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Authorized by E.O. 12019

The Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM) shall only be awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, after November 3, 1977, distinguished themselves by noncombat meritorious achievement or service. Only under the most unusual circumstances will the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM) be awarded as an impact award for outstanding TDY achievement. The Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM) is specifically intended to recognize exceptionally meritorious service performance and to honor an individual's accomplishments over a sustained period.

The Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM) shall be awarded in the name of the Secretary of Defense.

Authority to award the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM) is hereby delegated to the following:

The DA&M for Service members assigned to the OSD; the DoD Field Activities; the joint DoD activities that report directly to an OSD Principal Staff Assistant or for which the Secretary of a Military Department has been designated as an "Executive Agent"; the multilateral and bilateral organizations; and the other offices in the Executive Branch, the Executive Agencies and Departments, or the independent establishments and Government corporations. (See "United States Government Manual 1987/88," (reference (l)).)

The Director, Joint Staff for Service members assigned to the Joint Staff and those Agencies and activities reporting directly to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that are not delegated approval authority for that decoration.

The Commanders in Chief of the Unified or Combined Commands, for Service members assigned to their respective Headquarters or joint activities directly under their operational control. They also may approve that award for the commander, his or her staff, and other Service members attached to a JTF as individuals (not as members of an assigned and/or attached unit).

The Supreme Allied Commander, Europe; the Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic; the U.S. Representative to the Military Committee, NATO; the Defense Advisor, U.S. Mission NATO; and the CINC, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), for Service members assigned in their respective headquarters or associated Agencies.

The Directors of Defense Agencies (except the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Defense Security Assistance Agency (DSAA)), for Service members assigned to their respective Agencies.

The Commander, U.S. Forces Korea, for U.S. Service members assigned to their headquarters or joint activities reporting directly to that command.

The President, National Defense University (NDU), for Service members assigned to the University, the National War College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

The Commandant, Armed Forces Staff College, for Service members assigned to that College.

That authority may be delegated further at the discretion of the awarding authority to general or flag officers of the Armed Forces of the United States in the grade of O-7 or civilian equivalents when they occupy established command or staff positions. Such authority must be delegated in writing and documentation maintained indefinitely by the organization receiving the authority.

The Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM) shall take precedence after the DSSM, the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star Medal, but before the Military Services' Meritorious Service Medal.

Recommendations for the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM) shall be submitted to the appropriate approval authority for processing. In those instances where the approval authority rests with the DA&M, OSD, or the Director, Joint Staff, the recommendation shall be submitted for processing to the Chief, Military Personnel Division, Personnel and Security Directorate, WHS, or the DJS no later than 90 days before the desired presentation date.

Authorized Devices: Bronze Oak Leaf, Silver Oak Leaf

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