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Alabama Distinguished Service Medal

Alabama Distinguished Service Medal
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Establishing Authority

The Alabama Distinguished Service Medal was authorized by Executive Order on October, 19 1949. It was later confirmed by General order 89 on September 12,1958.


For exceptionally meritorious & distinguished military or civilian service in positions of great responsibility. May be service for, or to the benefit of the United States or the State of Alabama.


Subsequent awards are denoted by a bronze oak leaf cluster, authorized by the governor on August 27, 1959. A silver oak leaf cluster, authorized by GO 113 on August 28, 1959, is worn in lieu of five bronze clusters.


This medal was designed by artists at the Medallic Art Company in 1951. Medallic Art struck 300 of these through December 1967.

Alabama Distinguished Service Medal Type 1 & Type 2
Comparison of the type 1 (left) and type 2 (right) both manufactured by Medallic Art Co.

First Recipient

The first recipient of this award was made to U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General J. Lawton Collier, in 1950. Since Medallic Art Company's records indicate that the first batch of medals was not ordered until February 1951, Collier was either awarded prototype or received his medal at a later date.


Bronze, lacquer-coated. Obverse: The military crest of Alabama, surrounded by a wide, raised border containing the inscription "DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL" (above) and "ALABAMA" (below), both separated by a star on either side of "ALABAMA". Reverse: Early strikes of the medal (Variation I) had "AWARDED TO ON" stamped into the reverse and carried the Medallic Art Company HM, but current issues have a plain reverse (Variation 2). They are, however, engraved with the recipient's name and the date of award prior to being issued.

The ribbon uses 22 alternating red and white stripes that stripes symbolize Alabama being the 22nd state admitted to the Union.

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