Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal

This article is about the Homeland Security-awarded Distinguished Service Medal. For other U.S. versions, see Distinguished Service Medal (United States).
Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal
Awarded by
United States Department of Homeland Security
Type Military medal
Eligibility Members of the United States Armed Forces
Awarded for Exceptionally meritorious service
Status Currently awarded
Established 1 March 2002
First awarded 2006
Next (higher) Coast Guard - Coast Guard Cross
Army - Distinguished Service Cross
Navy (Navy-Marine) - Navy Cross
Air Force - Air Force Cross
Equivalent Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Department of Commerce Gold Medal
Next (lower) Coast Guard - Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal

Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal ribbon

The Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal is a United States military award which is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States by the United States Department of Homeland Security. The current version of the medal was established on March 1, 2002.[1]


The decoration was originally established as the Transportation Distinguished Service Medal by Executive Order 12824, signed by President George H. W. Bush on December 7, 1992. On February 28, 2003, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13286, which, among other things, replaced the Transportation version of the award with the Homeland Security version retroactively to March 1, 2002. On April 5, 2011, President Barack Obama amended Executive Order 12824, as amended, modifying the award eligibility from "a member of the Coast Guard" to "any member of the Armed Forces of the United States".[2]

Order of precedence

As a distinguished service medal, this decoration is one of the highest awards that can be bestowed upon a member of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The award would be worn after the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force Cross and Coast Guard Cross and, for members of the Coast Guard, before the Defense Distinguished Service Medal and the Department-specific DSM decorations. The medal may be awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States.

Gen McKinley (Ret.) speaks after being awarded the Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal.

Notable recipients

See also


  1. "14 USC § 492 – Distinguished service medal". Legal Information Institute, Cornell University Law School. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  2. "Executive Order 13569--Amendments to Executive Orders 12824, 12835, 12859, and 13532, Reestablishment Pursuant to Executive Order 13498, and Revocation of Executive Order 13507". U.S. Department of Defense. 5 April 2011. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  3. Barr, Stephen (May 11, 2006). "Honoring Those Who Went Above and Beyond During Katrina". Washington Post. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  4. Schept, Susan (25 May 2010). "Oil spill overshadows CG change of command". Navy Times. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  5. "Coast Guard Change of Command Ceremony". C-SPAN Video Library. 25 May 2006. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  6. "U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano congratulates Coast Guard Vice Adm. Vivien Crea for a job well done during the Coast Guard Vice Commandant Change of Watch Ceremony at Coast Guard Telecommunications and Information Systems Command.". USCG Press. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  7. Wadlow, PO1 Kip. "Vice Commandant Change of Watch [Image 2 of 5]". US Coast Guard Atlantic Area. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  8. Biography of Vice Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, Pacific Area Commander, Coast Guard Defense Force West, last accessed 4 May 2015
  9. "Panetta hosts Chief Change for National Guard Bureau". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
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