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No longer awarded, but very striking looking. Does anyone know about the rarity of these? This is way out of my area of interest, but I thought it was interesting.

The National Security Medal was a decoration of the United States of America officially established by President Harry S. Truman in Executive Order 10431 on 19 January 1953. The medal was awarded to any person, without regard to nationality, for distinguished achievement or outstanding contribution on or after 26 July 1947, in the field of intelligence relating to the national security of the United States.

The National Security Medal was authorized to both civilians and personnel of the United States military and was an authorized decoration for display on active duty uniforms of the United States armed forces. In such cases, the National Security Medal was worn after all U.S. military personal decorations and unit awards and before any military campaign/service awards and foreign decorations.

Additional decorations of the National Security Medal were denoted by a bronze oak leaf cluster.

Upon establishment of the National Intelligence Awards Program by the United States Intelligence Community, this highest award was replaced with the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal.

It was last awarded on 16 January 2009.

A list of some recipients can be found at: http://www.nndb.com/honors/213/000059036/

Edited by azyeoman
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Thank you for sharing, it is a quite remarkable-looking beast, isn't it? Not sure I have ever seen such good images of it either.

Is there any chance you'd permit me to use them on my website? (With, of course, full acknowledgement!)

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Thank you for sharing, it is a quite remarkable-looking beast, isn't it? Not sure I have ever seen such good images of it either.

Is there any chance you'd permit me to use them on my website? (With, of course, full acknowledgement!)

My pleasure. Do you know if it's rare or scarce... I just thought it was interesting and from what I read historically very interesting.

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Some important recipients of the National Security Medal:

  • Major General William Joseph Donovan - OSS
  • Allen Dulles - Director of the CIA
  • William F. Friedman - Army Signals Intelligence Service - broke Japan's Purple Cipher
  • Robert M. Gates - Director of the CIA
  • Richard Helms - Director of the CIA
  • J Edgar Hoover - Director of the FBI
  • Lawrence R. Houston -
  • Clarence Leonard Johnson - System Engineer
  • Major General Edward Landsdale USAF; OSS & CIA
  • John McCone - Director of the CIA
  • Frank Rowlett - Technical Director of Armed Forces Security Agency
  • Adm. Wiliam O. Studman, USN - Director of the CIA
  • Adm. John Scott Redd - Director of National Counterterrorism Center
  • Walter Bedell Smith - Director of CIA
  • Michael Hayden - Director of NSA and CIA
  • William H. Webster - Director of FBI and Central Intelligence
  • William F. Raborn - Director of the CIA
  • James R. Schlesinger - Secretary of Defense
  • Brent Scowcroft - National Security Advisor
  • Kelly Johnson - Engineer (Skunk works)
  • Diana Lady Dougan - Former US Ambassador
  • Adm. Bobby Ray Inman - Director of NSA and Dep. Director of CIA
  • Stansfield Turner - Director of NSA
Edited by azyeoman
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Pretty darn rare .

Sometimes engraved privately, but I have NEVER seen one on a medal/ribbon bar- EVER.

Man, the book you could write about these medals and the people who got them. Many were in the NSA.

That is a rare medal- if actually awarded. I have always wondered if foreign (esp. British/Canadian) intelligence folks got this medal.

The CIA has their own awards.

My local AFIO group has an awardee who is not on the list and he showed me his citation diploma once.

His was given for ease dropping on the Khmer Rouge in situ in 1971-73. He was in navy intelligence, although tasked by the NSA at the time.

Edited by Ulsterman
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Executive Order 10431--National Security Medal

Source: The provisions of Executive Order 10431 of Jan. 19, 1953, appear at 18 FR 437, 3 CFR, 1949-1953 Comp., p. 927, unless otherwise noted.

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States and as Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

1. There is hereby established a medal to be known as the National Security Medal with accompanying ribbons and appurtenances. The medal and its appurtenances shall be of appropriate design, approved by the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council.

2. The National Security Medal may be awarded to any person, without regard to nationality, including members of the armed forces of the United States, for distinguished achievement or outstanding contribution on or after July 26, 1947, in the field of intelligence relating to the national security.

3. The decoration established by this order shall be awarded by the President of the United States or, under regulations approved by him, by such person or persons as he may designate.

4. No more than one National Security Medal shall be awarded to any one person, but for subsequent services justifying an award, a suitable device may be awarded to be worn with the Medal.

5. Members of the armed forces of the United States who are awarded the decoration established by this order are authorized to wear the medal and the ribbon symbolic of the award, as may be authorized by uniform regulations approved by the Secretary of Defense.

6. The decoration established by this order may be awarded posthumously.

Editorial note: The accompanying document, which was approved by the President on Jan. 19, 1953, was published with Executive Order 10431.

Regulations Governing the Award of the National Security Medal

Pursuant to Paragraph 2 of Executive Order 10431, the following regulations are hereby issued to govern the award of the National Security Medal:

1. The National Security Medal may be awarded to any person without regard to nationality, including a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, who, on or after 26 July 1947, has made an outstanding contribution to the National intelligence effort. This contribution may consist of either exceptionally meritorious service performed in a position of high responsibility or of an act of valor requiring personal courage of a high degree and complete disregard of personal safety.

2. The National Security Medal with accompanying ribbon and appurtenances, shall be of appropriate design to be approved by the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council.

3. The National Security Medal shall be awarded only by the President or his designee for that purpose.

4. Recommendations may be submitted to the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council by any individual having personal knowledge of the facts of the exceptionally meritorious conduct or act of valor of the candidate in the performance of outstanding services, either as an eyewitness or from the testimony of others who have personal knowledge or were eyewitnesses. Any recommendations shall be accompanied by complete documentation, including where necessary, certificates, affidavits or sworn transcripts of testimony. Each recommendation for an award shall show the exact status, at the time of the rendition of the service on which the recommendation is based, with respect to citizenship, employment, and all other material factors, of the person who is being recommended for the National Security Medal.

5. Each recommendation shall contain a draft of an appropriate citation to accompany the award of the National Security Medal.

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Pretty darn rare .

Sometimes engraved privately, but I have NEVER seen one on a medal/ribbon bar- EVER.

Man, the book you could write about these medals and the people who got them. Many were in the NSA.

That is a rare medal- if actually awarded. I have always wondered if foreign (esp. British/Canadian) intelligence folks got this medal.

The CIA has their own awards.

My local AFIO group has an awardee who is not on the list and he showed me his citation diploma once.

His was given for ease dropping on the Khmer Rouge in situ in 1971-73. He was in navy intelligence, although tasked by the NSA at the time.

Fascinating; I wish there were more on the medal as well as the exploits it took to be awarded one, but you know what NSA means, eh? "Never Say Anything." ; ) I know a number of people in the local AFIO group here and will ask around the next time I see them. Thanks for the tip!

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Great images of this rare medal.

The title of this topic is a bit misleading.

NSA is the National Security Agency and it has it's own medal (Exceptional Civilian Service Medal) which is also quite rare.

Jean-Paul

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