World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Médaille militaire

Article Id: WHEBN0000826221
Reproduction Date:

Title: Médaille militaire  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Gabriel Guérin, Daniel Daly, Tirailleur, Henry Kelly (VC), Louis Cukela
Collection: 1852 Establishments in France, Awards Established in 1852, Military Awards and Decorations of France
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Médaille militaire

Médaille militaire
Badge of the Médaille Militaire (obverse)
Awarded by France
Type Military decoration
Eligibility Privates, NCOs, Commanders-in-chief generals and admirals
Awarded for Valour in combat or long service
Status Currently awarded
Established January 22, 1852
Next (higher) Order of Liberation
Next (lower) National Order of Merit

Ribbon of the Military Medal

The Médaille militaire (English: Military Medal) is a military decoration of the French Republic for other ranks for meritorious service and acts of bravery in action against an enemy force. It is the third highest award of the French Republic, after the Légion d'honneur, a civil and military order, and the ordre de la Libération, a second world war-only order. The Médaille militaire is therefore the most senior entirely military active French decoration.

During World War One, 230 000 médailles were awarded,[1] when 1 400 000 French Army soldiers were killed and 3 000 000 wounded. For comparison, the UK Military Medal was awarded on 115 000 occasions in World War One, when 673 375 British Army soldiers were killed and 1 643 469 wounded.

The award was first established in 1852 by the first President of the French Republic, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte who may have taken his inspiration from a medal established and awarded by his father, Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland.

After the First World War, the Military Medal was also temporarily awarded for wounds received in combat.[2]


  • Statute 1
  • Award description 2
  • Recipients 3
  • Unit award 4
  • Notable recipients (partial list) 5
    • Recent Recipients for Valour 5.1
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Like many other French awards, the médaille can be awarded for different reasons. It can be awarded to foreign nationals serving with or alongside the French armed forces.[2]

  • To members of the military other than commissioned officers (including enlisted ranks, non-commissioned officers and aspirants or Officer Designate).[2]
    • As an award for valour, it is the second highest award ranking immediately after the Légion d'honneur.
    • As an in between medal for enlisted members, NCO and O(D) awarded the Légion d'honneur for "combat actions", nowadays mostly done posthumously.
    • As a service medal, for long-serving NCOs.
  • To generals and admirals who have been commanders-in-chief, as a supreme award for leadership. These general officers must already have been awarded the grand cross of the Légion d'honneur.[2]

Award description

The Médaille militaire is a silver laurel wreath, 28 mm (1.1 in) in diameter, wrapped around a central gold medallion bearing the left profile of Marianne, effigy of the French Republic, the original 2nd Empire variant bore the left profile of Emperor Napoleon III. The central gold medallion is surrounded by a blue enamelled ring bearing the gilt inscription "RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE" (English: "FRENCH REPUBLIC") with a small gilt five-pointed star at the bottom for a 4th Republic award, three stars for a 5th Republic variant, the 3rd Republic variant bore the date 1870, the 2nd Empire variant bore the gilt inscription "LOUIS-NAPOLEON" in lieu of "RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE" and had flowers on both sides of the small star at the bottom. The original variant was topped by a silver imperial eagle with a loop through which the suspension ring passed, all other variants were and are topped by a device composed of a breastplate superimposed over crossed cannons, a naval anchor, sabres, swords and battle axes, to which the suspension ring passes through a loop for attachment to a ribbon. The reverse of the medallion is common to all variants since inception of the award, it bears the relief inscription on three lines "VALEUR ET DISPLINE" (English: "VALOUR AND DISCIPLINE) and is surrounded by a blue enamelled ring.[2]

The ribbon of the Médaille militaire is 37 mm (1.5 in) wide, yellow in color with 6 mm-wide (0.24 in) green stripes on each edge. This ribbon was borrowed from the Order of the Iron Crown which it effectively replaced in France.

