Service: Navy, Marine Corps
Criteria: Exceptionally meritorious service to the U.S. Government in a duty of great responsibility
Devices: Gold, Silver Star
Notes: 107 copies of earlier medal design issued but later withdrawn. First ribbon design was 1½" wide
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The Navy Distinguished Service Medal was established by an Act of Congress and approved on February 4, 1919 and, like the Navy Cross, was made retroactive to April 6, 1917.
The Navy Distinguished Service Medal is a gold medallion with an American bald eagle with displayed wings in the center. The eagle is surrounded by a blue enameled ring which contains the words, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” with “NAVY” at the bottom.