SERVICE ORDER (DSO)
This order was established to reward officers who exhibited individual
instances of meritorious or distinguished service in war. It was usually
awarded for service under fire or under conditions equivalent to service
in actual combat with the enemy. However, from 1914 to 1916 it was awarded
under circumstances which could not be regarded as under fire. After January
1, 1917, commanders in the field were instructed to recommend this award
only for those serving under fire. Prior to 1943, the order could be given
only to someone who had already been Mentioned in Despatches. The order
is generally given to officers in command above the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
Awards to ranks below this are usually for a high degree of gallantry just
short of deserving the Victoria Cross.
A bar is awarded for a second act which would have earned the order
in the first place. The bar is plain gold with an Imperial Crown in the
centre. The year of the award is engraved on the reverse.
Canadians have earned 1,220 Distinguished Service Orders, of these
119 were first bars and 20 were second bars.
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