Star of Military Valour (SMV)

The official description, eligibility, criteria, and history of the Star of Military Valour (SMV).


Military Valour Decorations are national honours awarded to recognize acts of valour, self-sacrifice, or devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.

Military nominations shall be processed through the chain of command in accordance with A-AD-200-000/AG-000 - Honours, Flags and Heritage Structure of the Canadian Forces.

Eligibility and criteria

A person is eligible to be awarded a Military Valour Decoration if that person, on or after 1 January 1993, is:

  • a member of the Canadian Forces; or
  • a member of an allied armed force that is serving with or in conjunction with the Canadian Forces.

The Star of Military Valour shall be awarded for distinguished and valiant service in the presence of the enemy.


A gold star with four points with a maple leaf in each of the angles:

  • on the obverse of which, superimposed in the centre, there shall be a gold maple leaf on a sanguine field surrounded by a silver wreath of laurel; and
  • on the reverse of which, the Royal Cypher and Crown and the inscription "PRO VALORE" shall appear, below which shall be engraved the rank and name of the recipient.

The Star is suspended by means of a plain gold link. The ribbon is crimson, 32 mm in width, and has two vertical white stripes 4 mm in width. Note that the crimson colour is similar to that of the Victoria Cross ribbon.

The bar is a plain gold bar with a maple leaf in the centre.


Each subsequent award of the Star shall be indicated by the wearing of a bar.


The Star shall be worn in sequence, as prescribed in the Canadian Orders, Decorations and Medals Directive, 1998, and in the following manner:

  • on the left breast, suspended from the ribbon described above, after the Order of Nova Scotia and before the Star of Courage; and
  • when a bar has been awarded it shall be attached to the centre of the ribbon from which the Star is suspended, and where two or more bars are attached, those bars shall be equally spaced on the ribbon.
  • where the undress ribbon is worn, each award of the Star shall be indicated by a gold maple leaf, and where two or more maple leaves are worn those maple leaves shall be equally spaced on the ribbon.


A recipient is entitled to use the letters "SMV".

Historical Notes

As of 31 December 2022,  21 awards have been made.

The recipients details are engraved on the reverse.

The insignia was designed by Captain Bruce Wilbur Beatty, CM, SOM, CD (Retired).

For more information on the history of the Star of Military Valour, please consult the The Military Valour Decorations 1993-2018 [PDF, 8.13 MB] publication which celebrates the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Military Valour Decorations by Her Majesty The Queen.

Backgrounder: The Canadian Gallantry Recognition Framework

Page details

Date modified: