This article is organised as follows:

PART SEVEN: OTHER UK MEDALS

7.0     Introduction

This part of the article looks at WWI, WWII, post-WWII, General Service Medals, Operational Service Medals, Campaign, Jubilee, Meritorious and Long Service, Elizabeth Cross, and Unofficial medals.

7.1     World War I Medals

All WWI medals were issued to the recipient or next of kin after the war ended. The MOD Medal Office does not provide replacement World War 1 medals, although replicas or original named medals can be bought from a medal dealer. Medals awarded during WWI include:

  • 1914 Star: The 1914 Star was awarded to personnel who served in France and Belgium between 05 August and 22 November 1914.
  • 1914 to 1915 Star: The 1914 to 1915 Star was awarded to personnel who saw service in any theatre of war between 05 August 1914 and 31 December 1915, other than those who had already qualified for the 1914 Star.
  • British War Medal 1914 to 1920: The British War Medal was awarded to personnel in recognition of the successful conclusion of WWI. It was later extended until 1920 to cover mine-clearing services and operations in North and South Russia, the eastern Baltic, Siberia, the Black Sea, and Caspian Sea.
  • Victory Medal 1914 to 1919: The Victory Medal was awarded to all personnel who received the 1914 or the 1914 to 1915 Stars. It is often referred to as the Allied War Medal.

7.2     World War II Medals

Nine stars were issued for the campaigns of WWII, and the colours of the ribbons have symbolic significance and are believed to have been designed personally by King George VI. Veterans can still apply for a WWII medal if they meet the criteria.

No more than five stars may be awarded to one person. Those who qualify for more are awarded a clasp with the title of one of the stars to which they qualify. The clasp is then attached to the ribbon of one of the other stars.

If an individual qualifies for two or three of the Atlantic, Air Crew Europe and France and Germany stars, the first star earned is awarded. They will then receive a clasp with the title of the second star earned to be worn on the ribbon of the first. A third star or clasp is not awarded.

1939 to 1945 Star

The 1939 to 1945 Star is awarded to personnel who completed operational service overseas between 03 September 1939 and 08 May 1945 (to 02 September 1945 in the Far East). To apply for the 1939 to 1945 Star, an individual must have:

  • 180 days operational service in the army;
  • 180 days operational service as ground crew in the RAF;
  • 60 days operational service as aircrew in the RAF; and/or
  • 180 days service afloat in operational areas in the Royal Navy.

The colours of the ribbon represent the three Services. The star is worn with the dark blue stripe furthest from the left shoulder.

Recipients of the 1939 to 1945 Star may also be eligible for:

  • Battle of Britain Clasp.
  • Bomber Command Clasp.

Clasps are worn on the ribbon of the 1939 to 1945 Star.

To apply for the Battle of Britain Clasp to the 1939 to 1945 Star, individuals must have:

  • Served as aircrew on a fighter aircraft.
  • Been engaged in the Battle of Britain between 10 July 1940 and 31 October 1940.

To apply for the Bomber Command Clasp to the 1939 to 1945 Star, individuals must have:

  • Served as aircrew with a UK based Bomber Command Unit.
  • Served between 03 September 1939 and 08 May 1945.

Atlantic Star

The Atlantic Star is awarded for operational service in the Atlantic and home waters between 03 September 1939 and 08 May 1945 (to 02 September 1945 in the Far East).

To apply for the Atlantic Star, individuals must have already qualified for the 1939 to 1945 Star and have an additional:

  • 180 days operational service or any 6 months afloat in the army;
  • 180 days operational service afloat as ground crew in the RAF;
  • 60 days operational service as aircrew in the RAF; and/or
  • 180 days afloat in operational areas in the Royal Navy.

The colours of ribbon represent the Atlantic Ocean, and the star is worn with the blue edge furthest from the left shoulder.

