The Distinguished Service Cross
One of the highest ranking military medals and military ribbons is the Distinguished Service Cross. The Army Distinguished Service Cross was created by President Woodrow Wilson at the beginning of 1918 at the request of General Pershing, Commander-In-Chief of the Expeditionary Forces France. These US military medals are the second highest award issued by the US Army and they are presented to Army personnel who, while serving in any capacity with the Army, distinguish themselves by extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of a Medal of Honor; while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing/foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing Armed Force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The act or acts of heroism leading to these unique medals of America must have been so notable and have involved risk of life so extraordinary as to set these individuals apart from their comrades.
During World War I, 6,309 awards of the Distinguished Service Cross were made to 6,185 recipients. Eddie Rickenbacker, the top U.S. ace of the war, was awarded a record eight of these military medals, one of which was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor. Two recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross during World War I went on to earn the Medal of Honor in World War II – Major Theodore Roosevelt Jr., son of the former President, and Douglas MacArthur.
During World War II, just over 5,000 awards were made. A number of recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross in earlier conflicts were again honored in World War II. Three recipients of two Distinguished Service Crosses in World War I - Douglas MacArthur, Hanford MacNider, and Harry H. Semmes - received their third in World War II, and George S. Patton, Jr., won his second Distinguished Service Cross.
In the Korean War, there were just over 800 awards, of which over 300 were posthumous. Ten World War II recipients received a second Distinguished Service Cross in Korea. There were just over 1,000 awards in the Vietnam War, almost 400 of which were posthumous. One World War II recipient, William DePuy, and two Korean War recipients, Richard E. Cavazos and Ralph Puckett, Jr., received a second Distinguished Service Cross in Vietnam. Since Vietnam, as of May 2009, 19 Distinguished Service Crosses have been awarded — five during Operation Enduring Freedom and thirteen in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Army regulations provide for a 10% increase in retired pay for enlisted personnel who have retired with more than 20 years of service if they have been awarded the Army Distinguished Service Cross. These military medals are worn below the Medal of Honor, and above the Distinguished Service Medals of all branches in the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all US military ribbons and medals. Multiple awards are denoted by Oak Leaf Clusters. This military award is one of the most respected and rarest awards presented to any United States military member. Even though this high ranking military award is available in the standard slide on products it is also available as a custom military ribbon, or as a custom military medal.