military decoration of the United States Army
The Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) is a military award of the United States Army that is presented to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the United States military, has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility. The performance must be such as to merit recognition for service that is clearly exceptional. Exceptional performance of normal duty will not alone justify an award of this decoration.Separate Distinguished Service Medals exist for the different branches of the military as well as a fifth version of the medal which is a senior award of the United States Department of Defense. The army version of the Distinguished Service Medal is typically referred to simply as the "Distinguished Service Medal", while the other branches of service use the service name as a prefix.
For service not related to actual war, the term "duty of a great responsibility" applies to a narrower range of positions than in time of war, and requires evidence of conspicuously significant achievement. However, justification of the award may accrue by virtue of exceptionally meritorious service in a succession of high positions of great importance.
Awards may be made to persons other than members of the United States Armed Forces for wartime services only, and then only under exceptional circumstances, with the express approval of the president in each case.
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