Air Crew Europe Star

The Air Crew Europe Star is earned almost exclusively by RAF personnel for operational flying from UK bases over Europe between 03 September 1939 and 05 June 1944. To apply for the Air Crew Europe Star, individuals must have already qualified for the 1939 to 1945 Star and have an additional:

  • 60 days operational flying in the army;
  • 60 days operational flying for the RAF; and/or
  • 60 days operational flying for the Royal Navy.

The ribbon colours of the ribbon represent the sky, night flying and enemy searchlights to symbolise the continuous service of the air force by night and day.

Arctic Star

The Arctic Star is awarded for operational service of any length north of the Arctic Circle (66, 32N) between 03 September 1939 and 08 May 1945. The Arctic Star commemorates the Arctic Convoys that sailed to North Russia in support of the Russian allies. To apply for the Arctic Star, individuals must have:

  • Service of any length either afloat or as part of land operations north of the Arctic Circle in the army, Royal Navy, Merchant Navy, and RAF ground crew;
  • Service of any length as RAF aircrew who landed or served in the air north of the Arctic Circle; and/or
  • Approved civilians who served in support of military operations north of the Arctic Circle.

Africa Star

The Africa Star is awarded to personnel who served in North Africa, Malta or Egypt between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943. To apply for the Africa Star, individuals must have:

  • 1 day of operational service in the army;
  • 1 day of operational service as ground crew in the RAF;
  • 1 operational sortie as aircrew in the RAF; and/or
  • 1 day afloat in the Mediterranean in the Royal Navy.

The colours of the ribbon symbolise the desert and the three Services.

Pacific Star

The Pacific Star is awarded for operational service in Malaya, Singapore, China, Hong Kong or Sumatra between 08 December 1941 and 02 September 1945. To apply for the Pacific Star, individuals must have:

  • 1 day of operational service in the army;
  • 1 day of operational service as ground crew in the RAF;
  • 1 operational sortie as aircrew in the RAF; and/or
  • 1 day afloat in operational areas in the Royal Navy and already qualified for the 1939 to 1945 Star.

The colours of the ribbon represent the jungle, the beaches and the three Services.

If an individual also qualifies for the Burma Star, they will only be awarded the first star they earned. Individuals will then receive a clasp with the title of the second star earned, which is worn on the ribbon of the first.

Burma Star

The Burma Star is awarded for operational service in Burma between 11 December 1941 and 02 September 1945. Those serving in Bengal and Assam in India and China, Hong Kong, Malaya or Sumatra between other specified dates may also qualify. To apply for the Burma Star, individuals must have:

  • 1 day of operational service in the army;
  • 1 day of operational service as ground crew in the RAF;
  • 1 operational sortie as aircrew in the RAF; and/or
  • 1 day afloat in operational areas in the Royal Navy and already qualified for the 1939 to 1945 Star.

The colours of the ribbon represent the sun, British and Commonwealth forces.

If an individual also qualifies for the Pacific Star, they will only be awarded the first star earned. Individuals will then receive a clasp with the title of the second star earned which is worn on the ribbon of the first.

Italy Star

The Italy Star is awarded for operational service in Sicily or Italy between 11 July 1943 and 08 May 1945. Those who served in Yugoslavia, Greece, Corsica or Sardinia between certain other specified dates will also qualify. To apply for the Italy Star, individuals must have:

  • 1 day of operational service in the army;
  • 1 day of operational service as ground crew in the RAF;
  • 1 operational sortie as aircrew in the RAF; and/or
  • 1 day afloat in operational areas in the Royal Navy and already qualified for the 1939 to 1945 Star.

The colours of the ribbon represent the national colours of Italy.

France and Germany Star

The France and Germany Star is awarded for operational service in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands or Germany between 06 June 1944 and 08 May 1945. To apply for the France and Germany Star, individuals must have:

  • 1 day of operational service in the army;
  • 1 day of operational service as ground crew in the RAF;
  • 1 operational sortie as aircrew in the RAF; and/or
  • 1 day afloat in operational areas of the North Sea in the Royal Navy (provided service was directly in support of land operations).

