Criteria: Extraordinary heroism in action against an enemy of the U.S. or while serving with friendly foreign forces
Devices: Bronze, Silver Oak Leaf Cluster Notes: 100 copies of earlier design cross were issued with a European-style (unedged) ribbon This medal requires official authorization prior to wear. Customer needs to contact a military awards specialist to purchase this award.
Authorized by Congress on July 9, 1918. Awarded for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy but of a level not justifying the award of the Medal of Honor. It may be awarded to both civilians and military serving in any capacity with the Army who distinguish themselves by heroic actions in combat.
The act or acts of heroism must be so notable and have involved risk of life so extraordinary as to set the individual apart from his comrades. The medal had been initially proposed for award to qualifying members of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War I but was authorized permanently by Congress in the Appropriations Act of 1918.