under heavy fire in Zhari District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.|
Operation Iraqi Freedom
|Name||Rank||Unit||Date of action||Notes|
|Donald R. Hollenbaugh||Master Sergeant||United States Army Special Operations Command||April 26, 2004||For single handedly engaging over 300 enemies in Fallujah.|
|Daniel A. Briggs||Staff Sergeant||United States Army Special Operations Command||April 26, 2004||Provided medical attention to US Marines during a firefight, preventing further casualties.|
|James H. Coffman, Jr.||Colonel||1st Iraqi Special Police Commando Brigade||November 14, 2004||For gallantry in defending a police station from an insurgent attack.|
|Timothy Nein||Staff Sergeant||617th Military Police Company, 16th Military Police Brigade||March 20, 2005||For valor in March 2005 while co-leading a counterattack in Salman Pak, Iraq against a supply truck convoy ambush. Leigh Ann Hester was decorated with the Silver Star for the same action.|
|Stephen C. Sanford||Corporal||C Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team||November 19, 2005||During the evacuation of casualties from a dwelling in Mosul, Iraq.|
|Walter B. Jackson||Second Lieutenant||A Company, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division||September 27, 2006||For extraordinary courage on September 27, 2006 in Hit, Iraq.|
|Gregory Williams||Sergeant||1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team||October 30, 2006||Pulled his wounded platoon leader to safety following an ambush, re-entered the burning Stryker filled with explosives, and drove off the enemy ambush with the vehicle mounted machine gun.|
|David F. Cooper||Chief Warrant Officer 5||Headquarters Company, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment||November 27, 2006||Fought in defense of ground forces in an AH-6 Little Bird, destroying enemy positions despite intense ground fire, and single handedly preventing the allied position from being overrun.|
|Keith Yoakum||Chief Warrant Officer 4||1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Cavalry Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division||February 2, 2007||Posthumously awarded for his valor and determination to continue fighting in a flak-riddled AH-64 Apache helicopter.|
|Christopher B. Waiters||Specialist||A Company, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division||April 5, 2007||For rescuing fellow soldiers from a burning Bradley in the midst of a firefight after an IED attack.|
|Erik Oropeza||Specialist||4th Battalion 9th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division||May 22, 2007||For preventing his vehicle and crew from being overrun by a superior enemy force.|
|Travis Atkins||Staff Sergeant||Company D, 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division||June 1, 2007||Posthumously awarded for tackling and smothering a suicide bomber, shielding and saving the rest of his patrol.|
|Eric Moser||Sergeant||C Company, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division||August 26, 2007||For fighting off an enemy attack of gunfire and grenades for control of a rooftop in Iraq.|
|Christopher Corriveau||Sergeant||C Company, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division||August 26, 2007||For repelling an overwhelming and heavily armed force from a rooftop in Samarra, Iraq|
|Jarion Halbisengibbs||Staff Sergeant||Operational Detachment Alpha 083 (ODA-083), 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne)||September 10, 2007||For clearing an insurgent occupied farm house in Samarra, Iraq|
2012 Benghazi attack
|Name||Rank||Unit||Date of action||Notes|
|David R. Halbruner||Master Sergeant||1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta||September 11, 2012||Assisted unarmed civilians and treated critically wounded.|
- Creighton W. Abrams, Jr., US Army—with one Oak Leaf Cluster (two total awards)
- Edward Almond, US Army—with one Oak Leaf Cluster
- Robert H. Barrow, United States Marine Corps
- Robert S. Beightler, Major General, US Army, Commanding General of the Ohio Army National Guard's 37th Infantry Division
- Thomas Blamey, General, Australian Army (later Australia's first Field Marshal)
- Richard Bong, USAAF
- Lewis H. Brereton, U.S. Army Air Service, later USAAF—with one Oak Leaf Cluster
- Maurice Britt, US Army—also Medal of Honor and Silver Star, first recipient of top three combat decorations in a single war; previously NFL football player, later lieutenant governor of Arkansas
- Joseph Burlazzi, US Army
- John Francis Burnes, USMC
- Douglas Campbell, U.S. Army Air Service—with four Oak Leaf Clusters
- Bill Carpenter, US Army
- Modesto Cartagena, US Army, the most decorated Hispanic soldier of the Korean War.
