Chapter 2 – Recommendations for orders, decorations and awards

Recommendations for individual and collective honours and awards

  1. Recommendations for honours and awards may be initiated by anyone at anytime but must be submitted to the nominee's CO for submission through the chain of command.

Award selection

  1. Recommendations should be for the most appropriate award. The criteria and detailed instructions for submitting recommendations for each award are set out in the relevant annexes indicated in paragraph 4. In some cases, a balanced choice must be made between bravery and meritorious or professional service when recommending the award. Moreover, numerical limits have been established in the case of deployed operations to ensure an appropriate balance of awards while protecting their integrity and respect, as detailed in Figure 2-1.
  2. The following commanders and NDHQ group principals have authority to recommend honours and shall sign off as approving the recommendation before submission to the DH&R for consideration by the appropriate committee: Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS), Comd Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Comd Canadian Army (CA), Comd Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Comd Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC), Comd Military Personnel Command (MILPERSCOM), Comd Canadian Forces Special Operation Forces Command (CANSOFCOM).
  3. The following lists honours and awards that recognize individual activity and merit (see Figure 2-2 for comparative list):
    1. Order of Military Merit. A fellowship of honour to recognize achievement of conspicuous merit and exceptional military service. Refer to Chapter 9, Annex A.
    2. The Order of St. John of Jerusalem. A fellowship of honour to recognize exceptional service and support to the Order of St. John primarily through St. John Ambulance. Refer to Chapter 9, Annex B.
    3. Military Valour Decorations. Decorations to recognize valiant acts performed on active service in the presence of an armed enemy. Refer to Chapter 9, Annex C.
    4. Bravery Decorations. Decorations to recognize courageous acts in all situations not in the presence of an armed enemy. Refer to Chapter 9, Annex D.
    5. Meritorious Service Decorations - Military Division. Decorations 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 to or reflects great credit on the Canadian Forces (CF). Refer to Chapter 9, Annex E.
    6. Mention in Dispatches. Honour to recognize a Mention in Dispatches (MID) from a senior commander for brave or meritorious service, under warlike conditions on active service in a theatre of operations. Refer to Chapter 9, Annex F.
    7. Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation. A commendation to recognize a deed or activity deemed above and beyond the demands of normal duty. Refer to Chapter 9, Annex G.
    8. Command Commendation. A commendation from designated commanders or NDHQ group principals to recognize a deed or activity deemed above and beyond the demands of normal duty. Refer to Chapter 9, Annex G.
    9. Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service. An award from the CF that recognizes civilians who are not members of the Defence Team (as well as civilian groups) for outstanding service to the CF or its members. Refer to Chapter 9, Annex H.
  4. The following lists awards that recognize group activities:
    1. Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation. Refer to Chapter 9, Annex W, paragraph 6 to paragraph 20.
    2. Canadian Forces Unit Commendation. Refer to Chapter 9, Annex W, paragraph 21 to paragraph 28.
    3. Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service. Listed under paragraph i above may also be used to recognise civilians groups. Refer to Chapter 9, Annex H.
  5. Regulations for campaign and service medals and the Canadian Forces' Decoration (CD) are described in Chapter 4 and associated Annexes.
  6. The Canadian Honours System also includes the following:
    1. The Order of Merit. This Order is personally granted by the Sovereign without advice from the government in question.
    2. The Order of Canada. Nominations are not processed through DH&R, ORMM Advisory Council, CFDAC or the CDS but may be submitted directly by Level 1 (L1's) Advisors to Rideau Hall in accordance with the criteria, guidelines and forms available on the GG's website.
    3. The Royal Victorian Order and the Royal Victorian Medal. This Order and Medal are personally granted by the Sovereign without advice from the government in question.
    4. The Meritorious Service Decorations - Civil Division. Nominations are not processed through DH&R, CFDAC or CDS but may be submitted directly by L1s to Rideau Hall in accordance with the criteria, guidelines and forms available on the GG's website.
    5. The Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers. This honour is administered by the Chancellery of Honours at Rideau Hall.
    6. Polar Medal. Nominations are not processed through DH&R, CFDAC or CDS but may be submitted directly by L1s to Rideau Hall. The guidelines and forms are available on the GG's website.
    7. The Queen's Medal for Champion Shot. Awarded annually for small arms competition. For further information refer to Chapter 9, Annex U.
  7. Advisory committees may redirect nominations towards more appropriate awards if indicated by their circumstances.

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Supporting evidence and time limits

  1. Guidelines for supporting evidence needed for individual awards are provided in the applicable annexes for each honour
  2. Military valour and bravery recommendations must meet certain critical time constraints and require sworn statements as described in Chapter 9, Annexes C and D.

