The Armed Forces of India are eligible for many military decorations awarded for extraordinary bravery and distinguished service during times of war and peace. Service and campaign medals have been awarded throughout India's history as an independent state.

Military medal

Decorations for precedence:

Wartime gallantry awards
Param-Vir-Chakra-ribbon.svg
Param Vir Chakra (PVC)
Maha Vir Chakra ribbon.svg
Maha Vir Chakra (MVC)
Vir Chakra ribbon bar.svg
Vir Chakra (VrC)
Peacetime gallantry awards
Ashoka Chakra ribbon.svg
Ashok Chakra(AC)
Kirti Chakra ribbon.svg
Kirti Chakra (KC)
Shaurya Chakra ribbon.svg
Shaurya Chakra (SC)
Wartime distinguished service medals
Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svg
Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal (SYSM)
Uttam Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svg
Uttam Yudh Seva Medal (UYSM)
Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svg
Yudh Seva Medal (YSM)
Peacetime distinguished service medals
Param Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg
Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM)
Ati Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg
Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM)
Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg
Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM)
Distinguished Service & Gallantry medals
Sena Medal ribbon.svg
Sena Medal (Army) (SM)
Nao Sena Medal ribbon.svg
Nausena Medal (Navy) (NM)
Vayusena Medal ribbon.svg
Vayusena Medal (Air Force) (VM)

The Service And Campaign Medals

Wound Medal-India.svg
Wound Medal (Parakram Padak)
India General Service Medal 1947.svg
General Service Medal 1947
IND Samanya Seva medal.svg
Samanya Seva Medal
IND Special Service Medal Ribbon.svg
Special Service Medal
IND Samar Seva Star Ribbon.svg
Samar Seva Star
IND Poorvi Star Ribbon.svg
Poorvi Star
IND Paschimi Star Ribbon.svg
Paschimi Star
IND Operation Vijay star.svg
Operation Vijay Star
IND Siachen Glacier Medal Ribbon.svg
Siachen Glacier Medal
IND Raksha Medal Ribbon.svg
Raksha Medal
IND Sangram Medal Ribbon.svg
Sangram Medal
IND Operation Vijay medal.svg
Operation Vijay Medal
IND Operation Parakram medal.svg
Operation Parakram Medal
IND Sainya Seva Medal Ribbon.svg
Sainya Seva Medal
IND High Altitude Medal Ribbon.svg
High Altitude Service Medal
Antrik Suraksha Padak.png
Antrik Suraksha Padak
IND Videsh Seva Medal Ribbon.svg
Videsh Seva Medal

Long service awards

IND Meritorious Service Medal Ribbon.svg
Meritorious Service Medal
IND Long Service and Good Conduct Medal Ribbon.svg
Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
IND 30 Years Long Service Ribbon.svg
30 Years Long Service Medal
IND 20YearsServiceMedalRibbon.svg
20 Years Long Service Medal
IND 9YearsServiceMedalRibbon.svg
9 Years Long Service Medal
IND Territorial Army decoration.svg
Territorial Army Decoration
IND Territorial Army medal.svg
Territorial Army Medal

Independence medals

Indian Independence medal 1947.svg
Indian Independence Medal
IND 50th Anniversary Independence medal.svg
50th Independence Anniversary Medal
IND 25th Anniversary Independence medal.svg
25th Independence Anniversary Medal

Military reconnaissance and exploration medal

MacGregor Medal Ribbon.jpg
MacGregor Medal[1]

Mention in Dispatches

Mention in Dispatches has been used since 1947, in order to recognize distinguished and meritorious service in operational areas and acts of gallantry which are not of a sufficiently high order to warrant the grant of gallantry awards.[2]

Eligible personnel include all Army, Navy and Air Force personnel including personnel of the Reserve Forces, Territorial Army, Militia and other lawfully constituted Armed Forces, members of the Nursing Service and Civilians working under or with the Armed Forces.[2]

Personnel can be mentioned in dispatches posthumously and multiple awards are also possible. A recipient of a Mention in a Despatch is entitled to wear an emblem, in the form of a lotus leaf on the ribbon of the relevant Campaign Medal. They are also issued with an official certificate from the Ministry of Defence.[2]

Commendation Card

Chief of Army Staff Commendation Card
Chief of Army Staff Commendation Card

All three branches of the military issue Commendation Cards, which are badges awarded for "individual acts of gallantry or distinguished service or devotion to duty performed either in operation or non-operational areas. It is a type of gallantry award. The award will be for a specific act of bravery or distinguished service or special service. The award will not be made posthumously."

