National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal

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This article is about Office of the Director of National Intelligence-awarded Distinguished Service Medal. For other U.S. versions, see Distinguished Service Medal (disambiguation).
National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal
USA National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal.png
National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal
Awarded by United States Intelligence Community
Type Individual Award
Eligibility United States Government civilian and military personnel
Awarded for sustained, selfless service of the highest order, and/or extraordinary and long lasting contributions to the Intelligence Community and the United States by an individual in a position of great responsibility.
Status Active
Established August 15, 1993 (Director of Central Intelligence Directive 7/1); revised May 23, 2007 by ODNI Intelligence Community Directive Number 655
Next (higher) National Intelligence Medal for Valor[1]
Equivalent National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal
Next (lower) National Intelligence Superior Service Medal[1]
National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal ribbon

The National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal (NIDSM) is a decoration awarded for service to the United States Intelligence Community. The decoration is awarded to any member or contributor to the National Intelligence Community, either civilian or military, who distinguishes themselves by meritorious actions to the betterment of national security in the United States of America, through sustained and selfless service of the highest order.[1]

The National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal was once considered junior to the older National Security Medal.[2] With the establishment of the National Intelligence Awards (NIA) Program by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal was the highest decoration in the program.[3] An update to the NIA program added awards and changed precedence, with the NIDSM being succeeded by the Intelligence Community Medal for Valor in the order of precedence.[1]

As an authorized U.S. non-military decoration on U.S. military uniforms, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal is worn after U.S. military unit awards and before U.S. military campaign and service awards.


The National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal is a gold colored medal 1 58 inches (41 mm) across. The obverse design consists of a white 16 pointed star surmounted by a gold heraldic rose. In the center of the rose is a dark blue disc bearing an eight pointed compass rose in gold. The reverse bears the words NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE, one word on each line, all in gold.[4]

The medal's ribbon, which is from the original, is 1 38 inches (35 mm) wide. The ribbon is white with 18 inch (3.2 mm) blue stripes at both edges. In the center is a 18 inch (3.2 mm) scarlet stripe flanked by 18 inch (3.2 mm) yellow stripes.[4]

Symbolically, the heraldic rose is a symbol of secrecy and confidence, referring to the term sub rosa which is Latin for "under the rose." That symbol has traditionally been used to describe something to be kept secret and not repeated elsewhere. Blue represents loyalty, and is taken from the seal of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The compass rose in the center of the medal symbolizes the world-wide mission of the organization, while the points of the white star also allude to compass points. The white color represents honesty, truth and optimism.[4]

Notable recipients[edit]

Recipients gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Intelligence Community Directive Number 655" (PDF). 9 February 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Director of Central Intelligence Directive 7/1
  3. ^ "Intelligence Community Directive Number 655" (PDF). Federation of American Scientists. Director of National Intelligence. 23 May 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  4. ^ a b c "National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal". The Institute of Heraldry. 
  5. ^ a b [1] Archived January 15, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ [2] Archived November 11, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
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  12. ^ "Michael H. Decker Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight". Department of Defense. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "Senator, Physicist Receive US Intelligence Medal — Central Intelligence Agency". Retrieved 2013-03-13. 
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  18. ^ "Lockheed Martin Space Systems Names Jeffrey Harris President of Missiles & Space Operations in Sunnyvale, California. - Free Online Library". 2001-03-07. Retrieved 2013-03-13. 
  19. ^ [8] Archived May 28, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Michael Robert Patterson. "Frank Barrett Horton III, Major General, United States Air Force". Retrieved 2013-03-13. 
  21. ^ "L-1 Identity Solutions Adds New Head of Washington DC Federal Operation". Reuters. 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2013-03-13. 
  22. ^ "CACI Bios - Lowell E. Jacoby". Retrieved 2013-03-13. 
  23. ^