Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.)
The Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) was instituted in 1886 to recognise acts of gallantry by military officers for which a Victoria Cross was not considered appropriate. In 1942 the regulations were amended to allow the award to be made to officers of the Merchant Navy for gallantry in the presence of the enemy. Following a UK review of gallantry awards in 1993, the purpose of the DSO was changed to recognise outstanding leadership at all ranks. At that time the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross replaced the award of the DSO for gallantry.
Clasps and Bars
Bars are awarded for subsequent acts of gallantry.
Recipients of the Companion of the Distinguished Service Order are entitled to the postnominal letters ‘D.S.O.’. Recipients of a bar to the DSM add ‘and Bar’ to the postnominal.