The colours of the ribbon represent the national colours of the UK, France, and The Netherlands.

Defence Medal

The Defence Medal is awarded for non-operational service such as those service personnel working in headquarters, on training bases and airfields, and members of the Home Guard. The medal is also awarded for non-operational service overseas for example in India or South Africa. To apply for the Defence Medal, individuals must have either:

  • 1080 days (3 years) service in the UK between 03 September 1939 and 08 May 1945;
  • 1080 days (3 years) service in the Home Guard between 14 May 1940 and 31 December 1944;
  • 360 days (1 year) non-operational service overseas between 03 September 1939 and 02 September 1945; or
  • 180 days non-operational service in an overseas area deemed to be closely threatened or subject to air attack between 03 September 1939 and 08 May 1945.

The colours of the ribbon symbolise enemy attacks on Britain’s ‘green and pleasant land’ and the black out.

War Medal 1939 to 1945

 

The War Medal is awarded to all full time personnel of the armed forces wherever they were serving. The medal was granted in addition to campaign stars and the Defence Medal. To apply for the War Medal, individuals must have served at least 28 days between 03 September 1939 and 02 September 1945. The colours of the ribbon represent the Union Jack.

Legion d’Honneur

The Legion d’Honneur was issued by the French Government to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings. This medal is not issued by the MOD Medal Office.

7.3     Post World War II Medals

Korea Medal

The Korea Medal is awarded to personnel who participated in the Korean War between July 1950 and 27 July 1953. To apply for the Korea Medal, individuals must have either:

  • 1 day of service on land in Korea in the army, RAF or Royal Navy;
  • 1 operational sortie over Korea or Korean Waters in the RAF; or
  • 28 days service afloat on ships or crafts engaged in operations off the Korean coast in the Royal Navy.

Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal

The Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) Medal is issued by the Malaysian Government to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces for service in Malaysia and Singapore in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Applications for the PJM Medal are processed by the Malaysia High Commission. All applications must be endorsed an official organisation such as the MOD or veterans associations before the medal can be issued.

Although the MOD Medal Office can endorse an application for the PJM Medal, the PJM Medal is not issued by the MOD Medal Office. Initially, the HD Committee stated Service personnel could be awarded the PJM medal by the Malaysian Government but could not wear it (House of Commons, 2008).

South Atlantic Medal

The South Atlantic Medal was awarded for service in the Falklands Islands, the dependencies, or in the South Atlantic between 02 April 1982 and 14 June 1982. To apply for the South Atlantic Medal and rosette, individuals must have either:

  • 1 day of service in the Falkland Islands or their dependencies, or in the South Atlantic, south of 35 south and north of 60 south before 14 June 1982; or
  • 1 operational sortie south of Ascension Island before 14 June 1982.

To apply for the South Atlantic Medal without the rosette, individuals must have:

  • 30 days service or more in the South Atlantic, south of 7 south and north of 60 south; and
  • Completed service no later than 21 October 1982.

The colours of the ribbon symbolise the Atlantic Ocean.

Gulf Medal 1990 to 1991

The Gulf Medal was awarded to personnel for service in the areas of operations in the Middle East. To apply for the Gulf medal only, individuals must have:

  • 30 days continuous service between 02 August 1990 and 07 March 1991; and
  • Served in the area of operations as defined in the regulations.

To apply for the medal with clasp ‘16 January 1991 to 28 February 1991, individuals must have:

  • 7 days continuous service between 16 January 1991 and 28 February 1991; and
  • Served in the area of operations as defined in the regulations.

To apply for the medal with clasp ‘02 August 1990’, individuals must have:

  • Been a member of the Kuwait Liaison Team; or
  • Served in Kuwait on 02 August 1990.

The colours of the ribbon represent the desert landscape and the three Services.

Kuwaiti Liberation Medal and the Saudi Liberation of Kuwait Medal

The governments of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia issued these medals to the allied personnel who had taken part in the liberation of Kuwait.

