The Auxiliary Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) recognizes Auxiliarists who distinguish themselves by contributing exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service to the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Coast Guard Auxiliary Distinguished Service Award is only awarded by the Commandant.
The performance required to justify this award is exceptional performance of duty, which benefits the Auxiliary as a whole. This performance, therefore, must be clearly much higher than normally expected, and must have a measurable, positive effect on the entire organization. Normally this award will be given to elected and appointed officers for extraordinary achievement. This statement should not be interpreted so as to preclude the award to any Auxiliarist whose service meets the requirement.
The key words for this award are distinguished, operational, and exceptional meritorious service. To justify this award, exceptional performance of duty, clearly much higher than normally expected, which has resulted in significant benefit to the entire Auxiliary organization, is required.