Meritorious Service Medal


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Meritorious Service Medal


(MSM) is a military award presented to members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguished themselves by outstanding meritorious achievement or service to the United States subsequent to January 16, 1969.


 was previously awarded as a decoration for achievement during peacetime, but effective 11 September 2001, this decoration may also be bestowed in lieu of the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in a designated combat theater.  Normally, the acts or services rendered must be comparable to that required for the Legion of Merit but in a duty of lesser, though considerable, responsibility. Within the U.S. Army, therefore may not be upgraded to or downgraded from a recommended Bronze Star Medal. In the Army, an MSM recommendation that is downgraded will be approved as an Army Commendation Medal.

A higher award and decoration known as the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM) is intended for similar services performed under joint duty within the United States Department of Defense, to include the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, and joint task forces under their cognizance.

Awarded by the
Department of the Army
Department of the Navy
Department of the Air Force
Department of Homeland Security
Type Military medal (Decoration)
Eligibility Military Personnel Only
Awarded for Outstanding meritorious achievement or service to the United States
Status Currently Awarded
Established 1969; 51 years ago
Next (higher) Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Next (lower) Air Medal
Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg
Meritorious Service Medal ribbon


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