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The Distinguished Service Cross

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Media TitleThe Distinguished Service Cross
Media NotesThe Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) is a third level military decoration awarded to officers, and (since 1993) other ranks, of the British Armed Forces, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and British Merchant Navy and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries.

The DSC, which may be awarded posthumously, is granted in recognition of "... gallantry during active operations against the enemy at sea."

The award was originally created in 1901 as the Conspicuous Service Cross, for award to warrant and junior officers ineligible for the DSO. It was renamed the Distinguished Service Cross in October 1914, eligibility being extended to all naval officers (commissioned and warrant) below the rank of Lieutenant Commander. In 1931, the award was made available to members of the Merchant Navy and in 1940 eligibility was further extended to non-naval personnel (British Army and Royal Air Force) serving aboard a British vessel. Since the 1993 review of the honours system, as part of the drive to remove distinctions of rank in awards for bravery, the Distinguished Service Medal, formerly the third level decoration for ratings, has been discontinued. The DSC now serves as the third level award for gallantry at sea for all ranks.

Since 1916, bars have been awarded to the DSC in recognition of the performance of further acts of gallantry meriting the award. Recipients are entitled to the postnominal letters DSC.
DateAdded 05 May 2013

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