Distinguished Service Cross


The Distinguished Service Cross is awarded for distinguished command and leadership in action.

It is the highest distinguished service decoration.


The Distinguished Service Decorations recognise command and leadership in military action. They are awarded primarily to members of the Australian Defence Forces.

The Distinguished Service Decorations were introduced in 1991 and replaced a number of Imperial decorations.

There are three levels of decoration:

Past recipients

View the numbers awarded for the Distinguished Service Cross.

How it is awarded

The Distinguished Service Decorations are awarded by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence.

Distinguished Service Decorations may be awarded posthumously.

If the same person receives a further Distinguished Service Cross it is in the form of a nickel-silver bar.

Recipients have the post-nominals of DSC. Those awarded a bar or bars may also use ‘and Bar’ or ‘and Bars’ after their name.

Medal design

Distinguished Service Cross    - front Distinguished Service Cross   - back

Distinguished Service Cross - front and back

The Distinguished Service Cross is a modified Maltese Cross of nickel-silver ensigned with the Crown of St Edward. The obverse bears a Federation Star surmounted on a disc of flames.

The medal has a nickel-silver suspender bar. The medal ribbon has a central ochre-red stripe flanked by narrower silver-blue stripes.

Print fact sheet

The information on this page is available as a printable fact sheet.

Last Updated: 29 September, 2008