2nd Empire
3rd Republic
4th Republic
5th Republic
Reverse common
to all variants


Field Marshal Montgomery, a recipient of the Médaille militaire
WW1 African American fighter pilot Eugene Bullard, a recipient of the Médaille militaire
Marshal of France, Great Britain and Poland, Ferdinand Foch, a recipient of the Médaille militaire

The Médaille militaire was awarded in some number to British and allied forces (allies of the French Empire) during the Crimean War of 1854-56 and in reasonably large numbers to allied forces in the 1914-18 war. During the Second World War, the Médaille reached its highest numbers of foreign bestowals, most often to members of the British Army as well as to the United States military. The general's médaille was awarded to Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Josip Broz Tito, as supreme commanders of the UK, US and Yugoslav military forces, but to also effective military leaders, such as General of the Army Dwight Eisenhower, and to Admiral of the Fleet Andrew Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope.

Unit award

In addition to the individual medal, the Médaille militaire is also authorized as a unit award to those military commands who display the same criteria of bravery as would be required for the individual medal. The médaille is displayed on the flag of these units. It is one of the rarest unit awards in the French military.[2]

This unit award should not be confused with the fourragère de la médaille militaire, which is a cord suspended from the shoulder of a military uniform worn by members of units which had been mentioned in despatches. A fourragère aux couleurs du ruban de la médaille militaire (fourragère in the colours of the ribbon of the médaille militaire) is worn by units which had been mentioned four times, a fourragère aux couleurs de la légion d'honneur et de la médaille militaire (fourragère in the colours of the ribbons of the légion d'honneur and the médaille militaire) for units mentioned twelve times. Ten American units can wear the fourragère de la médaille militaire.

Notable recipients (partial list)

The individuals listed below were recipients of the "Médaille Militaire:[3]

Recent Recipients for Valour

Name Unit Rank Date of effect Notes
Adrien Moulard Army, Armored Cavalry Chief Corporal of Horse (brigadier-chef) November 20, 2013 WIA
Renan Thierry Army, Armored Cavalry Chief Corporal of Horse (brigadier-chef) November 20, 2013 WIA
Thomas Guillebaut Air Force Chief Corporal (caporal chef) December 13, 2013 KIA
Also knight of the Légion d'honneur
Marcel Kalafut Army, Foreign Legion Staff Sergeant (sergent-chef) May 12, 2014 KIA
Also knight of the Légion d'honneur
Dejvid Nikolic Army, Foreign Legion Major Warrant Officer (major) July 17, 2014 WIA
Nikolic later died from his wounds and was created knight of the Légion d'honneur
Antoine Le Quinio Army, Troupes de Marine Corporal (caporal) July 19, 2014 KIA
Also knight of the Légion d'honneur
Nicolas Vokaer Army, Troupes de Marine Corporal (caporal) July 19, 2014 KIA
Also knight of the Légion d'honneur
Teiva Li Hip Army, Troupes de Marine Corporal of Horse (brigadier) July 28, 2014 WIA
Alex Tite Army, Troupes de Marine First Chief Corporal (caporal-chef de première classe) July 28, 2014 WIA
Mickaël Galeran Army, Artillery Staff Corporal (brigadier-chef) October 2, 2014 WIA
Thomas Dupuy Air Force Warrant Officer (adjudant) November 3, 2014 KIA
Also knight of the Légion d'honneur

See also


  1. ^ historique de la société d'entraide des médaillés militaires
  2. ^ a b c d e f Battini, Jean; Zaniewicki, Witold (2003). Guide pratique des décorations françaises actuelles. Paris: LAVAUZELLE. pp. 51–58.  
  3. ^ Category:Recipients of the Médaille Militaire
  4. ^ """Bluethenthal, Arthur "Bluey. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  5. ^ Joseph Siegman (2000). Jewish sports legends: the International Jewish Hall of Fame. Brassey's.  
  6. ^ Also awarded the U.S. Medal of Honor, the British Distinguished Conduct Medal, and the Croix de guerre for bravery displayed in Hamel, France.

External links

  • France Phaléristique (in French)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.