The Queen granted permission for British service personnel to accept but not wear these medals.

Iraq Medal

The Iraq medal is awarded to personnel who completed operational service in Iraq between 20 January 2003 and 22 May 2011. To be considered for the medal with clasp ‘19 Mar – 28 Apr 03’, individuals must have:

  • Served in Zone One between 19 March 2003 and 28 April 2003;
  • Completed 7 days continuous service; or
  • Served as aircrew flying into Zone One and completed 2 or more operational sorties (no more than 1 sortie per day).

To be considered for the medal only, individuals must have:

  • Completed 30 days continuous service in either Zone One or Zone Two;
  • Served as aircrew flying into Zones One or Two; or
  • Served as aircrew based outside of Iraq and completed 10 operational sorties (no more than 1 sortie per day).

The clasp is to be worn on the ribbon of the medal. The colours of the ribbon represent the Iraq landscape. Criteria for this medal is complex and the above is a guide only.

Ebola Medal

The Ebola Medal is awarded for service in the Joint Operational Area within West Africa between 23 March 2014 and 29 March 2016.

Applications for the Ebola Medal are no longer being processed.

7.4     General Service Medals

General Service Medal 1918

The General Service Medal 1918 (GSM 18), extant 1918 to 1962, was awarded to army and RAF personnel who meet the qualifying criteria for service in any of the following geographical areas:

  • South Persia.
  • Kurdistan.
  • Iraq.
  • North West Persia.
  • Southern Desert Iraq.
  • Northern Kurdistan.
  • Palestine.
  • South East Asia 1945 to 1946.
  • Palestine 1945 to 1948.
  • Malaya.
  • Cyprus.
  • Near East.
  • Arabian Peninsula.
  • Brunei.
  • Canal Zone.
  • The medal is also awarded for:
    • Bomb and Mine Clearance 1945 to 1949.
    • Bomb and Mine Clearance 1945 to 1956.
    • Berlin Airlift.

Naval General Service Medal 1915

The Naval General Service Medal 1915 (GSM 15) was awarded to Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel who meet the qualifying criteria for service in any of the following geographical areas:

  • Palestine 1936 to 1939.
  • South East Asia 1945 to 1946.
  • Palestine 1945 to 1948.
  • Malaya.
  • Yangtze 1949.
  • Canal Zone.
  • Cyprus.
  • Near East.
  • Arabian Peninsula.
  • Brunei.
  • The medal is also awarded for:
    • Minesweeping 1945 to 1951.
    • Bomb and Mine Clearance 1945 to 1949.
    • Bomb and Mine Clearance 1945 to 1953.
    • Bomb and Mine Clearance Mediterranean.
    • Berlin Airlift.

General Service Medal 1962

The General Service Medal 1962 (GSM 62), extant 1962 to 2007, is awarded to army, RAF, Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel who meet the qualifying criteria for service in any of the following geographical areas:

  • Borneo.
  • Cyprus 1963 to 1964.
  • Radfan.
  • South Arabia.
  • Malay Peninsula.
  • Northern Ireland.
  • Dhofar.
  • Lebanon.
  • Gulf.
  • Kuwait.
  • North Iraq and South Turkey.
  • The medal is also awarded for:
    • Mine Clearance: Gulf of Suez.
    • Air Operations Iraq.

“In May 2000 the Operational Service Medal (OSM) replaced the General Service Medal 1962 (GSM 62) as the United Kingdom’s campaign service medal.” (2011DIN09-008, 2011, p.1).

General Service Medal 2008

The General Service Medal 2008 (GSM 08), introduced in 2015, is awarded to army, RAF, Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel who served on operations from 01 January 2008 in the following geographical areas:

  • Eastern Africa.
  • Western Africa.
  • Arabian Peninsula.
  • Northern Africa.
  • Southern Asia.

