Defense Meritorious Service Medal


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Defense Meritorious Service Medal

 Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM) is an award bestowed upon members of the United States military by the United States Department of Defense. In the order of precedence of the United States Armed Forces, it is worn between the Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal. The medal is awarded in the name of the Secretary of Defense to members of the Armed Forces who, while serving in a joint activity, distinguish themselves by non-combat outstanding achievement. 

The medal is not the same as the Meritorious Service Medal, which is a separate federal military decoration. Both have virtually identical award criteria, but the DMSM is awarded to service members assigned to joint, multi-service organizations, while the MSM is awarded to service members in traditional military units within their respective individual services.


Awarded by the Department of Defense
Type Medal (Decoration)
Eligibility any member of the U.S. Armed Forces or any member of the armed forces of a friendly foreign nation
Awarded for Non-combat outstanding achievement or meritorious service.
Status Currently awarded
Clasps Oak leaf clusters for subsequent awards.
Established Executive Order 12019, November 3, 1977.
Amended by Executive Order 13666, April 18, 2014.
Next (higher) Purple Heart
Next (lower) Meritorious Service Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg
Service ribbon


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