Polish Red Cross Medal, I Class
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The Polish Red Cross Medal was instituted in the Second Republic and continued to be awarded in the Polish People's Republic. It was reinstated in the Third Polish Republic following the collapse of the communist regime and is permitted for wear on military uniforms.
It is awarded to members of the Polish Red Cross for meritorious service within the organisation, as well as to outside organisations in recognition of contributions to the Polish Red Cross. It may also be awarded posthumously.
Recipients first receive the IV Class Medal for 3 years of service in the organisation, and promotions are only made after additional years of service. Promotion to the III Class Medal may be made after 5 years in the IV Class, promotion to the II Class may be made after 6 years in the III Class, and promotion to the I Class Medal may be made after 7 years in the II Class.
There are multiple versions of the Red Cross Medal that differ in design, size, and inscription. The first medals awarded in the Second Polish Republic differed in design across grades, but became uniform in 1937. The medals awarded in the Polish People’s Republic feature an uncrowned eagle, while those currently awarded in the Third Polish Republic feature a crowned eagle.
Both versions of the I Class Medal awarded in this period feature initials on the reverse that stand for "Polski Czerwony Krzyż" (Polish Red Cross) with an inscription that translates to "Merit."
There may be additional versions of the I Class Medal that differ in size, composition, or manufacturer.
Later versions are listed in the Medals & Decorations of the Polish People's Republic (1944-1989), and the Third Republic (1989-).
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