Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
The Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal (CGDSM) is bestowed upon any member of the United States Coast Guard who has distinguished themselves through exceptional meritorious service in a position of great responsibility within the United States Government. The award is typically reserved for senior Flag Officers of the Coast Guard.
First created in August of 1949, it wasn't awarded until Admiral Alfred C. Richmond received the award in 1961. Prior to 1949 members of the USCG were eligible for the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. Currently the bestowing authority for the award rests with the Secretary of Homeland Security, but before 2003 it was with the Secretary of Transportation. The first enlisted member to receive the award was Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Rick Trent in 1998, a 35 year veteran of the Coast Guard and the 7th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard.