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Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal and Commendation for Distinguished Service

Distinguished Service Cross




The Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) is awarded only for distinguished command and leadership in warlike operations.

Distinguished Service Medal (DSM)




The Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) is awarded only for distinguished leadership in warlike operations.

Commendation for distinguished service




The Commendation for Distinguished Service is awarded only for distinguished performance of duties in warlike operations.

More information on the award can be found on the website and in the Distinguished Service Decorations Booklet, which includes:

  • history, eligibility and nomination details
  • Letters Patent, Regulations and Determinations
  • images and descriptions of what each award looks like; and
  • guidance on how decorations are worn.


About Letters Patent, Regulations, Determinations, and Wearing

Each award in the Australian honours system has been approved by Letters Patent signed by The Sovereign on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The Letters Patent institutes the medal and determines that the medal is governed by the Regulations for each award.

The Regulations are approved by The Sovereign and set out the terms and conditions of an award including factors such as eligibility criteria and designations of the award.

The Regulations also authorise the Governor-General to approve the manner of wearing of each award and the design of the medal. This document is known as the Determination.

The Determination makes reference to the:

  • Order of Wearing of Australian Honours and Awards - this is the notification by the Governor-General of the order the Sovereign has determined each award is to be worn; and
  • Guide to the Wearing of Insignia - this is a detailed guide outlining the appropriate manner in which insignia are worn.

Letters Patent:

Distinguished Service Decorations Letters Patent 1991 - 15 January 1991

subsequent letters patent that amend the regulations: