The Hero's Medal, along with the Meritorious Service Medal, was first created in April 1951 by the Chinese People's Volunteer Army political director Du Ping in an effort to promote the unity of the Chinese armed forces during the Korean War. The medal was conceived so that the common soldiers would follow the examples set by few selected role models. When the medal was first created, it was composed of three categories — second, first and special class. The special class was later eliminated when the Chinese People's Liberation Army's (PLA) medal system formalized in 1988.
Criteria and selection process
According to the initial award criteria published in 1951, the medal was awarded to anyone "who have owned two medals of third or second class or one of the first grade [Meritorious Service] award, who are most outstanding at an army or army corps level, and whose remarkable contribution are also recognized by friendly units."
A candidate for the medal would normally be nominated by the deputy political officer of a company, while all squads within the company were required to meet once a month to list each soldier's accomplishments for the selection process. Once nominated, the PLA General Political Department or the candidate's military region political department would be responsible for approving the nomination.
Reward and regulation
Once the nomination is approved, the recipient would be treated with a grand prize-giving ceremony that is intended to educate the entire PLA or the recipient's military region. Besides the medal, the recipient also receives a ribbon bar and a certificate from the PLA General Political Department. According to the 1988 regulation, the medal must be worn on the upper left side of the recipient's uniform. The regulation also decreed that the medal itself can only be worn during special meetings and celebrations, while the ribbon bars are allowed in daily functions.
- 80th Anniversary of the Birth of the Armed Forces: Introduction to Service and Award Medals (建军80周年：勋章、奖章 闪耀在军人胸前的荣耀) (in Chinese), Beijing, China: Xinhua, 2007-07-05, retrieved 2010-10-06
- People's Liberation Army Discipline Regulations Chapter Two: Awards (中国人民解放军纪律条令第二章：奖励) (in Chinese), Beijing, China: Xinhua, 2002-03-23, retrieved 2010-10-06
- Zhang 1995, p. 197.
- In Chinese military nomenclature, the term "Army" (军) means Corps, while the term "Army Corps" (兵团) means Army.
- Zhang 1995, p. 198.
- Zhang 1995, pp. 197–198.
- Zhang 1995, pp. 198, 199.
- Zhang, Shu Guang (1995), Mao's Military Romanticism: China and the Korean War, 1950-1953, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, ISBN 0-7006-0723-4