Service: All Services
Instituted: 9 July 1970
Criteria: Exceptionally meritorious service to the United States while assigned to a Joint Activity in a position of unique and great responsibility
Devices: All Services: Bronze & Silver Oak Leaf Cluster
Authorized on July 9, 1970 and awarded to military officers for exceptionally meritorious service while assigned to a Department of Defense joint activity.
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The Secretary of Defense is the awarding authority for the medal, usually awarded to the most senior officers. It may also be awarded to other senior officers who serve in positions of great responsibility or to an officer whose direct and individual contributions to national security or defense. Subsequent awards are denoted by bronze and silver oak leaf clusters.
The medal depicts an American bald eagle with wings spread and the United States shield on its breast; the eagle is superimposed on a medium blue pentagon and is surrounded by a gold circle that has thirteen stars in the upper half and a laurel and olive wreath in the lower half.