Pro Merito Decoration

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Pro Merito Decoration
Pro Merito Decoration.jpg
Awarded by the State President and, from 1994, the President
Country South Africa  South Africa
Type Military decoration for merit
Eligibility Other ranks
Awarded for Outstanding service of the highest order and utmost devotion to duty
Status Discontinued in 2003
Post-nominals PMD
Statistics
Established 1975
First awarded 1976
Precedence
Next (higher)
SANDF precedence:[2]
Next (lower)
SADF succession:[1]
PMDlint.gif
Ribbon bar

The Pro Merito Decoration, post-nominal letters PMD, is a military decoration for merit that was instituted by the Republic of South Africa on 1 July 1975. It was awarded to other ranks of the South African Defence Force for outstanding service of the highest order and utmost devotion to duty.[3][4][5][6][7]

The South African military[edit]

The Union Defence Forces (UDF) were established in 1912 and renamed the South African Defence Force (SADF) in 1958. On 27 April 1994 it was integrated with six other independent forces into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).[8]

Orders, decorations and medals[edit]

In April 1952 a series of military decorations and medals was instituted, consisting of substitutes for many of the British and Commonwealth awards which had earlier been used. More decorations and medals, as well as an emblem for being mentioned in dispatches, were added between 1953 and 1970. In July 1975 the military decorations and medals of the Republic were revised. Some decorations and medals were carried over from the earlier series of 1952-1975 and new awards were instituted, followed by more between 1987 and 1991. Finally, all but one of these earlier awards were discontinued in respect of services performed on or after 27 April 2003, when a new set of nine decorations and medals was instituted to replace them.[5][8][9][10][11]

Fount of Honour[edit]

Until 1958 the top three awards were reserved for conferment by the Queen while the rest were awarded by the Governor-General, but in 1958 the Governor-General was authorised to also award the top three. In 1961 the State President became the Fount of Honour, and in 1994 the President.[8]

Award criteria for the Pro Merito Decoration[edit]

The Pro Merito Decoration, post-nominal letters PMD, was awarded to other ranks of the South African Defence Force for outstanding service of the highest order and utmost devotion to duty.[5][6][7]

Although not prescribed, the practice was generally that the recipient must already have received the Pro Merito Medal (PMM). The equivalent award for officers was the Southern Cross Decoration (SD).

Order of precedence[edit]

The position of the Pro Merito Decoration in the official order of precedence was revised three times after 1975 to accommodate the inclusion or institution of new decorations and medals, first with the integration into the South African National Defence Force on 27 April 1994, again in April 1996 when decorations and medals were belatedly instituted for the two former non-statutory forces, the Azanian People's Liberation Army and Umkhonto we Sizwe, and finally with the institution of a new set of awards on 27 April 2003.[1][2]

South African Defence Force until 26 April 1994
  • Official national order of precedence:
South African National Defence Force from 27 April 1994
South African National Defence Force from April 1996

The position of the Pro Merito Decoration in the order of precedence remained unchanged, as it was in April 1996, when a new series of military orders, decorations and medals was instituted on 27 April 2003.[2]

Description[edit]

Obverse

The Pro Merito Decoration is a silver-gilt Maltese cross that fits in a circle 45 millimetres in diameter. The arms of the cross are in white enamel, with a disa uniflora in red enamel on a framed roundel in dark blue enamel in the centre. A protea attaches the decoration to the ribbon suspender.[5]

Reverse

The reverse has the pre-1994 South African Coat of Arms in the centre, with the decoration number stamped above and the silver hallmark below.

Ribbon

The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide and dark blue with a 4 millimetres wide white band in the centre.

Discontinuation[edit]

Conferment of the decoration was discontinued in respect of services performed on or after 27 April 2003, when the Pro Merito Decoration and the Southern Cross Decoration (SD) were both replaced by the new iPhrothiya yeGolide.[11][12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 15093, Pretoria, 3 September 1993
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, ISBN 9771682584003 27376
  3. ^ South African Medals Website - Post-nominal Letters
  4. ^ SA Army - Uniform: Former Forces Medals - South African Defence Force (SADF)
  5. ^ a b c d South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1975-2003
  6. ^ a b Alexander, E.G.M., Barron, G.K.B. and Bateman, A.J. (1986). South African Orders, Decorations and Medals. Human and Rousseau.
  7. ^ a b Monick, S, (1988). South African Military Awards 1912-1987. South African National Museum of Military History.
  8. ^ a b c South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1952-1975
  9. ^ Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1952-1975
  10. ^ Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1975-2003
  11. ^ a b Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 457, no. 25213, Pretoria, 25 July 2003
  12. ^ Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 26778, Pretoria, 17 September 2004