SA Irish Regiment Theas Afican na hÉireann Reisimint

South African National Defence Force Insignia

 

 

Decorations of the SANDF

Decorations of the SANDF (South African National Defense Force)

The SANDF medals and decorations are in order of seniority and list some details of the awards 1952 to 2003

  • Castle of Good Hope Decoration (CGH) (1952-2003) — for most conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy in wartime (or, since 1986, in any military operation) • named after the country's oldest fortification • never awarded •
  • Honoris Crux Diamond (HCD) (1975-1993) — for death-defying heroic deeds of outstanding valour • highest (1st) class of the Honoris Crux Decoration • never awarded •
  • Honoris Crux Gold (HCG) (1975-1993) — for outstanding bravery in extreme danger • 2nd class of the Honoris Crux Decoration • 6 awards were made.
  • Order of the Star of South Africa (Military) (1975-2002) — for meritorious service by senior officers • conferred in two classes: (1) Gold (SSA), for meritorious service in promoting SANDF efficiency and preparedness, and (2) Silver (SSAS), for exceptionally meritorious service of major military importance • awarded regularly until 1993.
  • Star of South Africa (SSA) (1952-1975) — for exceptionally meritorious service – senior officers only • 20 awards were made • replaced by the Order of the Star of South Africa •
  • Louw Wepener Decoration (LWD) (1952-1975) — for most conspicuous courage or greatest heroism, usually non-operational • named after a 19th century military hero • 7 awards were made •
  • Honoris Crux (HC) - 1st Type (1952-1975) — for gallantry in action • 5 awards were made •
  • Honoris Crux Silver (HCS) (1975-2003) — for exceptional bravery in great danger (since 1993 an operational award only) • 3rd class of the Honoris Crux Decoration • 26 awards have been made.
  • Van Riebeeck Decoration (DVR) (1952-1975) — for distinguished service in the field by officers • named after the founder of the first European settlement • only 2 awards were made •
  • Honoris Crux (HC) - 2nd Type (1975-2003) — for bravery while in danger (since 1993 an operational award only) • 4th class of the Honoris Crux Decoration • about 200 awards were made.
  • Pro Virtute Decoration (PVD) (1987-2003) — for distinguished conduct and exceptional combat leadership by officers •
  • Southern Cross Decoration (SD) (1975-2003) — for outstanding service and utmost devotion to duty by officers (who had already been awarded the Southern Cross Medal) •
  • Pro Merito Decoration (PMD) (1975-2003) — for outstanding service and utmost devotion to duty by other ranks (who had already been awarded the Pro Merito Medal).
  • Van Riebeeck Medal (VRM) (1952-1975) — for distinguished service in the field by other ranks • named after the founder of the first European settlement • only 5 awards were made •
  • Louw Wepener Medal (LWM) (1967-1975) — for bravery (usually non-operational) • only 8 awards were made •
  • Pro Virtute Medal (PVM) (1987-2003) — for distinguished conduct and exceptional combat leadership by other ranks •
  • Ad Astra Decoration (AAD) (1987-2003) — for excellent flying skill or outstanding ingenuity or skill during emergencies or unusual situations – SAAF aircrew only •
  • Army Cross (CM) (1987-2003) — "Crux Militaria" for exceptional courage, leadership, skill, ingenuity or tenacity in handling personnel, weaponry or other equipment in dangerous or critical situations – army personnel •
  • Air Force Cross (CA) (1987-2003) — "Crux Aeronautica" the air force equivalent •
  • Navy Cross (CN) (1987-2003) — "Crux Navalis" the navy equivalent •
  • SAMHS Cross (CC) (1987-2003) — "Crux Curationis" the military health service equivalent •
  • Southern Cross Medal (SM) - 1st Type (1952-1975) — for outstanding devotion to duty – all ranks until 1967 and thereafter officers only •
  • Pro Merito Medal (PMM) - 1st Type (1967-1975) — for outstanding devotion to duty – other ranks only •
