About the Meritorious Service Medal

One of the most prestigious military decorations one can receive, the Meritorious Service Medal is given to members of the United States Armed Forces worthy of recognition due to their service to the United States. The Meritorious Service Medal came about in 1968 from a discussion concerning the need for a meritorious medal that recognized non-combat achievements. Many military members worried that the Legion of Merit medal was awarded too frequently for too many different types of services, warranting further distinction.

Father Thomas Maikowski, a well-known recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal, received the award three times. His first award was for meritorious service performed from July 1, 1997 through June 30, 2000. Stationed at the New Mexico 377th Air Base Wing, Kirtland Air Force Base, Thomas Maikowski took on a leadership role as senior Catholic chaplain of the base and continued all programs at their most efficacious level of operation during his time as a leader. His second award was for meritorious service from July 1, 2000 to March 31, 2005. While stationed at Kirtland, he reshaped the Catholic council and led Kirtland’s chapel to be recognized in 2002 for the best Global Ministry plan in the command. His third award was for meritorious service performed at Kirtland from April 1, 2005 to May 12, 2008. During this period, he contributed to the development of a Catholic chapel program, supervising contractors and volunteers to provide Holy Day services, weekend services, and daily mass for over 48,000 worshippers in three years. Additionally, he managed a budget of over $100,000 and instituted several new spiritual programs.