List of highest military decorations

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Country Image Name Date first awarded Number awarded Notes
Argentina 50px Cross to the Heroic Valour in Combat 18 Last awarded in 1982
Australia Victoria Cross Medal Ribbon & Bar.jpg The Victoria Cross for Australia 16 January 2009[1] 4 Replaced The Victoria Cross
Austria Austria Military Merit Decoration.png The Military Merit Decoration
Bangladesh বীর শ্রেষ্ঠ পদক.jpg Bir Sreshtho 15 December 1973 7
Burma 50px Aung San Thiriya 1948 6
Canada 50px The Victoria Cross of Canada 2 February 1993 0 Date established.
Replaced The Victoria Cross
China 50px50px The Hero's Medal April 1951
Denmark Det Tapperhedskors Danmark.png The Valour Cross 18 November 2011[2] 1
Estonia Vrijheidskruis III 3 Estland Civiel.jpg The Cross of Liberty 24 February 1919 3,156 None has been awarded since 1925
France Chevalier légion d'honneur 2.png The Legion of Honour 15 July 1804 Conferred in five classes for military or civilian merit.
Germany Ehrenkreuz Bundeswehr Tapferkeit 1.jpg The Cross of Honour for Valour 6 July 2009 28 Replaced the Iron Cross due to its association with the Nazi regime.
Greece GR Metallio Andragathias.svgCross of Valor Gold Cross.png Medal for Gallantry

Cross of Valour

The Medal for Gallantry formally replaced the Cross of Valour as the top military award in 1974, but it has never been conferred.
India 50px Param Vir Chakra 3 November 1947 21
Israel MedalofValor.jpg The Medal of Valor 19 January 1948 40[3] Replacement for the Hero of Israel.
None has been awarded since 1975.[3]
Italy Medaglia d'oro al valor militare.svg Gold Medal of Military Valour 21 May 1793
Luxembourg Luxembourg Militay Medal obv.jpg Military Medal 3 August 1945[4]
Netherlands 50px Military William Order 30 April 1815 5,875
New Zealand Victoria Cross Medal Ribbon & Bar.jpg The Victoria Cross for New Zealand 26 July 2007[5] 1 Replaced The Victoria Cross.
Norway Krigskorset.jpg The War Cross with Sword 28 November 1941 285 A new sword is awarded each time a person, who already has the War Cross, distinguishes him- or herself in battle.[6]
Pakistan Nishan-i-Haider-PAK.jpg Hilal-e-kashmir.jpg Nishan-e-Haider (Left) Hilal-e-Kashmir (Right) 16 March 1957 11 On 30 November 1995, the Government of Pakistan initiated the gazette notification to declare its Hilal-e-Kashmir equivalent to Nishan-e-Haider.

All awards have been made posthumously.

Poland Krzyż Złoty Orderu Virtuti Militari wz 1992.jpg Order of Virtuti Militari 22 June 1792 Conferred in five classes. A wartime-only award.
Russia Order of St. George
Spain LaureadaSanFernando.jpg Laureate Cross of Saint Ferdinand 1 January 1812 336
United Kingdom Victoria Cross Medal Ribbon & Bar.png The Victoria Cross 26 June 1857[7] 1357[nb 1]
1354[nb 2]
United States Medalsofhonor2.jpg The Medal of Honor 26 March 1863 3468[nb 1][8]
3449[nb 2]
Different types from each of the branches of the US military.

In the image, from left to right: The Army, the Coast Guard/Navy/Marine Corps, and the Air Force.

Zimbabwe The Gold Cross of Zimbabwe 3 Replaced the Grand Cross of Valour


  1. 1.0 1.1 Total medals awarded.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Total recipients of the medal.


  1. "Australian SAS soldier Mark Donaldson awarded Victoria Cross". The Australian. News Limited. 16 January 2009. Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Dronningen overrækker nyt Tapperhedskors til hjemvendt soldat". Retrieved 2013-07-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Shoval, Lilach. "'Heroes' from Independence War mostly gone, but not forgotten". Retrieved 15 July 2013. External link in |work= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Actualités - Lëtzebuerger Arméi" (in French). Retrieved 2011-12-31.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Willie Apiata receives his VC". The New Zealand Herald. 26 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Direktiv for bruk og bæring av dekorasjoner, ordener og medaljer i Forsvaret". Retrieved 2013-08-16
  7. Herold, Stephen. "The First Presentation of the Victoria Cross". Retrieved 15 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Medal of Honor Statistics". Retrieved 15 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>