In order to qualify for the above clasps, specific criteria must be met. Individuals will automatically receive the medal if they are currently serving and are eligible, they do not need to apply. The GSM 08 is awarded with a clasp for the relevant geographical area. If individuals become eligible for a further clasp, they will not get a second medal. The clasp should be added to the GSM medal ribbon, worn above the first clasp.

It is expected that further operations and clasps will be added to the GSM 08 as time progresses. The Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) decides which operations qualify for the GSM 08, not the MOD Medal Office.

7.5     Operational Service Medals

In May 2000, the Operational Service Medal (OSM) replaced the GSM 62 as the UK’s campaign service medal.

Operational Service Medal – Sierra Leone

The Operational Service Medal (OSM) Sierra Leone is awarded to personnel who completed operational service in Sierra Leone or the Joint Operational Area between 05 May 2000 and 31 July 2002. To apply for the Operational Service Medal – Sierra Leon, individuals must have either:

  • 1 day of service on Op Barras or Op Maidenley;
  • 14 days continuous or accumulated service on Op Palliser; and/or
  • 30 days continuous or accumulated service on Op Basillica or Silkman.

A silver rosette may be issued for service on Operations Maidenly and Barras. The rosette is worn on the ribbon of the OSM. The colours of the ribbon represent the jungle and the three Services.

Operational Service Medal – Afghanistan

The Operational Service Medal (OSM) Afghanistan is awarded to personnel who complete operational service on or in support of, operations in Afghanistan from 11 September 2001. Individuals will automatically receive the medal if they are currently serving and have deployed on a current operation, they do not need to apply. To apply for the Operational Service Medal – Afghanistan, individuals must have:

  • Served under the command of the UK Joint Task Force Commander;
  • 30 days continuous service or 45 days aggregated service; and/or
  • Served in either Zone 1 or Zone 2 (service in Zone 1 will be recognised with a clasp to the OSM).

The colours of the ribbon represent the landscape of Afghanistan and the three Services.

Operational Service Medal – Democratic Republic of Congo

The Operational Service Medal (OSM) Democratic Republic of Congo (DROC) is awarded to personnel who completed operational service in Bunia in the Ituri Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 14 June 2003 and 10 September 2003. To apply for the Operational Service Medal – DROC, individuals must have either:

  • 25 days operational service; and/or
  • 5 operational sorties with the RAF.

The OSM will be issued with a DROC clasp which should be worn on the ribbon. The colours of the ribbon represent the landscape of DROC and the three Services.

7.6     Accumulated Campaign Service Medals

Accumulated Campaign Service Medal

The Accumulated Campaign Service Medal (ACSM) is awarded to army, RAF, Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel to recognise continued campaign service.

To apply for the ACSM, individuals must have completed 1,080 days aggregated by 01 January 2008 in theatres which would have merited:

  • A General Service Medal 1962 to 2007 (Northern Ireland or Air Ops Iraq);
  • An Operational Service Medal (Sierra Leone or Afghanistan); and/or
  • An Iraq Medal.

If aggregated service falls short of 1,080 days by 01 January 2008, the service will go towards the ACSM 2011. If personnel go on to complete a further 1,080 days aggregated service by 31 December 2007, they will be awarded a bar. The bar is worn on the ribbon of the ACSM.

The ACSM was superseded by the ACSM 11 on 01 July 2011.

Accumulated Campaign Service Medal 2011

The Accumulated Campaign Service Medal 2011 (ACSM 11) is awarded to army, RAF, Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel to recognise continued campaign service. The ACSM 11 was instituted to reflect changes in the “contemporary operational and medallic environments” (2011DIN09-008, 2011, p.1) such as the OSM replacing the GSM 62 in May 2000.

To apply for the ACSM 2011 personnel must meet the qualifying time and criteria, including having completed 720 days aggregated service and be serving either on or after 01 January 2008. Military personnel, MOD civilians or Contractors on Deployed Operations (CONDO), serving or retired, are eligible for the ACSM 11 provided they meet the qualifying criteria. If an individual goes on to complete a further 720 days aggregated service, they will be awarded a bar. The bar is worn on the ribbon of the ACSM, and individuals can receive more than one bar. Exact criteria can be found in the DIN in the useful publications section below (2011DIN09-008).

