Order of Heroic Exemplar

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Order of Heroic Exemplar
Simplified Chinese英雄模范勋章

The Order of the Heroic Exemplar (Chinese: 英雄模范勋章) is the second highest military decoration awarded by the Government of the People's Republic of China, only lower than the Order of August First, and was named Heroic Exemplar Medal (Chinese: 英雄模范奖章) before 2011.[1][2] The person who gained the award is called Heroic Exemplar (Chinese: 英模).


The Heroic Exemplar 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.[3] The medal was conceived so that the common soldiers would follow the examples set by a few selected role models.[3] When the medal was first created, it was composed of three categories — second, first and special class.[3] The special class was later eliminated when the Chinese People's Liberation Army's (PLA) medal system was formalized in 1988.[1] In 2011, the name of the award changed into Order of Heroic Exemplar.[4]

Criteria and selection process[edit]

According to the initial award criteria published in 1951, the medal was awarded to those "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,[note 1] and whose remarkable contribution are also recognized by friendly units."[5]

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.[6] Once nominated, the PLA General Political Department or the candidate's military region political department would be responsible for approving the nomination.[2]

Reward and regulation[edit]

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.[2][7] Besides the medal, the recipient also receives a ribbon bar and a certificate from the PLA General Political Department.[1] 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.[1]


First Class Order of Heroic Exemplar[edit]

From the rename of the award in 2011, to the end of December 2016, a total of 14 people have received the First Class Order of Heroic Exemplar, including 2 general officers, 7 field and junior grade officers, and 1 private. Of the 14 recipients, 4 of them are posthumously awarded.

No. Name Unit Post and Rank when Decorated Date Sovereign Notability Note
1 Xu Jianping
PLAAF Former Deputy Minister of Equipment Department, XXth Aviation Division
Technical Professional Senior Colonel
Dec. 2011 Hu Jintao Model Aircraft Crew Officer
Posthumously Awarded
2 He Min
Lanzhou Military Region Director of Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 4th Hospital of PLA
Non-rank Cadres
Dec. 2011 Hu Jintao Model Surgeon of Plateau Areas
Non-rank Cadres
3 Yan Gaohong
GPD Former Chief Editor of Research Department Journal, Nanjing Political College, Professor
Non-rank Cadres
May 2012 Hu Jintao Model Theorist
Non-rank Cadres,
Posthumously Awarded
4 Liu Wang
GAD Astronaut
Senior Colonel
Oct. 2012 Hu Jintao Heroic Astronaut
Shenzhou 9
5 Liu Yang
GAD Astronaut
Oct. 2012 Hu Jintao Heroic Astronaut
Shenzhou 9
6 Lin Junde
GAD Former Researcher, Xinjiang Malan Nuclear Test Base
Technical Professional Major General
Jan. 2013 Xi Jinping Distinguished Scientist
Devoted to the cause of National Defense Technology
Posthumously Awarded
7 Zhang Xiaoguang
GAD Astronaut
Senior Colonel
Jul. 2013 Xi Jinping Heroic Astronaut
Shenzhou 10
8 Wang Yaping
GAD Astronaut
Jul. 2013 Xi Jinping Heroic Astronaut
Shenzhou 10
9 Jia Yuanyou
Beijing Military Region Squad Leader of 3rd Platoon, 6th Tk Co, XXth Mechanised Infantry Regiment, 38th Group Army
Chief Sergeant Class 4
Aug. 2013 Xi Jinping Armored Elite
10 Li Suzhi
Chengdu Military Region Administrator of General Hospital of Tibet Military Area Command
Technical Professional Major General
Aug. 2013 Xi Jinping Great Surgeon of Snow-covered Plateau
11 Dai Mingmeng
PLAN Deputy Commander of XXth Naval Aviation Troop
Senior Captain
Aug. 2013 Xi Jinping Heroic Test Pilot of Aircraft Carrier Fighter
12 Tan Qingquan
SAC Senior Engineer of 42nd Unit, Troop 96315
Senior Colonel
Aug. 2013 Xi Jinping Sword Pioneer
13 Zhang Chao
PLAN Pilot of XXth Naval Aviation Troop
Lieutenant Commander
Nov. 2016 Xi Jinping Pioneer Chasing Dreams in Sea and Sky for Strengthening the Military
Posthumously Awarded
14 Chen Dong
EDD Astronaut
Dec. 2016 Xi Jinping Heroic Astronaut
Shenzhou 11

Second Class Order of Heroic Exemplar[edit]

Not all individuals who received the Second Class Order of Heroic Exemplar were reported in the public media.


  1. ^ In Chinese military nomenclature, the term "Army" (军) means Corps, while the term "Army Corps" (兵团) means Army.



  1. ^ a b c d 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
  2. ^ a b c 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
  3. ^ a b c Zhang 1995, p. 197.
  4. ^ 解放军启用新式勋章 Archived 2013-05-29 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Zhang 1995, p. 198.
  6. ^ Zhang 1995, pp. 197–198.
  7. ^ 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