All three branches issue Commendations Cards at the level of the highest officer (Chief of the Army Staff, Chief of the Naval Staff and Chief of the Air Staff). The awards at lower levels seem to vary between services.[3][4][5]

Order of Wearing

The various decorations and medals are worn in the following order:[6][7]

Precedence Award Name Ribbon
1 Bharat Ratna
Bharat Ratna Ribbon.svg
2 Param Vir Chakra
Param-Vir-Chakra-ribbon.svg
3 Ashoka Chakra
Ashoka Chakra ribbon.svg
4 Padma Vibhushan
IND Padma Vibhushan BAR.png
5 Padma Bhushan
IND Padma Bhushan BAR.png
6 Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal
Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svg
7 Param Vishisht Seva Medal
Param Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg
8 Maha Vir Chakra
Maha Vir Chakra ribbon.svg
9 Kirti Chakra
Kirti Chakra ribbon.svg
10 Padma Shri
IND Padma Shri BAR.png
11 Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak
IND Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak ribbon.png
12 Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
Uttam Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svg
13 Ati Vishisht Seva Medal
Ati Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg
14 Vir Chakra
Vir Chakra ribbon bar.svg
15 Shaurya Chakra
Shaurya Chakra ribbon.svg
16 Yudh Seva Medal
Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svg
17 Sena Medal (for army personnel)
Sena Medal ribbon.svg
Nau Sena Medal (For naval personnel)
Nao Sena Medal ribbon.svg
Vayu Sena Medal (For air force personnel)
Vayusena Medal ribbon.svg
18 Vishisht Seva Medal
Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg
19 Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak
IND Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak ribbon.png
20 Parakram Padak (Wound Medal)
Wound Medal-India.svg
21 General Service Medal 1947
India General Service Medal 1947.svg
22 Samanya Seva Medal - 1965
IND Samanya Seva medal.svg
23 Special Service Medal
IND Special Service Medal Ribbon.svg
24 Samar Seva Star - 1965
IND Samar Seva Star Ribbon.svg
25 Poorvi Star
IND Poorvi Star Ribbon.svg
26 Paschimi Star
IND Paschimi Star Ribbon.svg
27 Operation Vijay Star Medal
IND Operation Vijay star.svg
28 Siachen Glacier Medal
IND Siachen Glacier Medal Ribbon.svg
29 Raksha Medal – 1965
IND Raksha Medal Ribbon.svg
30 Sangram Medal
IND Sangram Medal Ribbon.svg
31 Operation Vijay Medal
IND Operation Vijay medal.svg
32 Operation Parakram Medal
IND Operation Parakram medal.svg
33 Sainya Seva Medal
IND Sainya Seva Medal Ribbon.svg
34 High Altitude Medal
IND High Altitude Medal Ribbon.svg
35 Videsh Seva Medal
IND Videsh Seva Medal Ribbon.svg
36 Meritorious Service Medal
IND Meritorious Service Medal Ribbon.svg
37 Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
IND Long Service and Good Conduct Medal Ribbon.svg
38 Jeevan Raksha Padak
IND Jeevan Raksha Padak ribbon.png
39 Territorial Army Decoration
IND Territorial Army decoration.svg
40 Territorial Army Medal
IND Territorial Army medal.svg
41 Indian Independence Medal - 1947
Indian Independence medal 1947.svg
42 Independence Medal - 1950
Indian Police Independence medal 1950.png
43 50th Anniversary of Independence Medal
IND 50th Anniversary Independence medal.svg
44 25th Independence Anniversary Medal
IND 25th Anniversary Independence medal.svg
45 30 Years Long Service Medal
IND 30 Years Long Service Ribbon.svg
46 20 Years Long Service Medal
IND 20YearsServiceMedalRibbon.svg
47 9 Years Long Service Medal
IND 9YearsServiceMedalRibbon.svg
48 Commonwealth Awards
49 United Nations Awards
50 Other Awards

Note that the Police Medals, Fire Services Medals, Correctional Services Medals and Home Guards and Civil Defence Medals are excluded from the above list. The above order of precedence of awards is as per the Indian Army. There are slight variations, especially in the campaign medals, in the order followed by the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.

Wearing medals by the next of kins

An order issued on 11 July 2019 by the Indian Army's "Ceremonial and Welfare Adjutant General's Branch" made it permissible for the close relatives of the deceased military personnel to wear their medals on the right side of chest while attending homage ceremonies at war memorials, cemeteries and funerals. These gallantry or service awards of deceased can be worn by their family members, such as spouses, children, parents, forefathers while wearing civil clothes.[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ SSBCrack (2017-02-18). "Ever Observed Colorful Ribbons On Soldier's Uniform? Here's What They Mean". SSBCrack. Retrieved 2021-02-18.
  2. ^ a b c "Mention in Dispatches". Indian Army. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  3. ^ http://indianarmy.nic.in/writereaddata/documents/new_pattern.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  4. ^ "The Official Home Page of the Indian Army".
  5. ^ "Army's New Norms for Commendation Badges - Livefist". 13 August 2009.
  6. ^ "Precedence Of Medals". Official Website of the Indian Army. Indian Army. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Order of Precedence | Indian Navy". Official Website of the Indian Navy. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  8. ^ Indian Army allows next of kin to wear medals of late ex-servicemen during homage ceremonies, India Today, 23 July 2019.