Talk:Defense Distinguished Service Medal
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DOD Manual 1348.33-M, dtd November 23, 2010, pp. 38-40.
This is the full text of the current manual, a distributed work of the Department of Defense of the U.S. Government, also available online here [www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134833vol1.pdf] Please note 9a(2), 7th line.
DoDM 1348.33-V1, November 23, 2010 9. DEFENSE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL a. Introduction (1) The DDSM is the highest Defense/Joint peacetime award. The DDSM was established by E.O. 11545 (Reference (v)). Further clarifying guidance was contained in a Secretary of Defense Memorandum (Reference (w)). (2) This decoration is awarded by the Secretary of Defense. It is awarded to the most senior officers who perform exceptionally meritorious service in a degree of great responsibility with the OSD, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, special or outstanding command in a Defense agency, or for any other joint activities designated by the Secretary of Defense. It is awarded infrequently. b. Award Category. Defense/Joint Personal Performance Award. c. Eligibility Requirements and Criteria (1) Awarded by the Secretary of Defense to any officer of the U.S. Armed Forces who, while assigned to a joint staff or activity, distinguishes himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service in a position of unique and great responsibility. Award for exceptionally meritorious service is generally for a period of time greater than 12 months and encompassing an individual’s entire joint assignment, including any extensions. The DDSM shall not be awarded to any officer for a period of service for which a Military Department’s Distinguished Service Medal, or similar decoration, has been awarded. (2) The DDSM shall only be awarded to officers of the U.S. Armed Forces whose exceptional performance of duty and contributions to national security or defense have been at the highest levels. Such officers have direct and ultimate responsibility for a major activity or program that significantly influences the policies of the U.S. Government. Contributions normally require a direct working relationship with the most senior officials in the Federal Government (e.g., Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff). Only under the most unusual circumstances will the DDSM be awarded as an impact award for outstanding TDY achievement. The DDSM is specifically intended to recognize exceptionally distinguished service and to honor an individual’s accomplishments over a sustained period. (3) Normally, such broad responsibilities shall be held by only the most senior officers whose duties bring them into direct and frequent contact with the Secretary of Defense and other senior officials within the Government. Examples of such officials are the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Secretaries of the Military Departments, and the Chiefs and Vice Chiefs of the Military Services. (4) The DDSM may be awarded to other senior officers who serve in positions of great responsibility, or to an officer whose direct and individual contributions to national security or 38 ENCLOSURE 3DoDM 1348.33-V1, November 23, 2010 defense are recognized as being so exceptional in scope and value as to be equivalent to contributions normally associated with positions encompassing broader responsibilities. (5) Defense awards, including the DDSM, may be awarded posthumously. When so awarded, they may be presented to an appropriate representative of the deceased, as determined by the awarding authority. d. Foreign Military Personnel. The DDSM is awarded only to officers of the U.S. Armed Forces. e. Procedures (1) All recommendations for award of the DDSM to members of the Joint Staff or the Combatant Command Headquarters or activities reporting to or through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall be processed through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for recommendation. These recommendations shall not be boarded at the Joint Staff level. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall forward recommendations to the Director, Military Personnel, Human Resources Directorate, Washington Headquarters Services (WHS), for boarding and processing. Recommendations should be submitted to arrive at the Joint Staff no later than 90 days before the desired presentation date. (2) All other recommendations for award of the DDSM shall be submitted to the Director, Military Personnel, Human Resources Directorate, WHS, for boarding and processing. Recommendations require the signature of the Secretary concerned, applicable Under Secretary of Defense, Assistant Secretary of Defense, General Counsel of the Department of Defense, Inspector General of the Department of Defense, or Director. In their absence, the Principal Deputy may sign a DDSM award recommendation. Recommendations should be submitted to the WHS no later than 90 days before the desired presentation date. f. Approval Authority. The DDSM, as the highest Defense/Joint decoration, may only be awarded by the Secretary of Defense. Under no circumstances may the awarding authority be delegated. g. Order of Precedence. The DDSM is worn after the Military Department Service Crosses (i.e., Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, or Air Force Cross) and before the Military Department Distinguished Service Medals (i.e., Army Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Distinguished Service Medal, and Air Force Distinguished Service Medal). h. Subsequent Awards (1) Individuals are only presented a DDSM upon initial award. (2) Subsequent awards are denoted by wearing the appropriate device on the suspension and service ribbon of the medal. Oak leaf clusters, 13/32 inch in length, are centered on the service ribbon and suspension ribbon of full-size medals, with the stems of the leaves pointing to the wearer’s right. 39 ENCLOSURE 3DoDM 1348.33-V1, November 23, 2010 (a) Bronze oak-leaf clusters are used to denote the 2nd through 5th (7th through 10th, etc.) award. No more than four bronze oak-leaf clusters shall be worn. Bronze oak-leaf clusters may be worn with one or more silver oak-leaf clusters. (b) Silver oak-leaf clusters are used in lieu of multiples of five bronze oak-leaf clusters (e.g., the 6th, 11th). One or more silver oak-leaf clusters may be worn with up to four bronze oak-leaf clusters. They are worn to the wearer’s right of a bronze oak leaf cluster. i. Authorized Devices. Oak-Leaf Cluster (bronze and/or silver). j. Illustration and Description. See Appendix 3 of this enclosure.
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