Distinguished Service Cross Medal

Distinguished Service Cross Medal

Usage conditions apply
Physical Description
Bronze cross suspended from a red, white, and blue ribbon. An eagle rests in the center of the cross. Below the eagle, a scroll bears the inscription "FOR VALOR." On reverse, the center of the cross is circled by a wreath with a space for the name of the recipient.
Specific History
This Distinguished Service Cross was awarded to General John J. Pershing.
General History
The Distinguished Service Cross, the DSC, is the second highest award for valor bestowed on a solider. President Woodrow Wilson established the award on January 2, 1918. The DSC is awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the army, distinguished himself or herself by extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of a Medal of Honor: while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing or foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The act or acts of heroism must have been so notable and have involved risk of life so extraordinary as to set the individual apart from his or her comrades.
Object Name
Other Terms
medal; Army; Decoration; Distinguished Service Cross
associated date
1917 - 1918
Pershing, John J.
associated place
United States
Physical Description
cloth (suspension ribbon material)
metal (pin fastener material)
bronze (pendant material)
overall: 3 3/4 in x 2 in x 1/2 in; 9.525 cm x 5.08 cm x 1.27 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Estate of General John J. Pershing
World War I
The Emergence of Modern America
See more items in
Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Military
Price of Freedom
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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Why don't you put an excerpt from Pershing's citation? It is highly unusual that a general officer would receive a combat decoration such as this. I find it more likely that Gen. Pershing awarded that particular decoration to a combat infantryman.
Actually, General Pershing received this medal from President Franklin Roosevelt in 1940 on his 80th birthday. Several of his peers recommended him for the Cross back in 1918 following the first World War but he refused it at first. It just goes to show how humble General Pershing was.
"This object came to the Museum as a bequest from Francis Warren Pershing, the widow of Gen. John J. Pershing. The US Military Decorations and Medals included in this bequest are as follows:US Indian Campaign MedalUS Philippine Campaign MedalUS Cuban Occupation MedalUS Spanish Campaign MedalUS Army of Occupation of Germany MedalUS Mexican Service MedalUS Distinguished Service CrossUS Victory Medal, with 14 battle claspsUS Silver Star MedalUS Distinguished Service Medal and a host of foreign medals as well. He was the recipient of this medal."

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