Preparation of recommendations

  1. It is important that recommendations be submitted with detailed substantiation in accordance with the guidelines in the following paragraphs. The legal name, substantive rank and unit at time of incident/nomination shall appear on the nomination form. Refer to Chapter 1, paragraph 70 to paragraph 73, for details.
  2. Guidelines for completing Order of Military Merit (ORMM) recommendations are included in Chapter 9, Annex A, Appendix 2.
    1. Recommendations for all other honours must include:
      1. a completed Recommendation for Individual and Unit Awards form, DND 2448 (Figure 2-3);
      2. one to two page narrative supporting the events;
      3. two sworn witness statements in the case of military valour and bravery decorations;
      4. a citation in the first official language (FOL) of the nominee, including the electronic version (maximum 80 words in English, 105 words in French); and
      5. MPRR printed from the Guardian system.
    2. Recommendations for all other honours shall be:
      1. submitted through the chain of command to DH&R after being personally approved by the appropriate commander or NDHQ military group principal (refer to paragraph 3) - Recommendations for any member serving on operations outside of Canada must be submitted through the theatre chain of command to Comd CJOC for approval; and
      2. designated PROTECTED B (Honours in Confidence) and shall not be divulged to the individual, the individual's relatives in accordance with Queen's Regulations and Orders (QR&O) 18.05, or to any person unless the information comes within the scope of that person's duties, until final approval of the award. In every case, the nomination process is kept confidential to respect privacy and to avoid disappointment if the nominee is not selected to receive an award (refer to Chapter 1, paragraph 31 to paragraph 33).
  3. A narrative in support of a recommendation must contain an account of what the individual did to merit recognition, including a full description of events that gave rise to the recommendation, the names of all participants, the location, and the time frame. It shall not exceed two typewritten pages, excluding annexes and attachments, and shall be attached to the signed DND 2448.
  4. The proposed citation for an honour must summarize the case fully, factually and concisely. Superlatives should be avoided. Simple statements, which make it clear to an outside observer, now and in the future, why the actions of the individual stand out from those of the individual's peers in rank and experience, or were beyond those expected, are best. State simply, who did what, when and where, in a form which demonstrates why or how the activity was beyond the expected norm. Indicate the measurable impacts and consequences of the deed. Citations shall be one paragraph and not exceed 80 words in English or 105 words in French. These citations are for public use and therefore no acronym or military jargon shall be used (NATO, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and UN excepted).
  5. In the nomination, military abbreviations must be written in full when first appearing and military terminology or technical terms should be explained.
  6. Provide photographs, maps or diagrams related to the case, if available.
  7. Where sworn witness statements are required for Military Valour and Bravery Decorations (Chapter 9, Annexes C and D), they should support but not form part of the narrative.
  8. Additional comments by intermediate commanders or commanders of commands are not needed unless they add material information or help guide the advisory committees. Signatures confirm that reviewing officers concur with the original recommendation.
  9. All recommendations must be personally signed by a commander, acting commander or a delegated authority who certifies the commander's personal review and concurrence. This signature indicates that the appropriate commander or NDHQ group principal judges the individual's service to be of such high quality that it would be recognized by a command commendation or other award, if one exists, should the recommendation for a national honour not be accepted.

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Processing of recommendations

  1. ORMM and Order of St. John recommendations are processed annually. Deadlines for the ORMM are announced at the beginning of the year by letter. The deadline for the Order of St. John is 1st February every year. Recommendations that reach DH&R after the deadline will be returned to the unit. Order of Canada recommendation will be processed as required and forwarded to the Chancellery of Honours for the bi-annual review by the Advisory Council
  2. Recommendations for Military Valour Decorations (MVDs), Decorations for Bravery, Meritorious Service Decorations (MSDs) and Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendations, are processed every two months (except in July and August) by the CFDAC. Bravery award recommendations are subsequently submitted for further adjudication by the Government's Canadian Decorations Advisory Committee (Bravery).
  3. Recommendations for Mention in Dispatches (MID), the CDS Commendation, the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service (CFMDS) and Canadian Forces Unit Commendation (CFUC) are processed by DH&R as they are submitted and forwarded for CDS approval. MID recommendations are subsequently submitted for final approval by the GG.

Recommendation for immediate awards

  1. Occasionally, during overseas operations, individual activity or acts performed in a theatre warrant immediate recognition. Immediate award recommendations will be considered only for actions in a theatre of operations that are truly outstanding or daring and, for the morale of the troops, need to be recognized swiftly. Examples would be leadership or gallantry during an action against an armed enemy, conspicuous bravery in saving a life, or extraordinary initiative in arranging the liberation of prisoners of war or in averting the killing of civilians. Units shall forward an immediate award recommendation directly to DH&R for information and through the chain of command for approval by the fastest means possible, keeping in mind that the information is PROTECTED B - HONOURS IN CONFIDENCE. The correspondence shall be titled RECOMMENDATION FOR IMMEDIATE AWARD. As overseas operations fall under CJOC, all nominations shall go through CJOC and not the member's home unit or chain of command in Canada.
  2. Intermediate headquarters shall monitor immediate award recommendations and either confirm their concurrence to the Force Employer (FE) or intervene if the request is judged unjustified and more properly held for periodic consideration with others.
  3. As a guideline, and subject to operational consideration, each headquarters should complete its assessment of immediate award recommendations within 48 hours of receipt.

