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Posted 8/4/2010 Printable Fact Sheet
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Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal - Awarded to any member of the United States Air Force who has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service to the United States Government in a duty of great responsibility. The medal is typically awarded to senior Air Force generals. The Air Force Distinguished Service Medal was created on July 6, 1960 by an act of the United States Congress. It was intended as a new decoration of the United States Air Force to replace the policy of awarding the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Air Force personnel. (U.S. Air Force graphic)
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Background and Criteria
This decoration, established by Congress on July 6, 1960, is awarded to members of the United States Air Force who distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service to the government in a duty of great responsibility, in combat or otherwise.

Medal Description
The Air Force Distinguished Service Medal was designed by Frank Alston of the Institute of Heraldry. The sunburst design is one of the most striking examples of the medalist's art and is a radical departure from the designs used in the Distinguished Service Medals of the other services. The obverse design has a sunburst of 13 gold rays separated by 13 white enameled stars, with a semiprecious blue stone in the center. The reverse of the medal is plain and suitable for engraving. The star is suspended from the ribbon by a wide slotted bar which consists of stylized wings symbolic of the Air Force.

Ribbon Description
The ribbon has a wide center stripe of white flanked on either side by a thin stripe of old gold, a wide stripe of ultramarine blue and a narrow stripe of old gold at the edges. The blue stone in the center represents the vault of the heavens; the 13 stars represent the original colonies and man's chain of achievements. The sunburst represents the glory that accompanies great achievements, and the rays depict man's quest for light and knowledge.

Authorized device: Oak leaf cluster

Weighted Airman Promotion System Point Value: 9

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