Military Decoration (Belgium)

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Military Decoration (Long Service)
Deco militaire long service 2nd class.jpg
Military Decoration (Long Service) Second Class
Awarded by Flag of Belgium.svg Kingdom of Belgium
TypeMilitary decoration,
EligibilityNon-Commissioned Officers and other ranks of the Belgian Armed Forces
Awarded forLong Service
EstablishedDecember 22, 1873
Next (higher)Military Cross
Next (lower)Cross of Honour for Military Service Abroad
BEL Military Decoration for Faithful Service.PNG

The Military Decoration (Dutch: Militaire Ereteken, French: Décoration Militaire) is a military award of the Kingdom of Belgium. It was established on December 23, 1873 and is awarded to non-commissioned officers and other ranks of the Belgian Armed Forces for loyal and uninterrupted service. Early in the 20th century, 2 classes for the medal were created.

Award Criteria[edit]

The Military Decoration is awarded in two classes. Military personnel below the rank of Officer is awarded the second class after ten years of service. Five years after the award, they are awarded the first class of the medal (unless, by then, the service member is promoted to a commissioned officer rank).


The medal is a gilt cross pattée surmounted by the royal crown of Belgium with four rays between the cross arms. The obverse bears a circular central medallion with a Belgian lion and a circular relief inscription. This inscription is the Belgian motto (Unity makes Strength) and used to be solely in France (surrounding the centered lion completely) but carries since July, 8, 1952 the motto both in Dutch (eendracht maakt macht) in the upper half and in French (l'union fait la force) in the lower half of the circle. The reverse is identical except for the central medallion, which used to the royal monogram of the reigning monarch at time of the award surrounded by the relief inscription "ARMÉE * MÉRITE * ANCIENNETÉ" ("ARMY * MERIT * SENIORITY"). Since July, 8, 1952, only a Belgian lion is depicted, without surrounding text or reference to the reigning monarch. The medal is suspended by a ring through the suspension loop to a silk moiré ribbon of seventeen alternating longitudinal stripes of red, yellow and black. A gilt inverted metal chevron is affixed to the ribbon of the award first class.

For Long Service For Long Service Common
Deco militaire long service 1st class.jpg Deco militaire long service 2nd class.jpg Deco militaire long service 2nd class reverse.jpg
First Class
Before 1952
Second Class
Before 1952
Before 1952
Reign of Albert I of Belgium


On the ribbon an inverted gilt chevron is affixed when the first class of the medal is awarded.

See also[edit]


  • Clarke JD,Gallantry Medals & Awards of the World
  • Royal Decree of 23 December 1873 creating the Military Decoration
  • Belgian military regulation DGHR-REG-DISPSYS-001 of 20 February 2006
  • Quinot H., 1950, Recueil illustré des décorations belges et congolaises, 4e Edition. (Hasselt)
  • Cornet R., 1982, Recueil des dispositions légales et réglementaires régissant les ordres nationaux belges. 2e Ed., (Brussels)
  • Borné A.C., 1985, Distinctions honorifiques de la Belgique, 1830-1985 (Brussels)
  • Report of written questions and answers in the Belgian House of Representatives, 17 March 2014 (QRVA 53-152)

External links[edit]