The Vishist Seva Medal forms the third level of decoration to be granted for distinguished service. The VSM was lower in precendence to the Vayu Sena Medal. But when the Yudh Seva Medal was instituted it was put in a higher precendence to the VM.
The Bulk of the War Time Service VSM’s were awarded after the 1971 War. The list is of awardees is too large to be comprehensively listed here. Suffice it to say, a bulk of the awards went to NCOs and Senior Warrant Officers of the IAF.
From 1988, when the IAF was involved in the Sri Lankan Operations as well as the Siachen and Kargil Conflicts, about twenty or so awards of the Yudh Seva Medals were given to IAF Officers of the rank of Wing Commander and below.