Considered the 2nd Highest Award given to Members of The US Army, The Distinguished Service Cross is given to those Soldiers who demonstrate ''extreme gallantry and risk of life while in The Face of an Enemy''. The criteria for issue is very much the same as the higher, ''Congressional Medal of Honor''. In many case, those recommended (living or dead) for The Medal of Honor may not quite meet the stringent requirements and are otherwise awarded The Cross.
Each Service of The US Military maintains it's own version of a Distinguished Service Cross. It was first awarded with American involvement with World War I. However, an actual Medal had not been created. As such a ''Certificate of Gallantry'' was awarded (with redemption available when then actual Medal was created).
Unlike the similarly named Distinguished Service Medal, The Cross is only awarded for ''Combat Actions''. Over 14,000 have been awarded to date. The Medal device is a Gold Cross with Caps on each Bar. Centered, is the image of The Federal Eagle in Wreath. A Banneroll attached reads ''For Valor''. The Ribbon portion is a Field of Imperial Blue, with White and Red Stripes on either end. The Reverse of The Medal has a plate which allows The Recipient to have His or Her name engraved.