In 1950, NGAUS established a decoration for distinguished service as its first major individual award. The Distinguished Service Medal was conceived to provide recognition for an individual who, as member of the Armed Forces (Active, Guard or Reserve), performed exceptionally outstanding service to the United States, to the Armed Forces of the United States or to NGAUS.
Any member of the National Guard, NGAUS or the Armed Forces of the United States, or any civilian assigned to the National Guard Bureau is eligible to receive the Distinguished Service Medal.
The Distinguished Service Medal is a medal measuring 1-1/2 inches in diameter, bearing a gold striking of the NGAUS seal in raised features. A scarlet silk moiré ribbon, which is 2 inches long, suspends the medal and 1-3/8 wide, topped by a bar inscribed “Distinguished Service” in raised letters.
An individual must have distinguished him/herself in particularly outstanding service to the United States Government, any of the Armed Forces of the United States, including the National Guard or NGAUS.
Outstanding performance of normal duty alone will not justify the award of this medal. An individual must have offered exceptionally outstanding contributions over an extended period of time to clearly merit the award of this medal. Contributions to state associations or to the state National Guard may be considered, but this award is intended to recognize national level contributions.
Nominations and Selection Procedures
Any member of the Awards Committee, the Board of Directors or an elected officer of NGAUS, state association President or Adjutants General may nominate an individual to receive this award. An individual may not receive more than one Distinguished Service Medal. More than one award may be given in a calendar year.