Aide-Memoire - Annex C - Decorations and Other Awards

  1. The orders, decorations and medals, other than commemorative medals, for which members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are eligible, and the general conditions for their award, are set forth in orders issued by the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS). Only the orders, decorations and medals listed in the order of precedence and foreign awards for which the acceptance and wear has been approved by the Government of Canada may be worn with the uniform.
  1. Canadian Forces’ Decoration (CD). Service as Honorary Colonel/Lieutenant Colonel is deemed to be service in an active capacity and therefore eligible to be counted toward the award of the CD. The time is calculated in the same manner as service in the Regular or Reserve Force. Twelve years of service are required to qualify for the CD. Each period of ten years of subsequent service is recognized by the award of a bar to the decoration. The Directorate – Honours and Recognition (DH&R) is the responsible authority for the award of the CD. It is the unit’s responsibility to initiate a CD request and CD bars for their Honorary member.
  1. The Canadian Army Honours and Recognition Program ensures that the individuals and teams are appropriately recognized for all meritorious acts, deeds and achievements. The integrity of the program is paramount and, because of this, it must provide timely and consistent recognition of our military and civilian personnel. Honorary members are eligible to the Meritorious Service Decorations (Cross and Medal), the Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation and the Commander Canadian Army Commendation.
  1. Meritorious Service Decorations are used to recognize the performance of a military deed or military activity in an outstandingly professional manner of such a rare, high standard that it brings considerable benefit and/or honour to the CAF. These decorations are awarded in two divisions: a military and civil division. There are two Meritorious Service Decorations for which the criteria are outlined below:

    1. The Meritorious Service Cross may be awarded in the Military Division for the performance of a military deed or a military activity in a highly professional manner or of a very high standard that brings considerable benefit or honour to the CAF; and
    2. The Meritorious Service Medal in the Military Division recognizes a military deed or activity performed in a highly professional manner, according to a very high standard that brings benefit or honour to the CAF.
  1. The Chief of Defence Staff Commendation is awarded to any military or civilian member of the CAF to recognize a deed or activity that is considered above and beyond the demands of normal duty. It may also be awarded to a member of the armed forces of a country other than Canada for an achievement or for the meritorious service that is of benefit to Canada or the CAF.
  1. The Commander Canadian Army Commendation is designed to officially commend military and civilian members of the Canadian Army. It is not designed to replace such awards as the Order of Military Merit or the CDS Commendation, but allows recognition for acts that do not qualify for higher awards and for which a Performance Evaluation Report is not an appropriate means of recognition. The Commander Canadian Army Commendation recognizes achievements of members who have contributed to the Command, the CAF and Department of National Defence by personal effort and example. This award indicates a significant contribution and is always signed by the Commander Canadian Army.


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