DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS
The Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), the second highest military decoration, can be awarded to a member of the United States Army for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force. Actions that merit the Distinguished Service Cross must be of such a high degree to be above those required for all other U.S. combat decorations but not meeting the criteria for the MEDAL OF HONOR. The Distinguished Service Cross is equivalent to the Navy Cross (Navy and Marine Corps) and the Air Force Cross (Air Force).
The Distinguished Service Cross was first awarded during WORLD WAR I.
The Distinguished Service Cross was established by President Woodrow Wilson on January 1, 1918. General Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the Expeditionary Forces in France, had recommended that recognition other than the Medal of Honor be authorized for the Armed Forces of the United States for valorous service rendered in like manner to that awarded by the European armies.
The first design of the Distinguished Service Cross was cast and manufactured by the United States Mint at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The die was cast from the approved design prepared by Captain Aymar E. Embury II, Engineers Officer Reserve Corps. Upon examination of the first medals struck at the Mint, certain minor changes were made to add to the beauty and the attractiveness of the medal. Due to the importance of the time element involved in furnishing the decorations to General Pershing, one hundred of the medals were struck from the original design. These medals were furnished with the provision that these crosses be replaced when the supply of the second design was accomplished.