Switzerland does not have a national honour system. Enshrined in the 1848 Swiss Constitution in Article 12 was a prohibition on the acceptance of honours and titles by Swiss citizens.[1] In the current Swiss constitution there is no specific prohibition on titles and orders, however there is a statute that covers the prohibition previously covered by Article 12.

The Swiss military maintains a system of awards which recognize length of service, training, sports, and mission participation.[2]

Award ribbons

Length of Service Decorations

Length of Service Decoration
Emblem Name Remarks
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Length of Service Decoration
German: Dienstleistungsabzeichen
French: Insigne de prestation de service
Italian: Distintivi del servizio
This ribbon is worn with a series of rosettes to indicate total length of service. No rosette indicates 90 days of service.
CHE Ribbons Rosette Bronze.svg
Length of Service Decoration 170 days service
CHE Ribbons Rosette Bronze.svg
CHE Ribbons Rosette Bronze.svg
Length of Service Decoration 250 days service
CHE Ribbons Rosette Bronze.svg
CHE Ribbons Rosette Bronze.svg
CHE Ribbons Rosette Bronze.svg
Length of Service Decoration 350 days service
CHE Ribbons Rosette Silver.svg
Length of Service Decoration 450 days service
CHE Ribbons Rosette Silver.svg
CHE Ribbons Rosette Silver.svg
Length of Service Decoration 550 days service
CHE Ribbons Rosette Silver.svg
CHE Ribbons Rosette Silver.svg
CHE Ribbons Rosette Silver.svg
Length of Service Decoration 650 days service
CHE Ribbons Rosette Gold.svg
Length of Service Decoration 750 days service
CHE Ribbons Rosette Gold.svg
CHE Ribbons Rosette Gold.svg
Length of Service Decoration 850 days service
CHE Ribbons Rosette Gold.svg
CHE Ribbons Rosette Gold.svg
CHE Ribbons Rosette Gold.svg
Length of Service Decoration 950 days service

Exceptional service

Emblem Name Remarks
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Exceptional service
German: Ausserordentliche Leistung
French: Prestation exceptionnelle
Italian: Prestazione eccezionale
The award is given for:
  1. outstanding merits for the position and prestige of the Swiss Army;
  2. particularly exemplary, brave and courageous behavior:
    • lifesaving or assistance under difficult conditions;
    • fulfillment of service duty despite obvious danger;
    • extraordinarily brave behavior.

This award is personally given by the Chief of the Armed Forces for outstanding achievements.

Decorations

These ribbons are worn in place of the older Sugus type badges (called that way because of their sugus-like rectangular shape and because a decoration is like a sweet). Exception: the former Alpine Insignia looked different and was replaced by the sugus type.

Alpine Insignia
Emblem Name Remarks
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Alpine Decoration
German: Hochgebirgsabzeichen
French: Insigne de haute montagne
Italian: Distintivo d’alta montagna
This replaced the Alpine Badge previously issued by the Swiss Army. The Alpine Decoration is awarded to those members of the Swiss Army who have received specialist training in mountain warfare and rescue.
Skill-at-arms Decorations
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Assault Rifle, Level 1
German: Sturmgewehr Stufe 1
French: Fusil d’assaut degré 1
Italian: Fucile d’assalto grado 1
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Assault Rifle, Level 2
German: Sturmgewehr Stufe 2
French: Fusil d’assaut degré 2
Italian: Fucile d’assalto grado 2
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Pistol, Level 1
German: Pistole Stufe 1
French: Pistolet degré 1
Italian: Pistola grado 1
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Pistol, Level 2
German: Pistole Stufe 2
French: Pistolet degré 2
Italian: Pistola grado 2
Training Decorations
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Buddy Aid/NBC Defence
German: Kameradenhilfe/ABC Abwehr
French: Aide au camarade/défense ABC
Italian: Aiuto al camerata/difesa NBC
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Coxswain
German: Wasserfahrer
French: Navigateur
Italian: Battelliere
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Pointer (weapon)
German: Richter
French: Pointeur (arme)
Italian: Puntatore (arma)
Sports Decorations
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Military sport 1
German: Militärsport 1
French: Sport militaire 1
Italian: Sport militare 1
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Military sport 2
German: Militärsport 2
French: Sport militaire 2
Italian: Sport militare 2
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Military sports competition
German: Militärsport Wettkampfauszeichnung
French: Compétition de sport militaire
Italian: Sport militare competitivo

