Distinguished Service Medal, Type I, Gold Medal
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The Distinguished Service Medal (Medalha de Serviços Distintos) was established by the Ministry of War of Portugal on October 2, 1863. It was created together with the Military Valor Medal and the Military Medal for Exemplary Conduct as an effort to foster loyalty and unity among the Portuguese Army. They were created by Military Organic Decree and since then they have been called all together as "Military Medal" (Medalha Militar).
Consisted of two grades, Gold and Silver Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal was originally established as the Medal for Good Service (Medahla de Bons Serviços). It was exclusively awarded to Portuguese military personnel of the Army or Navy who had displayed outstanding services in campaigns that promote the prestige and honor of the Portuguese military force.
The Medal was reformed by the First Republic in 1911 abolishing all royal symbols, and its name was later changed in 1946. In the reform of 1971 the Copper Medal was added.
Currently, it is sixth in precedence and it is still awarded to Portuguese military personnel in recognition of remarkable actions performed during service. It may also be awarded to Portuguese civilians or foreigners, but only under exceptional circumstances.
The Medal consists of three grades; Gold Medal, Silver Medal, and Copper Medal.
In Medal Book, the Distinguished Service Medal is classified into types. Type I includes the medals awarded between 1863 and 1910. Type II includes the medals from 1911 to 1970. Type III consists of the medals since 1971 to present.
The Type I Gold Medal is awarded for distinguished actions performed during service. Factors that are weighed in the decision include the quality of valor and discipline that was demonstrated, the knowledge and skills for preparing units, and in combat, the evidence of practice, the documentation of the military tactics, among others.
The first version features the portrait of King Luis I of Portugal with an obverse inscription that translates to “Don Louis I, King of Portugal” and a reverse inscription that translates to “Military Medal, Good Services.”
In Type I, the Medals may be stamped "F.A.C.", "S. SILVA", "A.F.G.", or may have not stamp. In addition, there are some version that feature large lettering, large portrait, or a border standing the lettering.
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