Medal of Military Merit, I Class
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The Medal of Military Merit was created by the provisional government in Thessaloniki in 1916 and was officially established by Royal Decree on June 30, 1917. It was originally awarded to Greek military personnel for meritorious actions in wartime but was replaced by the Medal for Outstanding Acts in 1940. It was reissued in 1974 and was later confirmed by Presidential Decree in 1982. Since 1974, it has been awarded to Officers in the Armed Forces and the Public Safety Corps for long and faithful service.
Prior to 1974, the Medal of Military Merit was awarded in four classes, which were distinguished by ribbon clasps. The I Class Medal was awarded with a gilt laurel wreath, the II Class Medal was awarded with a silvered laurel wreath, the III Class Medal was awarded with a bronze laurel wreath, and the IV Class Medal was awarded without a clasp. Since 1974, the Medal has been awarded in three classes, which are also distinguished by ribbon clasps. The I Class Medal is awarded with a gilt laurel branch, the II Class Medal is awarded with a silvered laurel branch, and the III Class Medal is awarded with a bronze laurel branch.
There are two versions of the I Class Cross that differ in engraving, inscription, composition and ribbon type. The first version features an obverse inscription that translates to “In the Defence of the Fatherland,” and a reverse inscription that translates to “Greece 1916-1917.” The second version features an identical obverse inscription, but a new reverse inscription that translates to “For Military Merit.”
The first version was made by a variety of manufacturers, and as a result, there are numerous variations in size and typeface.
It should be noted that strikes of the first version of the Medal of Military Merit were used for the Medal for Outstanding Acts. See GRC111, the Medal for Outstanding Acts, in the Medals & Decorations of Greece for more information.
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