Awards and Decorations of the Indian Armed Forces

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The Armed Forces of India are eligible for a myriad of military decorations. Decorations are awarded for extraordinary bravery and courage, as well as distinguished service during times of war and peace. Service and campaign medals have been awarded throughout the history of India as an independent state.

Decorations[edit]

Decorations in the order of precedence:

Wartime gallantry awards[edit]

Param-Vir-Chakra-ribbon.svg Param Vir Chakra (PVC)
Maha Vir Chakra ribbon.svg Maha Vir Chakra (MVC)
Vir Chakra ribbon bar.svg Vir Chakra (VrC)

Peacetime gallantry awards[edit]

Ashoka Chakra ribbon.svg Ashok Chakra (AC)
Kirti Chakra ribbon.svg Kirti Chakra (KC)
Shaurya Chakra ribbon.svg Shaurya Chakra (SrC)

Medals[edit]

Distinguished Service & Gallantry medals[edit]

Sena Medal ribbon.svg Sena Medal (Army) (SM)
Nao Sena Medal ribbon.svg Nausena Medal (Navy) (NM)
Vayusena Medal ribbon.svg Vayusena Medal (Air Force) (VM)

Wartime distinguished service medals[edit]

Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svg Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal (SYSM)
Uttam Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svg Uttam Yudh Seva Medal (UYSM)
Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svg Yudh Seva Medal (YSM)

Peacetime distinguished service medals[edit]

Param Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM)
Ati Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM)
Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM)

Service and campaign medals[edit]

Wound Medal-India.svg Wound Medal (Parakram Padak)
India General Service Medal 1947.svg General Service Medal 1947
IND Samanya Seva medal.svg Samanya Seva Medal
IND Special Service Medal Ribbon.svg Special Service Medal
IND Samar Seva Star Ribbon.svg Samar Seva Star
IND Poorvi Star Ribbon.svg Poorvi Star
IND Paschimi Star Ribbon.svg Paschimi Star
IND Operation Vijay star.svg Operation Vijay Star
IND Siachen Glacier Medal Ribbon.svg Siachen Glacier Medal
IND Raksha Medal Ribbon.svg Raksha Medal
IND Sangram Medal Ribbon.svg Sangram Medal
IND Operation Vijay medal.svg Operation Vijay Medal
IND Operation Parakram medal.svg Operation Parakram Medal
IND Sainya Seva Medal Ribbon.svg Sainya Seva Medal
IND High Altitude Medal Ribbon.svg High Altitude Service Medal
IND Videsh Seva Medal Ribbon.svg Videsh Seva Medal

Long service awards[edit]

IND Meritorious Service Medal Ribbon.svg Meritorious Service Medal
IND Long Service and Good Conduct Medal Ribbon.svg Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
IND 30 Years Long Service Ribbon.svg 30 Years Long Service Medal
IND 20YearsServiceMedalRibbon.svg 20 Years Long Service Medal
IND 9YearsServiceMedalRibbon.svg 9 Years Long Service Medal
IND Territorial Army decoration.svg Territorial Army Decoration
IND Territorial Army medal.svg Territorial Army Medal

Independence medals[edit]

Indian Independence medal 1947.svg Indian Independence Medal
IND 50th Anniversary Independence medal.svg 50th Independence Anniversary Medal
IND 25th Anniversary Independence medal.svg 25th Independence Anniversary Medal

Mention in Dispatches[edit]

Mention in Dispatches has been used since 1947, in order to recognize distinguished and meritorious service in operational areas and acts of gallantry which are not of a sufficiently high order to warrant the grant of gallantry awards.[1]

Eligible personnel include all Army, Navy and Air Force personnel including personnel of the Reserve Forces, Territorial Army, Militia and other lawfully constituted Armed Forces, members of the Nursing Service and Civilians working under or with the Armed Forces.[1]

Personnel can be mentioned in dispatches posthumously and multiple awards are also possible. A recipient of a Mention in a Despatch is entitled to wear an emblem, in the form of a lotus leaf on the ribbon of the relevant Campaign Medal. They are also issued with an official certificate from the Ministry of Defence.[1]

Commendation Card[edit]

Chief of Army Staff Commendation Card

All three branches of the military issue Commendation Cards, which are badges awarded for "individual acts of gallantry or distinguished service or devotion to duty performed either in operation or non-operational areas which are not of a sufficiently high order to qualify for a higher gallantry award or for which the higher award is inappropriate. The award will be for a specific act of bravery or distinguished service or special service. The award will not be made posthumously."