Mission insignia

Service within Switzerland
Emblem Name Remarks
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Operations within Switzerland
German: Inland-Einsätze
French: Engagements à l’intérieur du pays
Italian: Impieghi in Svizzera
Awarded for 5 consecutive days of "Assistenzdienst", e.g. at the Annual WEF Meeting Davos. Update this ribbon can be awarded with silver or gold rosettes depending on the duration of the assignment.
Service abroad
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Kosovo Mission Insignia Awarded for 150 days of service as a member of the Swisscoy.[3]
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Bosnia-Herzegovina Mission Insignia Awarded for 150 days of service with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Swiss Headquarters Support Unit (SHQSU) to Bosnia-Herzegovina.[3] This medal is no longer awarded for service in Bosnia and Herzegovina, instead the Operations abroad Peace Support is given to military staff members.
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Korea Mission Insignia Awarded for 150 days of service with the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission.[3]
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Namibia Mission Insignia Awarded for 150 days of service with the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG).[3]
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Western Sahara Mission Insignia Awarded for 150 days of service with the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).[3]
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Peace Support Mission Insignia Awarded for 150 days of service in peace support operations outside of the framework of an international organization. Like missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and all UN missions with UNMAS as a Swiss In-Kind (seconded to the United Nations).[3]
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
UN Military Observer Mission Insignia Awarded for 150 days of service as a military observer with a United Nations Peacekeeping Mission.[3]
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Partnership for Peace Mission Insignia Awarded for service with NATO Partnership for Peace.[4]
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Long Leave for Military Duties Abroad
German: Lange Ausland-Abkommandierung
French: Service commandé de longue durée à l’étranger
Italian: Servizi comandati prolungati
Awarded for at least 150 training days service in a training course of a foreign army as part of the "LAK" program.[4]
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
UNO OSCE OTAN Mandates Mission Badge Example Because of the diversity, all portraits of the ribbons of the UNO / OSCE mandates are not illustrated.[5]

Off-duty activities

Emblem Name Remarks
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Off-duty activity, level 1
German: Ausserdienstliche Tätigkeit Stufe 1
French: Activité hors du service degré 1
Italian: Attività fuori del servizio livello 1
For recognized activities with military umbrella organizations and societies.
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Off-duty activity, level 2
German: Ausserdienstliche Tätigkeit Stufe 2
French: Activité hors du service degré 2
Italian: Attività fuori del servizio livello 2
Further recognized activities and leadership within a military umbrella organization or society.
Ribbon bar image; refer to adjacent text.
Off-duty activity, level 3
German: Ausserdienstliche Tätigkeit Stufe 3
French: Activité hors du service degré 3
Italian: Attività fuori del servizio livello 3
Reaching level 1 and level 2 is not required. 6 years of active membership in a board of directors of a military society or an umbrella organization of its associations or sections.

Source:[6]

Order of wear

Awards are worn on the uniform as ribbon bars in rows of three, with a maximum of nine ribbons worn at a time. When the top row of ribbons is less than three, they are worn to the wearers left.[2] Only the highest level of award received is worn. The ribbons are worn in the following order:[4]

References

  1. ^ "Bundesverfassung der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft (1848)" (in Swiss German). Verfassungen.de. Archived from the original on 14 October 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Armed Forces Logistics Organisation AFLO, ed. (2008). Insignia of the Swiss Armed Forces (PDF). Bern: Swiss Armed Forces. pp. 69–77. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Insignes remis pour les missions accomplies à l'étranger dans le cadre de la promotion de la paix" (in French). Promotion de la Paix - Centre de compétences SWISSINT. Archived from the original on 1 January 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Reglement 51.009d" (PDF) (in German). Schweizer Armee. p. 11. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  5. ^ "UNO / OSZE Mandate". Archived from the original on 2018-03-17. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  6. ^ "Auszeichnung Ausserdienstliche Tätigkeiten" [Award Off-duty activity] (PDF). sog.ch (PDF; 822 KB) (in German). 2015-11-15. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-03-19. Retrieved 2018-03-19.