The Distinguished Service Order

The Distinguished Service Order. Copyright, Government of Canada. This decoration was established in 1886 by Queen Victoria for rewarding individual instances of meritorious or distinguished service in war by commissioned officers. Persons nominated had to be marked by the special mention of their name in despatches for "distinguished service under fire, or under conditions equivalent to services in actual combat with the enemy." The recipient may use the letters DSO after his name and bars may be awarded for further acts.

The DSO badge is a gold cross patée with a surface of white enamel, edged with gold. The centre consists of a laurel wreath, green enamelled, enclosing a gold Imperial crown. The Royal monogram is placed on the under-surface. The badge is suspended by a red ribbon having a blue edge, which is bordered on top and bottom by a gold bar, ornamented with laurel leaves.

The DSO ranks immediately after the Order of the Companion of Honour, and Companions of the DSO take precedence after Commanders of the British Empire (CBE).