  • Southern Cross Medal (SM) - 2nd Type (1975-2003) — for exceptionally meritorious service and particular devotion to duty by officers (who had already been awarded the Military Merit Medal) •
  • Pro Merito Medal (PMM) - 2nd Type (1975-2003) — for exceptionally meritorious service and particular devotion to duty by other ranks (who had already been awarded the Military Merit Medal) •
  • Danie Theron Medal (DTM) (1970-2003) — for diligent service in the Territorial Reserve – officers only until 1975, all ranks thereafter • named after a Boer war hero •
  • Jack Hindon Medal (JHM) (1970-1975) — for diligent service in the Territorial Reserve – other ranks only • only 18 awards were made •
  • Military Merit Medal (MMM) (1974-2003) — for service of a high standard • originally (1974-93) called the C SADF Commendation Medal •
  • Korea Medal (1950-1953) — for service in the Korean War (to which the UDF contributed an air force squadron and some army staff officers) • about 800 medals were issued •
  • Pro Patria Medal (1974-1994) — for operational service (minimum 55 days) in defence of SA or in the prevention or suppression of terrorism • issued for the Border War (counter-insurgency operations in South West Africa 1966-89) and for campaigns in Angola (1975-76 and 1987-88) • the CUNENE clasp was issued for the 1975-76 Angola campaign •
  • Southern Africa Medal (1989-1994) — for operational service outside South Africa and South West Africa since 1976 • issued for Border War external operations and for the 1987-88 Angola campaign • made of nickel from a captured Soviet tank •
  • General Service Medal (1989-2003) — for operational service inside SA from 1983 onwards • issued for the 1985-90 state of emergency and the 1989 – 1994 operations in support of the SAPS (operations against the liberation armies) •
  • Unitas Medal (1994) — for services during the integration, as well as to commemorate the amalgamation of the SADF with the homeland forces and the liberation armies to form the SANDF.
  • Medal for Distinguished Conduct and Loyal Service (1987-2003) — for 40 years exemplary service • ribbon colours: 1975 colour code for long service (green) and the 1928 or 1994 national flag.
  • Good Service Medal: Gold (1975-2003) — for 30 years exemplary service in the Regular Force • also available to part-time personnel until 1993 and originally (1975-93) called the SADF Good Service Medal •
  • John Chard Decoration (JCD) (1952-2003) — for 20 years efficient service in the Citizen Force or Conventional Reserve • (Clasp for 30 years service)
  • De Wet Decoration (DWD) (1965-2003) — for 20 years efficient service in the Territorial Reserve – officers only until 1986, all ranks since then •
  • Cadet Corps Medal (1965-1966) — for 20 years exemplary service as a school cadet officer •
  • Good Service Medal: Silver (1975-2003) — for 20 years exemplary service in the Regular Force • also available to part-time personnel until 1993 •
  • Permanent Force Good Service Medal (1952-1975) — for 18 years exemplary service in the Permanent Force • originally (1952-61) called the Union Medal •
  • John Chard Medal (1952-2003) — for 10 (until 1986, 12) years efficient service in the Citizen Force or Conventional Reserve •
  • Good Service Medal: Bronze (1975-2003) — for 10 years exemplary service in the Regular Force • also available to part-time personnel until 1993 •
  • De Wet Medal (1987-2003) — for 10 years efficient service in the Territorial Reserve • ribbon colours: territorial reserve colours.
  • SANDF Champion Shot Medal (1965-2003) — for the winners of the annual SANDF shooting championships • originally (1965-75) called the Commandant General's Medal •
  • Cadet Champion Shot Medal (1987-2003) — for the overall winner of the annual National Cadet Bisley for school cadets.
  • Mentioned in Despatches (1967-2003) — emblem for bravery which didn't qualify for a decoration.
  • Commendation by the Commandant General (1968-1974) — emblem for service of a high standard which did not qualify for a medal • replaced by the Military Merit Medal.

The SANDF medals and decorations are in order of seniority and list some details of the awards from 2003 onwards:

  • Nkwe ya Gauta (NG) (2003- ) ("Golden Leopard") - The "Golden Leopard", is to be awarded for exceptional bravery during military operations.
  • Nkwe ya Selefera (NS) (2003- ) ("Silver Leopard") - The "Silver Leopard", is to be awarded for conspicuous bravery during military operations.
  • Nkwe ya Boronse (NB) (2003- ) ("Bronze Leopard") - The "Bronze Leopard", is to be awarded for bravery during military operations.
  • iPhrothiya yeGolide (PG) (2003- ) ("Golden Protea") - The "Golden Protea", is awarded for exceptional leadership, or exceptionally meritorious service and utmost devotion to duty.
  • iPhrothiya yeSiliva (PS) (2003- ) ("Silver Protea") - The "Silver Protea", is awarded for outstanding leadership, or outstanding meritorious service and particular devotion to duty.
  • iPhrothiya yeBhronzi (PB) (2003- ) ("Bronze Protea") - The "Bronze Protea", is awarded for leadership, or meritorious service and devotion to duty.
  • Tshumelo Ikatelaho (2003- ) (General Service Medal) - The "General Service Medal", is awarded for service in specified military operations, belligerent or otherwise, for which there is no campaign medal, from 27 April 2003 onwards.
  • Medalje vir Troue Diens (2003- ) (Medal for Loyal Service) - The "Medal for Loyal Service", awarded after 10 years irreproachable service, with clasps for additional 10-year periods.
  • Okhankanyiweyo (2003- ) (Mention In Despatches) - To be awarded for brave or meritorious conduct, leadership, devotion to duty, praiseworthy service, or other distinguished conduct during military operations, which does not qualify for the award of a decoration.
  • Decoration Emblem for Reserve Force Service (RD) (2003- ) (“Reserve Distinction”) - Awarded to Reserve Force members after 20 years of exemplary service, at least five years of exemplary service must have been in the Reserve Force.

Authorised South African Post Nominal Letters

In keeping with the British tradition, recipients of the more important South African honours and awards are granted the privilege of placing letters behind their names.

In order of seniority.

* No Longer awarded ** Has never been awarded

  • CGH - Castle of Good Hope Decoration **
  • HCD - Honoris Crux Diamond **
  • HCG - Honoris Crux Gold *
  • GSB - Azanian People's Liberation Army Gold Star for Bravery *
  • SBG - uMkhonto we Sizwe Star for Bravery in Gold *
  • NG - Nkwe ya Gauta ("Leopard Decoration - Gold")
  • LWD - Louw Wepener Decoration *
  • HCS - Honoris Crux Silver *
  • DVR - Van Riebeeck Decoration *
  • HC - Honoris Crux *
  • BSS - Azanian People's Liberation Army Bravery Star in Silver *
  • SBS - uMkhonto we Sizwe Star for Bravery in Silver *
  • NS - Nkwe ya Selefera ("Leopard Decoration - Silver")
  • PVD - Pro Virtute Decoration *
  • SD - Southern Cross Decoration *
  • PMD - Pro Merito Decoration *
  • CLS - uMkhonto we Sizwe Conspicuous Leadership Star *
  • SCL - Azanian People's Liberation Army Star for Conspicuous Leadership *
  • GDM - Azanian People's Liberation Army Gold Decoration for Merit *
  • DMG - uMkhonto we Sizwe Decoration for Merit in Gold *
  • PG - iPhrothiya yeGolide ("Protea Decoration - Gold")
  • VRM - Van Riebeeck Medal *
  • LWM - Louw Wepener Medal *
  • PVM - Pro Virtute Medal *
  • NB - Nkwe ya Boronse ("Leopard Decoration - Bronze")
  • AAD - Ad Astra Decoration *
  • CM - Army Cross ("Crux Militaria") *
  • CA - Air Force Cross ("Crux Aeronautica") *
  • CN - Navy Cross ("Crux Navalis") *
  • CC - SA Medical Services Cross ("Crux Curationis") *
  • SM - Southern Cross Medal *
  • PMM - Pro Merito Medal *
  • SMM - Azanian People's Liberation Army Silver Medal for Merit *
  • MMS - uMkhonto we Sizwe Medal for Merit in Silver *
  • PS - iPhrothiya yeSiliva ("Protea Decoration - Silver")
  • DTM - Danie Theron Medal *
  • JHM - Jack Hindon Medal *
  • MMM - Military Merit Medal * Originally (1974-93) called the C SADF Commendation Medal
  • BMM - Azanian People's Liberation Army Bronze Medal for Merit *
  • MMB - uMkhonto we Sizwe Medal for Merit in Bronze *
  • PB - iPhrothiya yeBhronzi ("Protea Decoration - Bronze")
  • JCD - John Chard Decoration *
  • DWD - De Wet Decoration *
  • RD - Decoration Emblem for Distinguished Reserve Force Service (Reserve Distinction)

Courtesy of Mr. Arthur Radburn - SA Medal Site and the SA Army website

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