Distinguished Honor Award
Awarded for"Exceptionally outstanding service or achievements of marked national or international significance"
Presented byUnited States Department of State
EligibilityForeign Service, Civil Service, US Military
StatusCurrently awarded
Next (higher)Thomas Jefferson Star for Foreign Service
Next (lower)Superior Honor Award

The Distinguished Honor Award is an award of the United States Department of State. Similar versions of the same award exist for the former U.S. Information Agency, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and USAID. It is presented to groups or individuals in recognition of exceptionally outstanding service or achievements of marked national or international significance.[1]

The award consists of a gold medal set and a certificate signed by an assistant secretary, an official of equivalent rank or the Chief of Mission. Due to the demanding nature of the criteria, the award is not routinely issued; only a few non-Ambassadorial rank Foreign Service Officers have ever received an individual award.[2]


The following criteria are applicable to granting a Distinguished Honor Award:

Nominating and approval procedures

Nominations for State and USAID employees are submitted on Form JF-66, Nomination for Award, through supervisory channels to the Joint Country Awards Committee for review and recommendation to the Chief of Mission for final action.

Nominations initiated in Washington are submitted to the appropriate area awards committee for final action. For USAID, nominations initiated in Washington are reviewed by the USAID bureau/office with final approval by the appropriate assistant administrator or office head.

Military use

Upon authorization, members of the U.S. military may wear the medal and ribbon in the appropriate order of precedence as a U.S. non-military personal decoration.

Notable recipients


  1. ^ "3 FAM 4826 Distinguished Honor Award". US Department of State. 31 January 2003. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  2. ^ Christopher W. Runckel journal, 1997, http://www.business-in-asia.com/vietnam_trip.html
  3. ^ "Buenos Aires Times | 'Tex' Harris, US diplomat who detailed dictatorship's crimes, dies at 81".
  4. ^ United States Department of State
  5. ^ "EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - Lino Gutierrez". Archived from the original on 2011-04-20. Retrieved 2011-03-18.

See also