Military Merit Cross, I Class Cross for 25 Years (for Foreign Officers, 1854-1860)
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The Military Merit Cross was originally founded by Prince George Victor in 1854. The Cross was awarded to Officers who rendered 25 years of meritorious service in Waldeck’s army. Originally, separate awards were issued to Officers from Waldeck and Officers from foreign countries.
The obverse of the cross features the initials “GV” surmounted by a crown. The cross for Waldeck Officers features the service years in Roman numerals on the reverse, the cross for foreign Officers has a blank reverse.
This version of the Military Merit Cross was discontinued in 1861 following the signing of a military convention with Prussia. The cross was redesigned in 1861 by Prince George Victor, who added surmounting oak leaves to the suspension of the I Class Cross. In addition, he also expanded the Military Merit Cross to include a II Class Cross in 1861 and a III Class Cross in 1878.
The I Class Cross (1861-1896) was awarded to Officers.
The II Class Cross (1861-1896) was awarded to Non-Commissioned Officers and enlisted personnel from 1861-1878. After 1878, the II Class was only awarded to Non-Commissioned Officers due to the creation of the III Class Cross, which was awarded to enlisted personnel;.
On March 28, 1896, the Prince decreed that the Military Merit Cross would be discontinued.
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