Medical Service Cross

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Medical Service Cross
Medical Service Cross.jpg
Awarded by the State President and, from 1994, the President
Country South Africa  South Africa
Type Military decoration for bravery
Eligibility South African Medical Service members
Awarded for Exceptional courage, leadership, or skill in dangerous or critical situations
Status Discontinued in 2003
Post-nominals CC
Established 1987
SADF pre-1994 & SANDF post-2002 orders of wear
Next (higher)
SADF precedence:
SANDF precedence:
Next (lower)
SADF succession:
SANDF succession:
Ribbon - Medical Service Cross.gif
Ribbon bar

The Medical Service Cross, post-nominal letters CC (Crux Curationis), is a military decoration which was instituted by the Republic of South Africa in 1987. It was awarded to members of the South African Medical Service for bravery. The Medical Service Cross was discontinued in 2003, but backdated awards can still be made for acts of bravery during this period.[1]

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).[2][3][4]


The Medical Service Cross, post-nominal letters CC (Crux Curationis), was instituted by the State President in 1987.[2][5]

Award criteria[edit]

The cross was initially awarded for exceptional ingenuity, resourcefulness and skill, and extraordinary leadership, dedication, sense of duty and personal example and courage in mortal danger in non-combatant situations. After 1993, the award criteria were altered to exceptional courage, leadership, skill, ingenuity or tenacity in dangerous or critical situations. A Bar, instituted in 1993, could be awarded in recognition of further similar displays of courage in danger.[3]

Order of wear[edit]

The position of the Medical Service Cross in the official order of precedence was revised three times after 1975, to accommodate the inclusion or institution of new decorations and medals, first upon 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 upon the institution of a new set of awards on 27 April 2003, but it remained unchanged on all three occasions.[6][7]

Navy Cross (CN) Medical Service Cross (CC) Southern Cross Medal (1952) (SM)

Official SANDF order of precedence
Official national order of precedence
  • Preceded by the Navy Cross (CN) of the Republic of South Africa.
  • Succeeded by the Southern Cross Medal (1952) (SM) of the Republic of South Africa.[6][7]



The Medical Service Cross is a pointed cross, struck in silver, to fit in a circle 45 millimetres in diameter, with the South African Medical Service emblem, the Rod of Aesculapius, in the centre on a ruby red roundel, 18 millimetres in diameter.[3]


The reverse has the pre-1994 South African Coat of Arms, with the decoration number stamped underneath.[3]

Medical Service Cross and Bar

The Bar was struck in silver and has an emblem depicting a Protea embossed in the centre. The same Bar was used to indicate multiple awards of the Pro Virtute Medal, Army Cross, Air Force Cross, Navy Cross, Medical Service Cross, Southern Cross Medal (1975) and Pro Merito Medal (1975).[8]


The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide and white, with a 12 millimetres wide ruby red centre band.[3]


Conferment of the decoration was discontinued in respect of services performed on or after 27 April 2003.[4]


  1. ^ South African Medals Website - Post-nominal Letters (Accessed 28 April 2015)
  2. ^ a b South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1952-1975 (Accessed 30 April 2015)
  3. ^ a b c d e South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1975-2003 (Accessed 30 April 2015)
  4. ^ a b Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 457, no. 25213, Pretoria, 25 July 2003
  5. ^ a b c Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 15093, Pretoria, 3 September 1993
  6. ^ a b c Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981
  7. ^ Mussell, John W.; Editorial Team of Medal News (2004). Mackay, James, ed. The Medal Yearbook 2004. Devon, UK: Token Publishing Ltd. p. 380. ISBN 978-1-870192-62-0.