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Defense Superior Service Medal

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The Defense Superior Service Medal (DSSM) is a military decoration of the United States Department of Defense, which is presented to United States Armed Forces service members who perform superior meritorious service in a position of significant responsibility.

The decoration is most often presented to general and flag officers, followed by a lesser number of Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Space Force colonels and Navy and Coast Guard captains. The medal is presented in the name of the United States Secretary of Defense and was established by President Gerald R. Ford on February 6, 1976, in Executive Order 11904. It is analogous and senior to the Legion of Merit, albeit awarded for service in a joint duty capacity.