This decoration was Originally established as the Transportation Distinguished Service Medal by Executive Order 12824 signed by President George H.W. Bush on December 7, 1992, under his authority as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
On February 28, 2003, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13286, "Amendment of Executive Order, and Other Actions, in Connection With the Transfer of Certain Functions to the Secretary of Homeland Security." Section 29 of this Executive Order amended Executive Order 12824 of December 7, 1992 ("Establishing the Transportation Distinguished Service Medal") by striking "Transportation" in the title and inserting "Homeland Security" in is place. This action rendered the Transportation Distinguishd Service Medal obsolete and replaced it with a new Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal, which is administered by the Department of Homeland Security.
The Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal has been in effect since March 1, 2002, when the Coast Guard transfered from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to any member of the Coast Guard who provides exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility while assigned in the Department of Homeland Security, or in other activities under the responsibility of the Secretary of Homeland Security, either national or international, as may be assigned by the Secretary.
ORDER OF PRECEDENCE
The Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal is worn only by Coast Guard officers. It is worn after the Navy Cross and before the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal.
Additional awards of the Transportation Distinguished Service Medal are denoted by Gold Stars.
The design of the Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal is based on the design of the Department of Transporation Distinguished Service Medal by Nadine Russell of the Army's Institute of Heraldry. However, the central disk with the DoT logo has been replaced by the DHS Shield
The first Department of Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal was awarded to Admiral Thad W. Allen, USCG.
DESCRIPTION AND SYMBOLISM
In the center of a silver medallion one half inch in diameter, there is a shield bearing the logo of the Department of Homeland Security over crossed anchors on a circular field scored with raised rays. This field is in turn surrounded by a raised laurel wreath in green enamel, finished in gold. The laurel leaves form a continuous circle and the leaves point counter-clockwise.
The suspender which connects the medal to its ribbon is integral to the medal and consists of a miniature Coast Guard officer's cap device in gold. The blue triskelion is adapted from the Department of Transportation Seal. It surmounts two anchors crossed to imply cooperation and strength, and denotes the U.S. Coast Guard's affiliating with the Department of Homeland Security. The encircling wreath of laurel symbolizes honor and achievement. The pendant device, which simulates the Coast Guard's officer cap device, highlights the purpose of the medal.
In the upper-central portion of the reverse there is a raised plaque for engraving the recipient's name. Above the plaque in two lines are the raised words, AWARDED TO; and below the plaque in four lines, the words FOR EXTRAORDINARY MERITORIOUS SERVICE. The plaque and inscription are contained within an incomplete circle (open at the bottom) consisting of the raised words, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.
The ribbon consists of a center stripe of "Army Commendation Medal Green" bordered in turn by stipes of white, scarlet, white, bluebird, and "Navy Cross" blue.