The medal is to be worn on the left breast, immediately after UK operational service medals, including UN and NATO medals. The medal will not attract post nominal letters.

7.7     Jubilee Medals

HM The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal 1977

The Silver Jubilee Medal was awarded to personnel to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II accession. The MOD Medal Office no longer issues this medal.

HM The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal 2002

The Golden Jubilee Medal was awarded to personnel to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II accession. To apply for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, individuals must:

  • Have been in effective service on 06 February 2002;
  • Completed a minimum of five years reckonable service and were enlisted on or before 07 February 1997; and
  • Served with the regular, reserve or cadet forces.

The medal was issued unnamed.

HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012

The Diamond Jubilee Medal was awarded to personnel to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II accession. To apply for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, individuals must have:

  • Been in effective service on 06 February 2012;
  • Completed a minimum of 5 years’ reckonable service and were enlisted on or before 07 February 2007; and
  • Served with the regular, reserve or cadet forces.

The medal was issued unnamed. Between 2012 and 2015, over 150,000 medals were issued to military personnel with a further 300,000 issued to other government departments.

HM The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal 1977

HM The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal 2002

HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012

HM The Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee Medal (Unofficial)

The MOD Medal Office states there are currently no plans to issue a new jubilee medal to the British Armed Forces in respect of the 65th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II. Any medal that individuals may have seen advertised is a commercial venture and has not been given the Sovereign’s permission (as of February 2017).

7.8     Meritorious and Long Service Medals

The medals that are awarded for meritorious service and for long service and good conduct are:

  • The Meritorious Service Medal (MSM); and
  • The Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (LS&GCM).

Although the MSM is common to all three Services, each Service has its own LS&GCM (they have a common standard of conduct), each of which has its own Royal Warrant.

New regulations for the above medals were published in version 5 of JSP 761 (October 2016), replacing:

  • BR 8748: Royal Navy Ratings and Royal Marine Other Ranks’ Terms of Service, Chapter 7;
  • BR 8373: [Naval Service] Officers’ Career Regulations, Chapter 14;
  • Army AGAI Chapter 68; and
  • RAF regulations AP 3392, Volume 4, Leaflet 2006, Annex B).

Meritorious Service Medal

The Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) recognises long term service in the armed forces of non-commissioned ranks. Late entry officers may be considered immediately after commissioning. The award of an annuity ceased to be paid from 01 April 1981.

Individuals cannot apply for this medal, it is only issued to current serving personnel who have been recommended by the commanding officer. To be considered, individuals must:

  • Have 20 years’ reckonable service;
  • Be a holder of an appropriate LS&GCM;
  • Have been judged as ‘good, faithful, valuable and meritorious’, with conduct judged to be ‘irreproachable’ throughout; and
  • Have reached the substantive rank of Sergeant (or equivalent) at some time during their service.

The Service Boards look for evidence of particular achievements, either in the course of or outside of military duty. These can include:

  • Achievements which benefit the service in the public, for example community engagement with local councils or cadet forces;
  • Achievements in the field of sport; and/or
  • Charity work.

A limited number are awarded each year, up to 201, and Service boards consider recommendations in April and October every year, with announcements in June and December each year:

  • Naval Service: Not more than 52.
  • British Army: Not more than 89.
  • RAF: not more than 60.

Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

Each Service has its own Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (LSGC):

  • Royal Navy Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
  • Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
  • Royal Air Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

The LSGC is awarded to personnel in recognition of long service. The regulations were updated in Version 5 of JSP 761 (01 October 2016) and, to qualify, an individual must have:

  • 15 years’ reckonable service in the relevant Service of the Regular forces;
  • A clear record with no misconduct for at least the last 15 years;
  • Been serving on or after 29 July 2014, if they are an officer of the Regular forces;
  • Been serving on or after 01 October 2016, if they are an ‘other rank’ of the Regular forces; and
  • Have all three conduct badges with character judged no lower than ‘very good’.

