Military Valor Medal, Type II, Gold Medal (1949-1971)
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The Military Valor Medal (Medalha de Valor Militar) was established by the Ministry of War of Portugal on October 2, 1863. It was created together with the Military Bons Serviços 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).
Originally, the Military Valor Medal consisted of two grades; Gold Medal and Silver Medal. They were exclusively awarded to Portuguese military personnel of the Army or Navy who had displayed, in time of peace or war, heroic acts of bravery with an exceptional capacity to make decision and an imminent risk of life.
The Medal was reformed by the First Republic in 1911 abolishing all royal symbols and creating the Bronze Medal grade. In 1971, the Medal was amended again changing the insignia and adding the Neck decoration.
Currently, it is second only to the Order of the Tower and Sword in precedence. It is awarded to Portuguese military personnel in recognition of acts of bravery and selflessness, and it consists of four grades; Neck Gold Medal, Gold Medal, Silver Medal, and Bronze Medal.
In Medal Book, the Military Valor 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 crosses awarded since 1971 to present.
In Type II, there are four different versions of this Medal that differ in design and inscription. The first version, awarded from 1911-1921 features a facing right effigy of the Republic on the obverse; the obverse inscription translates to “Portuguese Republic,” and the reverse inscription translates to “Military Medal, Valour.” This version was awarded mainly during the Great War. The second version, awarded from 1921-1946, features a front-face effigy of the Republic that was engraved by Jose Simoes de Almeida, and inscriptions that are identical to the first version. The third version was awarded from 1946-1949; the obverse inscription translates to “Military Valour,” and the reverse inscription translates to “No Victory Without Bloodshed.” This version was awarded during the WWII. The fourth version, awarded from 1949-1971, has a front-face effigy of the Republic but with the version one inscriptions.
The Gold Medal was awarded in recognition of extraordinary acts of courage and bravery in front line, as well as to those who had actively participated in campaigns that promote the prestige of the Portuguese military forces.
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