National Defence Medal, Gold Medal
Image courtesy of Medal-Medaille.com
Image courtesy of Medal-Medaille.com
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This Medal may be awarded under ordinary title, or under exceptional title. The Medal is awarded under ordinary title to military personnel or Reservists for honorable service in the preparation of operations. There are three grades based on long service and a complicated system of points. The points are based on rules decided by the Ministry of Defense and can be awarded for a number of reasons including initiative, participation in exercises and operations, and awards received. The Bronze Medal was awarded for 6 months of service and 110 points, the Silver Medal is awarded for 5 years of service and 600 points, and the Gold Medal is awarded for 10 years of service and 800 points. Since 2004 the Bronze Medal has been awarded for 1 year of service and 90 points. Recipients of the Silver Medal and Gold Medal must spend a minimum of two years in the previous grade before promotion.
The Medal is awarded under exceptional title, in any grade, to civilians, or foreign military personnel or civilians for remarkable service to the defence of France and its armies. Since 2004, this title has also included personnel from the Ministry of Defense. The Medal awarded under exceptional title may also be awarded to military personnel and Reservists injured or killed in the line of duty.
Both the Medal under ordinary title and the Medal under exceptional title are worn with a silver nickel ribbon clasp. A maximum of three clasps may be worn. The clasps worn for geographic location include: “CORPS EUROPÉEN” (European Corps), “FORCE OCÉANIQUE STRATÉGIQUE” (Strategic Oceanic Forces), “MISSIONS D’OPÉRATIONS EXTÉRIEURES” (Foreign Operational Missions), “MISSIONS D’OPÉRATIONS INTÉRIEURES” (Domestic Operational Missions), “TERRES AUSTRALES ET ANTARCTIQUES” (Southern and Antarctic Lands) “MURUROA-HAO.”
Specialty clasps include “ARMÉE DE L’AIR” (Air Army), “DÉFENSE AÉRIENNE” (Air Defence), “SOUTIEN DES FORCES AÉRIENNES” (Air Force Support), “FORCES AÉRIENNES” (Air Forces), “FORCES AÉRIENNES STRATÉGIQUES” (Strategic Air Forces), “GÉNIE DE L’AIR” (Aerospace Engineering), “SERVICE D’INFRASTRUCTURE DE LA DÉFENSE” (Defence Infrastructure Services), “INTERARMÉES” (Joint Service), “SERVICE DU COMMISSARIAT DES ARMÉES” (Military Administration), “JOURNÉE DÉFENSE ET CITOYENNETÉ,” (Day of Defence Instruction), “ARMÉE DE TERRE” (Land Army), “ARME BLINDÉE ET CAVALERIE” (Armoured Cavalry Branch), “ARTILLERIE” (Artillery), “AVIATION LÉGÈRE,” (Light Aviation), “GÉNIE” (Engineering), “INFANTERIE” (Infantry), “LEGION ÉTRANGÈRE” (Foreign Legion), “TROUPES DE MARINE” (Marine Troops), “MATÉRIEL” (Supply), “SAPEURS-POMPIERS” (Firefighters), “SÉCURITÉ CIVILE” (Civil Defence), “TRANSMISSIONS” (Communications), “TRAIN” (Train), “TROUPES AÉROPORTÉES” (Airborne Troops), “TROUPES DE MONTAGNE” (Mountain Troops), “ARMEMENT” (Armament), “DEFENSE” (Defence), “ÉTAT-MAJOR” (General Staff),,“GENDARMERIE NATIONALE” (National Gendarmerie), “ÉCOLES DE GENDARMERIE” (Gendarmerie Schools), “FORMATIONS AÉRIENNES DE LA GENDARMERIE” (Airborne Formations of the Gendarmerie), “GARDE RÉPUBLICAINE” (Republican Guard), “GENDARMERIE DE LA SÉCURITÉ DES ARMEMENTS NUCLÉAIRES,” (Gendarmerie of Nuclear Security), “GENDARMERIE DE L’AIR” (Air Gendarmerie), “GENDARMERIE DE L’ARMEMENT” (Armament Gendarmerie), “GENDARMERIE DEPARTEMENTALE” (Gendarmerie of Departments), “GENDARMERIE DES TRANSPORTS AÉRIENS” (Air Transport Gendarmerie),“GENDARMERIE D’OUTRE-MER” (Overseas Gendarmerie),“GENDARMERIE MARITIME” (Naval Gendarmerie), “GENDARMERIE MOBILE” (Mobile Gendarmerie), “JUSTICE MILITAIRE” (Military Justice), “MARINE NATIONALE” (National Navy), “AÉRONAUTIQUE NAVALE” (Naval Aviation), “BÂTIMENTS DE COMBAT” (Warships), “FUSILIERS MARINS” (Marines), “MARINS POMPIERS” (Naval Firefighters), “NAGEURS DE COMBAT” (Combat Divers), “PLONGEURS DEMINEURS” (Clearance Divers), “SOUS-MARINS” (Submarines), “POSTE INTERARMÉES” (Joint Service Post), “SERVICE DE SANTÉ” (Health Services), “SERVICES DES ESSENCES” (Fuel Services), “CYBER.”
The following clasps are no longer awarded “FORCES FRANÇAISES EN ALLEMAGNE” (French Forces in Germany), “MISSIONS D’ASSISTANCE EXTÉRIEURE” (Foreign Aid Missions), “ARME BLINDÉE” (Armoured Vehicle), “COMMISSARIAT ARMÉE DE TERRE” (Land Army Administration), “COMMISSARIAT” (Administration), “TROUPES ALPINES” (Alpine Troops), “FORCE AÉRIENNE TACTIQUE” (Tactical Air Force), “FUSILIERS COMMANDOS DE L’AIR” (Air Force Commandos), “TRANSPORT AÉRIEN” (Air Transport), “INTENDANCE” (Supply Corps), “COMMANDEMENT AIR DES SYSTÈMES DE SUREVEILLANCE, D’INFORMATION ET DE COMMUNICATION” (Air Force Surveillance, Information and Command), “COMMANDEMENT DES ÉCOLES DE L’ARMÉE DE L’AIR” (Air Army Training Command), “FORCE AÉRIENNE DE COMBAT” (Combat Air Force), “FORCE AÉRIENNE DE PROJECTION” (Air Expeditionary Force), “FORCES DE PROTECTION ET DE SÉCURITÉ DE L’ARMÉE DE L’AIR” (Air Expeditionary Force).
Since 2004 there has also been a Gold Medal Without Cross that may be awarded. This Medal is awarded, regardless of service and point requirements, to someone having distinguished themselves for an act of heroism while not involved in enemy conflict. The type of citation is represented on the Medal with ribbon clasps. A bronze star clasp is awarded for a citation at the unit, brigade, or regimental level, a silver star clasp is awarded for a citation at the divisional level, a gilt star is awarded for a citation at the army corps level, a bronze palm is awarded for a citation at the army level, and a silver palm replaces five bronze palms.
There were numerous unofficial versions made by private manufacturers in 1982. These versions depict the effigy of the Marseillaise against a brick background.
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