If an individual has a disciplinary entry on their record, they will need to wait 15 years from the date of their last offence before they will be eligible again. For every additional 10 years’ service with a clear record an individual will be issued a clasp. For example, if they qualify and have served 26 years they will receive the medal and clasp.

British Army LS&GC

RAF LS&GC

Naval LS&GC

Volunteer Reserves Service Medal

The Volunteer Reserves Service Medal (VRSM), and clasps, are governed by Royal Warrant (dated 29 March 1999). The VRSM is awarded to Reserve personnel of all ranks in recognition of long and efficient service of proved capacity in the Volunteer Reserve Forces. It replaced the separate single Service medals that used to be issued to personnel of the separate Reserve Forces on 01 April 1999. The VRSM, which recognises 10 continuous years’ efficient service, is awarded to both officers and other ranks of the:

  • Royal Naval and Royal Marine Reserves;
  • Army Reserves (formerly the Territorial Army); and
  • RAF Reserve and Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

The following medals may still be issued for qualifying service ending before 01 April 1999:

  • Royal Naval Reserve Decoration;
  • Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for the Royal Navy and Royal Marine Reserve;
  • Territorial Decoration;
  • Efficiency Medal for the Army Reserve; and
  • Air Efficiency Award for the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

To be considered for the VRSM, an individual must have:

  • 10 years’ reckonable service in the Reserve Forces; and
  • Earned a training bounty in nine out of the ten qualifying years.

The award carries no rights to the use of post-nominal letters (JSP 761, October 2016, p.5-2). However, all ranks who serve for 10 years in the Volunteer Forces from 1999 are entitled to use the post-nominal of “VR” to identify publicly their contribution to the armed forces.

If an individual goes on to serve an additional five years reckonable service they will be issued a clasp, with up to seven clasps awarded (denoted by two gold roses). The clasp should be worn on the ribbon of the VRSM. There are complex rules for service that has been both regular and reserve.

Cadet Forces Medal

The Cadet Forces Medal (CFM) is awarded in recognition of long service in the Cadet Forces. To be considered, individuals must:

  • Be an officer or uniformed adult instructor in the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Corps, or Air Training Corps (ATC); and
  • Have 12 years’ reckonable service.

At the discretion of service boards, the following are not counted as breaks in continuity of service for the medal:

  • Any break which does not exceed 6 months; and
  • Breaks of up to 3 years’ by reason of change in place of residence or changing in civilian employment.

Up to three years’ service with any of the following may be used towards the CFM if it has not been used towards another medal:

  • Reserve Forces;
  • Regular Forces;
  • Officer Training Corps; and
  • University Air Squadrons.

Individuals completing a further six years’ service will be issued a clasp (it does not need to be continuous). Prior to 1991, eight years additional service was required. The clasp should be worn on the ribbon of the CFM. Individuals cannot apply for this medal. Recommendations are to be made in accordance with JSP 814 (Policy and Regulations for MOD Sponsored Cadet Organisations).

7.9     The Elizabeth Cross

Instituted in 2009, the Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll are granted to the next of kin of UK Armed Forces personnel who have died on operations or as a result of an act of terrorism in national recognition of their loss and sacrifice.

The Elizabeth Cross is not a posthumous medal for the fallen but an emblem demonstrating tangible national recognition for Service families for their loss. It is sometimes termed The Elizabeth Cross (Died on Operations Recognition Award).

It can be granted to the next of kin of regular, reserve or Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) personnel who have died on operations, or as a result of an act of terrorism since 01 January 1948:

  • Whilst serving on an operation in which personnel received a Campaign Medal, GSM or OSM;
  • Whilst serving on an operation in which personnel received a UN, NATO (or other international body) or another nations’ campaign medal in the absence of a UK medal;
  • As a result of an act of terrorism where the available evidence suggests they were targeted because of their membership of the UK armed forces;
  • On a non-medal earning operational task where death has been caused by the inherent high risk of the task; and/or
  • A subsequent and premature death as a result of an injury or illness attributed to the circumstances outlined above.

