New Jersey's Medals

Compiled by Staff Sgt. Barb Harbison Public Affairs Specialist, NJDMAVA

New Jersey residents who are combat veterans may apply for New Jersey's service medal(s).

The New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal, originally issued in 1858, New Jersey’s highest military award, is given to combat veterans. State law requires the honoree be a current resident of New Jersey, have been a resident of New Jersey at the time of their enlistment into the military and received an honorable discharge from the military. Residents listed as prisoner of war or missing in action by the Department of Defense are eligible.

The DSM medal with a Silver Oak Leaf Cluster is awarded to veterans who received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal or equivalent.

Those current residents of New Jersey who served in combat but who were not residents of the state when they entered the military can apply for the New Jersey Meritorious Service Medal.

In 2000, the New Jersey Legislature created the New Jersey Vietnam Service Medal. It is given to current New Jersey residents with an honorable discharge or who are still serving in the military. They must have served in any branch of the armed forces of the United States in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos or Cambodia or the contiguous waters or airspace between Dec. 31, 1960 and May 7, 1975.

All of these medals can be awarded posthumously. The surviving spouse or immediate family member can apply for the medal.

To apply for any of these medals, send a copy of your DD Form 214 (Separation from Active Duty), along with your address and daytime phone number to: NJDMAVA, Attn: Medals, PO Box 340, Trenton, NJ 08625-0340.

For additional information call 609-530-6980.