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Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal

In the year 1949, Congress authorized the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal. Since Congress recognized different types and degrees of heroism and meritorious service, it created separate versions of the Distinguished Service Medal for each branch of service and a 5th version recognizes those personnel contributions from the Department of Defense. Coast Guard Service members received the Navy version of the Distinguished Service Medal, until their own separate award was created. These military medals are to be awarded by the President to those individuals who set themselves apart from their comrades by demonstrating exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a operations of great responsibility in time of war or in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States. Recipients of this award demonstrated much more than just exceptional performance of normal duty in the justification of this award.  Thus, these military medals are particularly unique. 
Often, the phrase "duty of a great responsibility" is used to denote those of a narrower range of positions when the nation is not at war, than in time of war, and requires evidence of absolutely significant achievement. However, there are justifications for the award of these Coast Guard ribbons and military medals.  These justifications may be accepted after exceptionally meritorious service in a succession of high positions of great importance is witnessed. With approval from the President and under exceptional circumstances, these military medals are often awarded for wartime duties to civilians who are not members of the United States Armed Forces.
Not until after the year two thousand and three, the bestowing authority of the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal was the Secretary of Transportation of the United States of America. However, in the year 2003, this branch was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security, therefore now  the presentation authorities belong to the Department of Homeland Securities. In general, only senior or Flag Officers such as the Commandment of the Coast Guard, are eligible for this prestigious award.  However, in 1998, Rick Trent, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard became the very first enlisted member to receive the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal.
According to the general order of precedence established for properly displaying military medals and military ribbons, the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal is to be displayed below those Distinguished Service Crosses of the separate military branches. and above the Silver Star Awards presented by the separate branches of service. All additional awards of these military medals are represented by Gold Award Stars.  Traditional medals, mini medals, and the newer, more popular ultra-thin militray ribbons provide our servide members with a striking look and sharp appearance in order to command the attention they deserve and propel them up through the military ranks.

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