Individuals can apply for both the Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll and, for retrospective claims and when the next of kin is deceased, their legal successor may apply.

An additional Memorial Scroll only is available to the following (or their legal successors) where they are not the next of kin:

  • The parents of the deceased; or
  • The spouse or partner of the deceased, or someone who had a substantive relationship with the deceased (a substantive relationship is generally based on joint financial commitment and will have to be proved by the applicant).

The Elizabeth Cross is not a medal and subsequently there are no formal rules for its wear on civilian clothes. It is an emblem designed for wear by both men and women on the lapel/collar of a jacket and the recipient may wear it at any time they deem appropriate. It is intended that the Elizabeth Cross will be worn on formal occasions such as Remembrance Sunday with the miniature being worn at less formal events, or every day if desired.

7.10     HM Armed Forces Veterans Badge

The HM Armed Forces Veterans Lapel Badge was launched in May 2004 to raise the profile of veterans by assisting the wider public to recognise them.

The first Veterans Badge was issued to Lord Healey, a veteran of the Battle for Monte Cassino (Italy, 17 Jan 1944 to 19 May 1944), on 10 May 2004 and now all UK veterans are eligible to apply for one. The badge is not issued posthumously.

Lord Denis Winston Healey (1917 to 2015) was a labour politician being Labour’s defence secretary in the 1960s, chancellor in the 1970s, and deputy leader in the 1980s. After graduating from Balliol College, Healey served in the Second World War as a gunner in the Royal Artillery before being commissioned as a second lieutenant in April 1941. Serving with the Royal Engineers, he saw action in the North African campaign, the Allied invasion of Sicily (1943) and the Italian campaign (1943-1945), and was the military landing officer (‘Beach Master’) for the British assault brigade at Anzio in 1944. He became an MBE in 1945 and left the service with the rank of Major, declining an offer to remain in the army, with the rank of Lieutenant colonel, as part of the team researching the history of the Italian campaign under Colonel David Hunt.

7.11     Unofficial Medals

Unofficial medals are medals that have not been instituted by a monarch and are not issued by the MOD Medal Office, usually being bought from private medal companies or dealers. Popular examples of unofficial medals are:

  • Allied Prisoners of War Medal.
  • National Service Medal.
  • British Army of the Rhine Medal (BAOR).

7.12     Foreign Orders, Decorations and War Medals

The rules governing the wearing of foreign orders, decorations, and medals include:

  • Preference of Wearing Orders or Neck Decorations: At functions organised by, or for the representative of, a foreign state the Order or neck Decoration of the state in possession of the wearer, should whenever possible be given preference over the British Order or Decoration usually worn.
  • Wearing of Stars: Stars of foreign Orders are to be worn on the right or left breast according to the regulations laid down by the monarch or head of state by whom they are conferred. When in foreign countries British officers are to wear their foreign stars when foreign officers wear theirs.
  • Prior Service: Orders, Decorations and Medals awarded prior to service with Crown Forces may be worn with The Sovereign’s permission.
  • Authority: The authority to wear foreign or Commonwealth awards resides with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (which takes advice and recommendations from the MOD), and details of entitlement are contained in Chapter 10 of JSP 761 Honours and Awards in the Armed Forces; this includes the regulations regarding ‘restricted’ and ‘unrestricted’ permission to accept and wear foreign awards.

7.13     Civil Awards for Gallantry

There is no restriction placed on the acceptance of any British civil award for gallantry. Whilst Sovereign’s awards are worn on the left breast, other awards are worn on the right breast, including:

  • The Life Saving Medal of the Order of St John of Jerusalem;
  • The medals of the Royal Humane Society;
  • The medal of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
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