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Change of status of recommended individuals

  1. DH&R shall be informed immediately of the following change of status of recommended individuals:
    1. Death of a nominee.
    2. Incidents affecting the nominee that occur after a recommendation has been submitted that may have a bearing on the selection process or bring discredit to the award or the CF. For example, disciplinary action, conviction by a court martial or civil court, or placement on counselling and probation.
    3. Resignation, dishonourable discharge, retirement, change of rank, change of address, posting of the nominee or other similar event.

Disposal of case documentation and unsuccessful recommendations

  1. All case documentation for those appointed to an order or awarded a decoration is retained by the Chancellery of Honours, Rideau Hall. Once a nomination has been finalized, DH&R informs the commander/NDHQ group principal concerned of the decision taken and returns case files and supporting documentation to them.
  2. Upon receipt, the Commander/NDHQ group principal normally has three weeks to notify the recipient of the award, prior to the release of a letter from the Chancellery of Honours and/or the publication of a CANFORGEN.
  3. In the case of MID and CDSC, two insignia are forwarded for immediate wear by the recipient until official presentation of the scroll and additional insignia is done by the CDS or a representative at a later time (refer also to Chapter 7).
  4. DH&R maintains a registry of recipients of honours and awards and will update the member's Guardian file accordingly so that this will appear on the MPRR.
Figure 2-1 Number of Honours and Awards
In order to respect the integrity of all honours and awards, the following award ratio targets have been established.
Honour/Award Military Valour Decoration Meritorious Service Decoration Mention in Dispatches CDS Commendation Command Commendation
- Number of awards per every 100 persons under command in an active theatre of operations for a six month period.
War 0.4:100 MSC: 0.2:100
MSM: 0.7:100
1:100 2:100 3:100
Hostilities 0.2:100 MSC: 0.1:100
MSM: 0.35:100
0.5:100 1:100 2:100
Field Operations None MSC: 0.5:100
MSM: 0.18:100
None 0.5:100 1:100
Peacetime Activity None Refer to Note None Refer to Note Refer to Note

Note

Considerably fewer, depending on activity intensity.

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Figure 2-2 Comparative Table of Orders, Decorations and Similar Awards for Individual Merit to CF Members and DND Civilians Eligible
Level Award Category Eligibility
- Name General Criteria Military Valour Bravery Distinguished Service CF/DND
Military Civilian Both
National Victoria Cross Most conspicuous bravery, a daring act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy (armed enemy) X - - X - -
Cross of Valour Acts of most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril - X - - - X
Companion of the Order of Canada Outstanding achievements in all fields of endeavour - - X - - X
Commander of the Order of Military Merit Continuous distinguished military service in duties of great responsibility - - X X - -
Officer of the Order of Canada Outstanding achievements in all fields of endeavour - - X - - X
Officer of the Order of Military Merit Continuous distinguished military service in duties of responsibility - - X X - -
Member of the Order of Canada Outstanding achievements in all fields of endeavour - - X - - X
Member of the Order of Military Merit Continuous distinguished military service - - X X - -
The Order of St. John of Jerusalem For leadership, meritorious service and sustained volunteer commitment - - X - - X
Star of Military Valour Distinguished and valiant service in the presence of the enemy (armed enemy) X - - X - -
Star of Courage Acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril - X - - - X
Meritorious Service Cross Performance of a deed or activity in an outstandingly professional manner, or of an uncommonly high standard that brings considerable benefit or great honour to the CF or Canada - - X - - X
Medal of Military Valour Acts of valour or devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy (armed enemy) X - - X - -
Medal of Bravery Acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances - X - - - X
Meritorious Service Medal Performance of a deed or activity in highly professional manner or of a very high standard that brings considerable honour to the CF or Canada - - X - - X
Mention in Dispatches Valiant conduct, devotion to duty or other distinguished service X X X - - X
Departmental CDS Commendation Action beyond the demands of normal duty - - X - - X
Command Commendation Action beyond the demands of normal duty - - X - - X
Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service To civilians who are not members of the Defence Team for outstanding service beyond expectations to the CF or its members - - X - X -

NOTES

  1. The Royal Victorian Order is not listed as it is awarded under the sole authority of the Sovereign. Refer to Chapter 2, paragraph 7.
  2. Listed in order of precedence and prestige.

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Figure 2-3 Recommendation for Individual and Unit Awards - DND 2448

Downloadable PDF version, 657KB (link accessible only on the National Defence network)

form DND 2448

WARNING

In accordance with National Defence Security Policy, form DND 2448 - Recommendation for Individual and Unit Awards is designated "Protected B" information once completed.

Completed "Protected B" forms MUST NOT BE SAVED UNENCRYPTED on any network and workstation drive or storage media. "Protected B" forms, when completed, MUST BE ENCRYPTED USING THE DND ISSUED PKI SMARTCARD. Failure to respect this requirement will result in a breach of security and sanctions shall be applied in accordance with the policy.

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