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Defense Distinguished Service Medal

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  • Lieutenant General Emmett H. Walker Jr. (1924 - 2007)
    Emmett H. 'Mickey' Walker (March 16, 1924 – December 11, 2007) was a U.S. Army lieutenant general who served as the Chief of the National Guard Bureau from 1982 to 1986.
  • Maj. Gen. Roland Lajoie (1936 - 2023)
    Roland Lajoie (August 11, 1936 – October 28, 2023) was a United States Army officer who served two tours in Vietnam and then in a variety of diplomatic and Cold War assignments. After retiring from t...
  • C. Gordon Fullerton (1936 - 2013)
    Gordon Fullerton (October 11, 1936 – August 21, 2013) was a United States Air Force colonel, a USAF and NASA astronaut, and a research pilot at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards, Californ...
  • Lieutenant General Nina Armagno
    Nina Marion Armagno (born March 20, 1966) is a retired United States Space Force lieutenant general who served as the first director of staff of the United States Space Force from 2020 to 2023. She i...
  • Lieutenant General Michael Canavan
    Michael A. Canavan is a retired United States Army lieutenant general and former Federal Aviation Administration security official.

The Defense Distinguished Service Medal is a military decoration of the United States Department of Defense, which is presented to United States Armed Forces servicemembers for exceptionally distinguished performance of duty contributing to the national security or defense of the United States. The medal was created on July 9, 1970, by President Richard Nixon in Executive Order 11545. President Nixon awarded the first medal, on the day the Executive Order was signed, to General Earle Wheeler, who was retiring from the US Army after serving as Chief of Staff of the United States Army and then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

It is equivalent to the United States Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal.