Bundeswehr Cross of Honour for Valour

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Bundeswehr Cross of Honour for Valour
Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr für Tapferkeit
Ehrenkreuz Bundeswehr Tapferkeit 1.jpg
The Bundeswehr Cross of Honour for Valour
Awarded by Bundeswehr
Country Germany
Type Military decoration
Awarded for "An act of gallantry in the face of exceptional danger to life and limb whilst demonstrating staying power and serenity in order to fulfill the military mission in an ethically sound way."[1]
Status Currently awarded
Statistics
Established 13 August 2008[1]
First awarded 6 July 2009[2]
Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr für Tapferkeit - Ribbon.png
Ribbon bar of the decoration

The Bundeswehr Cross of Honour for Valour (German: Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr für Tapferkeit) is the highest military decoration of the Bundeswehr. It is the highest class of the Bundeswehr Cross of Honour. The decoration is the first combat valour award presented by Germany since World War II.[2]

History[edit]

Since World War II, Germany has seen its military as a defensive force, but during the 1990s Germany began playing a bigger role with its military within the European Union. After the September 11 attacks on the United States, Germany joined ISAF in Afghanistan and has continued to deploy Bundeswehr troops to areas under combat conditions.

In 2007, the Petitions Committee of the Bundestag made a recommendation to create a decoration to recognize military personnel for valour.[1] In 2008, Ernst-Reinhard Beck, the president of the German Reservists Association, suggested the reestablishment of the Iron Cross. From its establishment by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1813 until 1945, the Iron Cross had recognized valour by German soldiers. However, the historical connotations assigned to the Iron Cross from World War II provoked criticism from some groups.[2] Federal Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung proposed a new level of the Bundeswehr Cross of Honour to recognize bravery and valour in combat on 13 August 2008. The President of Germany Horst Köhler granted authorization for this valour decoration on 18 September 2008. On 10 October 2008, the directive creating the Bundeswehr Cross of Honour for Valour became law upon being published in the Federal Law Gazette and the Federal Gazette.[1]

The first recipients of the Cross of Honour for Valour were four soldiers caught up in a suicide attack by Taliban forces on 20 October 2008 southwest of Kunduz, Afghanistan. Two German soldiers were wounded and two were killed in the attack. Five Afghan children died, while one was injured. Disregarding the fact that their armored vehicle was on fire and munitions were exploding around them, these four soldiers rushed to the scene to try to help the wounded without regard for their own safety.[2]

Criteria[edit]

Members of the German Armed forces are statutorily, under Section 7 of the Legal Status of Military Personnel Act, required to be brave. Members swear to "bravely defend the rights and freedom of the German people." For this reason any conduct recognized by the Cross of Honour for Valour must be of an exceptionally brave nature. Recommendations must describe in great detail how this bravery is above that which is required and how it was "necessary to overcome fear and perform an act of gallantry in the face of exceptional danger to life and limb whilst demonstrating staying power and serenity in order to fulfill the military mission in an ethically sound way."[1]

Recipients[edit]

Date of award Name Age Rank when awarded Unit at ceremony Operation Reason awarded Source
6 July 2009 Jan Berges 29 Hauptfeldwebel (HptFw) 1. / Fallschirmjägerbataillon 263 ISAF On 20 October 2008, about five kilometers southwest of Kunduz, Afghanistan their comrades and Afghan civilians who were victims of a suicide attack. In spite of burning vehicles and exploding ammunition these soldiers rushed to aid the victims of the attack.
Alexander Dietzen 33 HptFw
Henry Lukács 28 HptFw
Markus Geist 28 Oberfeldwebel (OFw) Luftlande-/Lufttransportschule
22 January 2010 Daniel Seibert 30 HptFw Gefechtsübungszentrum Heer ISAF On 4 June 2009, he led a reconnaissance patrol outside of Kunduz, Afghanistan. While on patrol they became engaged with a numerically superior enemy force. In the course of more than one-hour firefight, the attackers were repelled. [3]
Steffen Knoska 29 OFw Jägerregiment 1 On 7 June 2009, operating in the Kunduz area, and while trying to salvage a damaged vehicle during a battle, under heavy fire. Risking his own life and in spite of a helmet hit, along with his soldiers he rescued a wounded comrade from the field of fire.
4 May 2010 Jan Hecht 36 HptFw 2. / Panzergrenadierbataillon 391 ISAF [4]
29 November 2010 Mario Kunert 36 HptFw 3. / Fallschirmjägerbataillon 373 ISAF [5]