All three branches issue Commendations Cards at the level of the highest officer (Chief of the Army Staff, Chief of the Naval Staff and Chief of the Air Staff). The awards at lower levels seem to vary between services.[2][3][4]

Order of wear[edit]

The various decorations and medals are worn in the following order:[5][6]

Precedence Award Name Ribbon
1 Bharat Ratna Bharat Ratna Ribbon.svg
2 Param Veer Chakra Param-Vir-Chakra-ribbon.svg
3 Ashoka Chakra Ashoka Chakra ribbon.svg
4 Padma Vibhushan IND Padma Vibhushan BAR.png
5 Padma Bhushan IND Padma Bhushan BAR.png
6 Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svg
7 Param Vishisht Seva Medal Param Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg
8 Maha Vir Chakra Maha Vir Chakra ribbon.svg
9 Kirti Chakra Kirti Chakra ribbon.svg
10 Padma Shri IND Padma Shri BAR.png
11 Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak IND Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak ribbon.png
12 Uttam Yudh Seva Medal Uttam Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svg
13 Ati Vishisht Seva Medal Ati Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg
14 Vir Chakra Vir Chakra ribbon bar.svg
15 Shaurya Chakra Shaurya Chakra ribbon.svg
16 President's Police and Fire Services Medal for Gallantry
17 President's Police Medal for Gallantry IND President's Police Medal for Gallantry.png
18 President's Fire Services Medal for Gallantry
19 President's Correctional Service Medal for Gallantry
20 President's Home Guards and Civil Defence Medal for Gallantry
21 Yudh Seva Medal Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svg
22 Sena Medal Sena Medal ribbon.svg
Nao Sena Medal Nao Sena Medal ribbon.svg
Vayu Sena Medal Vayusena Medal ribbon.svg
23 Vishisht Seva Medal Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg
24 Police Medal for Gallantry IND Police Medal for Gallantry.png
25 Fire Services Medal for Gallantry
26 Correctional Service Medal for Gallantry
27 Home Guards and Civil Defence Medal for Gallantry
28 Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak IND Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak ribbon.png
29 Parakram Padak (Wound Medal) Wound Medal-India.svg
30 General Service Medal - 1947 India General Service Medal 1947.svg
31 Samanya Seva Medal - 1965 IND Samanya Seva medal.svg
32 Special Service Medal IND Special Service Medal Ribbon.svg
33 Samar Seva Star-1965 IND Samar Seva Star Ribbon.svg
34 Poorvi Star IND Poorvi Star Ribbon.svg
35 Paschimi Star IND Paschimi Star Ribbon.svg
36 Operation Vijay Star Medal IND Operation Vijay star.svg
37 Siachen Glacier Medal IND Siachen Glacier Medal Ribbon.svg
38 Raksha Medal – 1965 IND Raksha Medal Ribbon.svg
39 Sangram Medal IND Sangram Medal Ribbon.svg
40 Operation Vijay Medal IND Operation Vijay medal.svg
41 Operation Parakram Medal IND Operation Parakram medal.svg
42 Sainya Seva Medal IND Sainya Seva Medal Ribbon.svg
43 High Altitude Medal IND High Altitude Medal Ribbon.svg
44 Police (Special Duty) Medal - 1962
45 Videsh Seva Medal IND Videsh Seva Medal Ribbon.svg
46 President's Police and Fire Services Medal for Distinguished Service
47 President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service IND President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service.png
48 President's Fire Services Medal for Distinguished Service
49 President's Correctional Service Medal for Distinguished Service
50 President's Home Guards and Civil Defence for Distinguished Service
51 Meritorious Service Medal IND Meritorious Service Medal Ribbon.svg
52 Long Service and Good Conduct Medal IND Long Service and Good Conduct Medal Ribbon.svg
53 Police Medal for Meritorious Service IND Police Medal for Meritorious Service.png
54 Fire Services Medal for Meritorious Service
55 Correction Service Medal for Meritorious Service
56 Home Guards and Civil Defence Medal for Meritorious Service
57 Jeevan Raksha Padak
58 Territorial Army Decoration IND Territorial Army decoration.svg
59 Territorial Army Medal IND Territorial Army medal.svg
60 Indian Independence Medal-1947 Indian Independence medal 1947.svg
61 Independence Medal - 1950
62 50th Anniversary of Independence Medal IND 50th Anniversary Independence medal.svg
63 25th Independence Anniversary Medal IND 25th Anniversary Independence medal.svg
64 30 Years Long Service Medal IND 30 Years Long Service Ribbon.svg
65 20 Years Long Service Medal IND 20YearsServiceMedalRibbon.svg
66 9 Years Long Service Medal IND 9YearsServiceMedalRibbon.svg
67 Commonwealth Awards
68 Other Awards

References[edit]

External links[edit]