Personal Decorations
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Defense Meritorious Service Medal


A Bronze medal 1 1/2 inches (3.81 cm) in diameter overall consisting of a circular wreath of laurel tied with a ribbon at base and at center a pentagon shape slightly overlapping the wreath; overall an eagle with wings upraised standing at the base of the pentagon.


The eagle is symbolic of the United States; the pentagon shape alludes to the Department of Defense, and the laurel wreath represents achievement.


A ribbon 1 3/8 inches (8.57cm) in width composed of the following vertical stripes: White 1/16 inch (.16cm), Crimson 1/4 inch (.64cm), White 7/32 inch (.56cm), Bluebird 1/16 inch (.16cm), White 1/16 inch (.16cm), Bluebird 1/16 inch (.16cm), White 1/16 inch (.16cm), Bluebird 1/16 inch (.16cm), White 7/32 inch (.56cm), Crimson 1/4 inch (.64cm), White 1/16 inch (.16cm).


The colors, crimson and white, are duplicates of the colors of the Legion of Merit ribbon. The stripes of blue (Bluebird) is the color associated with the Department of Defense.


The Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM) was established by Executive Order 12019, 3 November 1977. It is awarded to in the name of the Secretary of Defense to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, after 3 November 1977, distinguished themselves by noncombat meritorious achievement or service. The prescribing directive for the DMSM is DOD 1348.33-M, Manual of Military Decorations & Awards.

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