The Distinguished Service Medal was introduced in 1991 and is awarded for distinguished leadership in warlike operations. The medal is nickel-silver with a Federation Star on a circle of flames on the obverse. The reverse has a panel for recipient detail over a design of fluted rays of varying lengths.
The ribbon has alternating stripes of silver-blue and ochre-red.
A further award is denoted by a nickel- silver bar with the Federation Star on a horizontal row of flames. When the ribbon is worn alone, the award of a bar is indicated by a ribbon bar emblem in the form of a Federation Star on a nickel-silver disc.