[6] [7] [8]

Philipp Oliver Pordzik 33 HptFw 4. / Fallschirmjägerbataillon 313
Ralf Rönckendorf 38 HptFw 3. / Fallschirmjägerbataillon 373
Maik Mutschke 24/25[9] Stabsgefreiter (StGefr) 3. / Fallschirmjägerbataillon 373
Robert Hartert (posthumous - killed 2 April 2010) 25 (†) StGefr 3. / Fallschirmjägerbataillon 373
Martin Kadir Augustyniak (posthumous - killed 2 April 2010) 28 (†) Hauptgefreiter (HptGefr) 3. / Fallschirmjägerbataillon 373
12 April 2011 Stefan Weinmüller 42 Stabsfeldwebel (StFw) Luftlande-/Lufttransportschule ISAF [10][11]
Timo Henken 31 OFw Luftlande-/Lufttransportschule
Andreas Mey 30 HptFw 4. / Gebirgsjägerbataillon 231
Norman Reichow 30 OFw 4. / Gebirgsjägerbataillon 231
Valeri Müller 21 StGefr 4. / Gebirgsjägerbataillon 231
6 September 2011, three awards were presented  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
 ?  ?  ?  ?
 ?  ?  ?  ?
6 September 2011 Jared Sembritzki 42 Oberstleutnant Kdr Gebirgsjägerbataillon 231 ISAF As commander of the Quick Reaction Force 5 in Afghanistan, he was in a critical situation during the battle for a Combat Outpost he directed Shahabuddin under heavy enemy fire calmly and courageously. [12]
22 November 2011 Rene Fandrich  ? HptFw Gefechtsübungszentrum Heer  ?  ? [13][14][15][16]
Jürgen Wölfl 42 HptFw 3. / Panzergrenadierbataillon 122
Jan Bauer  ? OStGefr 2. / Fallschirmjägerbataillon 313
Tim Focken 24/25 OStGefr 2. / Fallschirmjägerbataillon 313
Egin Imprammpasi  ? StGefr  ?

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "The Bundeswehr on Operations". Berlin: The Federal Ministry of Defence. June 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Germany Awards Military Cross of Courage". http://www.spiegel.de/international/. Der Spiegel-Gruppe. 6 July 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  3. ^ BMVg.de Artikel zur Verleihung am 22. Januar 2010 vom Bundesministerium der Verteidigung
  4. ^ Der Panzergrenadier Artikel in „Der Panzergrenadier“ Ausgabe 26/09
  5. ^ [1] Artikel zur Verleihung auf der Website des BMVg
  6. ^ ZDF-Mediathek ZDF-Dokumentation zur Rückkehr von Soldaten aus Afghanistan
  7. ^ BILD.de BILD-Artikel über die Verwundung von Hauptfeldwebel Ralf Rönckendorf
  8. ^ Artikel: Artikel im „Bremervörder/Südkreis Anzeiger“ vom 5. Dezember 2010
  9. ^ sanitaetsdienst-bundeswehr.de Artikel über die Verletzung von Maik M. vom Sanitätsdienst der Bundeswehr
  10. ^ [2] Artikel zur Verleihung auf der Website des BMVg
  11. ^ Artikel auf deutschesheer.de
  12. ^ [3] Artikel zur Verleihung auf der Website des BMVg
  13. ^ [4] Artikel zur Verleihung auf der Website des BMVg
  14. ^ Forumsbeitrag im Forum für deutsche Militärgeschichte unter dem Thema "Ehrenkreuz für Tapferkeit" auf Seite 4
  15. ^ "Anzeiger am Sonntag". 11 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  16. ^ Von Annika Fischer, we. "Pilotprojekt der Bundeswehr - Sport für Veteranen - DerWesten Mobil". Mobil.derwesten.de. Retrieved 2012-05-03.