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Authorized by E.O.11904

The Defense Superior Service Medal (DSSM) shall be awarded only to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, after February 6, 1976, rendered superior meritorious service in a position of significant responsibility. Only under the most unusual circumstances will DSSM be awarded as an impact award for outstanding TDY achievement. The DSSM is specifically intended to recognize exceptionally superior service, and to honor an individual's accomplishments over a sustained period.

The Defense Superior Service Medal (DSSM) shall be awarded only by the Secretary of Defense.

The Director, Joint Staff, for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been delegated approval or disapproval authority for Service members assigned to the Joint Staff, and those Service members assigned to Joint organizations. That authority may not be delegated further.

Approval or disapproval authority for all other qualifying Service members is delegated to the DA&M, OSD, for the ASD(FMP). That authority may not be further delegated.

The Defense Superior Service Medal (DSSM) shall be placed in precedence after the Medal of Honor (MOH), the Distinguished Service Crosses of the Services, the DDSM, the Distinguished Service Medals of the Services, and the Silver Star, but before the Legion of Merit.

Recommendations approved by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall be processed entirely by the Joint Staff. All other recommendations shall be forwarded to the Chief, Military Personnel Division, Personnel and Security Directorate, WHS, for processing. Recommendations should be submitted no later than 90 days before the desired presentation date.

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