- Arthur S. Champeny, US Army—with two Oak leaf Clusters; the only man to receive the DSC in three different conflicts (World War I, World War II and the Korean War)
- Llewellyn Chilson, US Army (3, WW2)
- Vasily Chuikov, Soviet Army
- Mark W. Clark, US Army
- William J. Cullerton, U.S. Army Air Forces World War II flying ace
- Daniel Daly, USMC
- William Orlando Darby, US Army—with one Oak Leaf Cluster
- Samuel David Dealey, US Navy (also Medal of Honor and four Navy Crosses)
- William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan, US Army
- Otto Dowling, US Navy
- Jesus S. Duran, US Army, upgraded to the Medal of Honor
- Robert L. Eichelberger, US Army—with one Oak Leaf Cluster
- Edward Fuller, USMC
- James M. Gavin, US Army—with one Oak Leaf Cluster
- Hobart R. Gay, US Army—with Oak Leaf Cluster
- David H. Hackworth, US Army—with one Oak Leaf Cluster
- Alexander M. Haig, Jr., US Army
- Virginia Hall, OSS civilian
- John L. Hines, US Army
- Courtney Hodges, US Army
- Robert L. Howard, US Army—two DSCs, one MH all in the same year tour 1968–69
- Clarence R. Huebner, US Army—with one Oak Leaf Cluster
- LeRoy P. Hunt, USMC
- Frank O'Driscoll "Monk" Hunter, U.S. Army Air Service—with four Oak Leaf Clusters
- Rene Joyeuse, OSS
- Charles L. Kelly, US Army—Dust Off pilot, Vietnam, posthumous
- George C. Kenney, U.S. Army Air Service, later USAAF—with one Oak Leaf Cluster
- Robert C. Kingston, US Army
- Salvador J. Lara, US Army, upgraded to the Medal of Honor in 2014
- Curtis E. LeMay, USAAF
- Douglas MacArthur, US Army—with two Oak Leaf Clusters
- Peyton C. March, US Army
- Anthony McAuliffe, US Army
- Barry McCaffrey, US Army
- Louis Gonzaga Mendez, Jr., US Army
- William "Billy" Mitchell, U.S. Army Air Service
- Dudley W. Morton, US Navy—also four Navy Crosses
- Henry Mucci, US Army
- Kenneth Muir VC, British Army
- Audie L. Murphy, US Army
- George S. Patton, Jr., US Army—with one Oak Leaf Cluster
- George S. Patton, IV, US Army—with one Oak Leaf Cluster
- Keith Payne VC, OAM, Australian Army
- John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, US Army
- Harvey Possinger, US Army
- Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC (additionally he received a total of five Navy Crosses, for a total of six service Crosses, 1 DSC and 5 Navy Crosses)
- Eddie Rickenbacker, U.S. Army Air Service—with nine Oak Leaf Clusters (Rickenbacker originally received 10 DSCs, but one was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor)
- Matthew B. Ridgway, US Army—with one Oak Leaf Cluster
- Keller E. Rockey, USMC
- Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., US Army
- Andrew Summers Rowan, US Army
- Alfredo M. Santos, Philippine Army
- Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., USMC
- Oliver Prince Smith, USMC
- Joseph Stilwell, US Army
- Maxwell D. Taylor, US Army
- Gerald C. Thomas, USMC
- James A. Van Fleet, US Army—with two Oak Leaf Clusters
- John Paul Vann, US civilian
- Jesús Villamor, Philippine Army Air Corps—with one Oak Leaf Cluster
- Walton Walker, US Army—with one Oak Leaf Cluster
- Robert B. Williams, U.S. Army Air Forces
- Richard Winters, US Army
- George Frederick Wootten, Australian general
- Alvin York, US Army, WW1, also received the Medal of Honor.
- Edward F. Younger, US Army, US Soldier chosen to select the Unknown Soldier for the US after World War I
In a number of cases, an award of the Distinguished Service Cross has later been revoked. In most cases, this has been for one of three reasons: the award was upgraded to the Medal of Honor, duplicate awards had been made to the same recipient for the same action by two different headquarters, or the award had been revoked to allow republication with a new and revised award citation. Such revocations have occurred over the history of the decoration.
One of the earliest such cases involves one of the most famous American soldiers of World War I, Alvin York, who initially received a Distinguished Service Cross which was upgraded to the Medal of Honor. And as noted above under "Notable Recipients", top American World War I ace pilot Eddie Rickenbacker originally received eight DSCs, but one was upgraded in 1930 to the Medal of Honor. In 1980, MSG Roy P. Benavidez, a U.S. Army Special Forces veteran, had his Vietnam-era DSC upgraded to the Medal of Honor, which was presented to him by President Reagan at a Pentagon ceremony on February 24, 1981.
A number of DSC revocations and upgrades to the Medal of Honor were the result of reviews initiated by the Army or mandated by the United States Congress. In the early 1990s the Army began a review of discrimination against black soldiers in World War II, none of whom had received the Medal of Honor but several of whom had received lesser awards. Later, the Department of Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996 provided for a "Review Regarding Upgrading of Distinguished-Service Crosses and Navy Crosses Awarded to Asian-Americans and Native American Pacific Islanders for World War II Service" and the National Defense Authorization Act for 2002 provided for a "Review Regarding Award of Medal of Honor to Certain Jewish American and Hispanic American War Veterans". There is currently a petition circulating to upgrade the Distinguished Service Cross of Major Richard Winters to a Medal of Honor.
In January 1997, as a result of its review, the Army revoked six awards of the Distinguished Service Cross to black soldiers and upgraded them to the Medal of Honor. These were to Vernon Baker, Edward A. Carter, Jr., John R. Fox, Willy F. James, Jr., Charles L. Thomas and George Watson. In 2001, the Army officially revoked 21 awards of the Distinguished Service Cross and one of the Silver Star to Asian-American soldiers, mostly Japanese-American, whose awards were upgraded to the Medal of Honor. Among those whose DSC was upgraded was U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye. Others include Francis B. Wai and Rudolph B. Davila.
Jon E. Swanson, posthumously awarded a DSC in 1972, had this revoked in November 2005 (Department of the Army General Order No. 9 of 2005), after his DSC was upgraded to the Medal of Honor in December 2002 (Department of the Army General Order No. 14 of 2002). Another Vietnam War helicopter pilot, Bruce P. Crandall, was awarded the DSC in June 2001 (General Order No. 25 of 2001). This award was rescinded in November 2005 when a new citation was issued (General Order No. 9 of 2005), but the DSC itself was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor, which was presented in February 2007 (the DSC was revoked in General Order No. 3 of 2007).
- Awards and decorations of the United States Army
- Non-U.S. recipients of U.S. gallantry awards
- Puerto Rican recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross
- William Haddock Campbell grew up in the "West side" neighborhood of Austin, Chicago. His second DSC was reported on 1 April 1943 in a local Chicago, Illinois newspaper, The Garfieldian, Thursday 1 April 1943 edition, page 1, column 6, article titled: 3 West Siders Receive Citations for Gallantry. Campbell arrived at Hickam Field in Hawaii on 5 December 1941. He was involved with a secret photorecon mission using two (or more?) B-24A aircraft from the 88th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) (now the 436th Training Squadron). He provided information on this mission in 1962 to Maurer Maurer of US Air Force Historical Division Research Studies Institute at Air University, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Campbell was also involved in the Battle of the Coral Sea, flying one of the "land based" B-17's assigned to MacArthur. Reference to a Chicago Sun (Times?) article, which incorrectly refers to William B. Campbell [sic] Campbell may have dropped the first American bombs in the Battle of the Coral Sea.
- 578.10 Distinguished Service Cross
- Institute of Heraldry Distinguished Service Cross
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