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Reference: AR 600-8-22
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The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or to any member of the Armed Forces of a friendly foreign nation who has distinguished himself or herself by outstanding meritorious achievement or service.
After 16 January 1969 but prior to 11 September 2001, the Meritorious Service Medal is authorized to be awarded only for meritorious service or achievement while serving in a non-combat area. (Ref AR 600-8-22)
Certificates for award of the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) will be completed by the awarding commander and will bear his or her personal signature in the lower right side. The Permanent Orders number and date are typed on the line on the left side of the MSM certificate. The grade, name, and branch of service, together with the place and dates of the act, achievement, or service of the recipient, will be inserted on the certificate in the appropriate spaces.
Certificate citations for the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Army Achievement Medal are limited to six lines.
DA Form 4980-12 Meritorious Service Medal Certificate
Example MSM for Retirement (approved) (xfdl) - contributed by MSG Ysen
Meritorious Service Medal Citation Examples