Army Distinguished Service Cross Medal
A U.S. Army decoration awarded for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force. Actions which 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. In addition, a number of awards were made for actions before World War One. In many cases, these were to soldiers who had received a Certificate of Merit for gallantry which, at the time, was the only other honor besides the Medal of Honor the Army could award. Others were belated recognition of actions in the Philippines, on the Mexican Border and during the Boxer Rebellion. This decoration should not be confused with the Distinguished Service Medal, which recognizes meritorious service to the government of the United States (as a senior military officer or government official) rather than individual acts of bravery (as a member of the United States Army).