The Distinguished Service Cross is a medal awarded by the US Army
to persons who distinguish themselves by extraordinary heroism
while engaged in an action against an enemy
of the Unites States. The heroic action must be so notable and have involved risk of life so extraordinary as to set the recipient apart from his or her comrades
The Distinguised Service Cross is surpassed only by the Medal of Honor in prestige. The medal was instituted by President Woodrow Wilson at the request of General John Pershing in 1918. A 20-year military veteran who retires with a Distinguished Service Cross receives a 10% increase in retirement pay.